Diet And Nutrition: Important Reminders For Feeding Children With Cerebral Palsy

By Myka Bomediano, Parent Herald March 28, 06:20 pm

Children with cerebral palsy (CP) need healthy food as much as any other child would. However, take note that these children have problems with their muscle tone, movement and motor skills. Things like gastroesophageal reflux and constipation are a few things that can make feeding uncomfortable, so it's important that parents know the type of food children with cerebral palsy would need.

Nutrition plays a big role in the overall welfare of those affected by cerebral palsy. It is important that parents know the right nutrients to help with child development. Here are tips to make sure that your child is getting all the nutrients he needs:

Keep bones healthy

Keep bones strong with calcium to support bone and tooth structure, vitamin D for calcium absorption and phosphorous for healthy formation of bones and teeth for children with cerebral palsy. Kids Health noted that milk and other dairy products such as yogurt and cheese are among the most common sources of calcium.

On the other hand, vitamin D could be found in food like salmon, tuna and fish liver oil. Phosphorous, meanwhile, can be found in fish, eggs and poultry, as well as nuts and whole grains.

Good things come in small bites

Hi-calorie food is important for kids with cerebral palsy. Many of them have difficulty swallowing their food enough as it is, so it is imperative that parents make every bite count.

Fox News reported that food like calorie-rich smoothies, healthy fats, leafy greens, and pro-biotics are important parts of their diet. To avoid acid reflux, citrus fruits, spicy food and fatty cuts of meat as well as carbonated drinks should be avoided.

Pack on the nutrients

Do not shy away from supplements. According to the Cerebral Palsy information website, most children suffering from this situation are at risk of undernourishment, mostly due to the feeding difficulties, as well as oral motor dysfunction.

This is why some of these kids may need supplements -- to get more of their much-needed vitamins. These supplements come in different forms like liquid or chewable tablets, so you can make sure that there is at least one that's safe for your child to take.

What other dietary needs and restrictions can you share for children with cerebral palsy? Comment with your thoughts below.

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