BACK TOTOP Browse A-ZSearchBrowse A-ZABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ0-9 E-mail FormEmail ResultsName:Email address:Recipients Name:Recipients address:Message: Print-FriendlyBookmarksbookmarks-menuEating extra calories when sick - childrenGetting more calories - children; Chemotherapy - calories; Transplant - calories; Cancer treatment - caloriesWhen children are sick or undergoing cancer treatment, they may not feel like eating. But your child needs to get enough protein and calories to grow and develop. Eating well can help your child handle the illness and side effects of treatment better.Caring for Your ChildChange your children's eating habits to help them get more calories.Let your child eat when hungry, not just at mealtimes. Give your child 5 or 6 small meals a day instead of 3 large ones. Keep healthy snacks handy. Don't let your child fill up on water or juice before or during meals.Make eating pleasant and fun.Play music your child likes. Eat with family or friends. Try new recipes or new foods your child might like.Ways to add Calories to Your Child's FoodBe sure to discuss any food allergies or foods that should be avoided with your child's health care provider.For infants and babies:Feed babies infant formula or breast milk when they are thirsty, not juices or water. Feed babies solid food when they are 4 to 6 months old, especially foods that have a lot of calories. For toddlers and preschoolers:Give children whole milk with meals, not juices, low-fat milk, or water. Ask your child's provider if it is OK to sauté or fry food. Add butter or margarine to foods when you are cooking, or put them on foods that are already cooked. Feed your child peanut butter sandwiches, or put peanut butter on vegetables or fruits, such as carrots and apples. Mix canned soups with half-and-half or cream. Use half-and-half or cream in casseroles and mashed potatoes, and on cereal. Add protein supplements to yogurt, milkshakes, fruit smoothies, and pudding. Offer your child milkshakes between meals. Add cream sauce or melt cheese over vegetables. Ask your child's provider if liquid nutrition drinks are OK to try. Open ReferencesReferencesAgrawal AK, Feusner J. Supportive care of patients with cancer. In: Fish JD, Lipton JM, Lanzkowsky P, eds. Lanzkowsky's Manual of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2022:chap 32.American Cancer Society website. Nutrition for children with cancer. www.cancer.org/treatment/children-and-cancer/when-your-child-has-cancer/nutrition.html. Updated June 30, 2014. Accessed June 20, 2022.National Cancer Institute website. Nutrition in cancer care (PDQ) - health professional version. www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/side-effects/appetite-loss/nutrition-hp-pdq. Updated March 23, 2022. Accessed June 20, 2022.AllVideoImagesTogA Closer Look Eating disorders(In-Depth)Vitamins and Phytonutrients(In-Depth)Smoking(In-Depth)Self Care Eating extra calories when sick - childrenEating extra calories when sick - adultsRelated Information Bone marrow transplant(Surgery)Pediatric heart surgery(Surgery)Bone marrow transplant - discharge(Discharge)After chemotherapy - discharge(Discharge)Brain radiation - discharge(Discharge)Drinking water safely during cancer treatment(Self-Care)Safe eating during cancer treatment(Self-Care)When you have diarrhea(Self-Care)Chemotherapy - what to ask your doctor(Doctor Questions)Spleen removal - child - discharge(Discharge) Review Date: 1/1/2022 Reviewed By: Adam S. Levy, MD, Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, The Children's Hospital at Montefiore, Bronx, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- © 1997- All rights reserved. A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.Content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.