Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Fresh Foods....healthy and tasty
My sister sent me these pics in an email. They are an artistic masterpiece.
It is hard to tell from these pictures, but they are made out of food.
The pictures make the food look so good, that you would never imagine how difficult it is to make children eat a healthy diet. Multiply that difficulty ten-fold when a child is undergoing chemotherapy, is experiencing nausea, has mouth sores, and is a picky eater anyway.
Here are a few quick tips to help get some much needed nutrients into those little stomachs.
1. Finger foods are the best. Kids will pick at their food if it is in gigantic portions, so serving small amounts and making it easy to pick up with their fingers while they are doing other things will help them to eat more. Apple slices, chicken chunks, banana slices, raisins, grapes, and cheese sticks are good choices. These foods are not spicy and not acidic so are easier to chew and swallow if the child is suffering from mouth sores.
2. Offer Popsicles frequently for hydration. Freeze pudding or juices in ice cube trays or Popsicle molds for added calories. Milk shakes and smoothies also give calories and are easier to consume than solid foods when a child has a queasy stomach.
3. Give anti-nausea medications as ordered to help prevent vomiting. Children will be more afraid to eat if they think they will vomit every time they eat.
4. Let children make a few reasonable choices when picking out their menu. They will eat more if it is something they choose. Remember, the chemotherapy may change the way things taste. Foods that your child used to eat before the illness may not taste good to him or her after treatments have started. Be patient.
5. Offer non acidic fluids frequently to help ward off dehydration. Small sips frequently can be just as beneficial as a whole cup three times a day.
Nutrition is an important part of the healing process. If you have questions or are having a difficult time finding foods that your child will eat, consult with a dietitian or nutritionist. Your family doctor or nurse are also good sources of nutritional information.