How to make food more appealing

Many children are finicky eaters at the best of times. Cancer and its treatment can make eating especially difficult. Here are some general suggestions to make eating more enjoyable for your child:

• Give small portions throughout the day rather than three large meals. Feed your child whenever she is hungry.

• Remember that your child knows best which foods he can tolerate.

In the beginning of treatment, we decided that my son had to eat what the rest of the family was having. If he didn't eat that, he got no more food. He usually just didn't eat. Some mornings, I had trouble waking him up. He was limp and would have his eyes rolled back in his head. He was tested and diagnosed with hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). The doctor told us to make sure he ate something right before bed, even if it was ice cream or cookies and milk. Since he has been off chemotherapy, he has not had any problems.

• Explain clearly to your child the importance of eating a balanced diet.

• Make mealtimes pleasant and leisurely.

• Rearrange eating schedules to serve the main meal at the time of day when your child feels best. If she wakes up feeling well most days, make a high-protein, high-calorie breakfast.

• Praise and encourage eating well.

• Don't punish the child for not eating.

• Set a good example by eating a large variety of nutritious foods.

• Have nutritious snacks available at all times. Carry them in the car, to all appointments, and packed in knapsacks for school.

• Serve fluids between meals rather than with meals to keep your child from feeling full after only a few bites of food.

• Limit the amount of less desirable foods in the house. Potato chips, corn chips, soda pop, and sweets with large amounts of sugar may fill your child up with empty calories.

• If your child is interested, include him in making a grocery list, shopping for favorite foods, and food preparation.

Confident Kids

Confident Kids

Although nobody gets a parenting manual or bible in the delivery room, it is our duty as parents to try to make our kids as well rounded, happy and confident as possible. It is a lot easier to bring up great kids than it is to try and fix problems caused by bad parenting, when our kids have become adults. Our children are all individuals - they are not our property but people in their own right.

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