What Role Does Food Play in Your Child’s Treatment?

In 2016 we’re all a fan of instant gratification. If our phone takes too long to load a page, we become inpatient not even realizing phones are now computers, and just how unbelievably far we’ve come with technology. When you have a child that is living with a serious illness, the stakes of fast service are eve higher. Maybe you’ve spent the past three night sleeping in a hospital room next to your child. Unless you have the time beforehand to pack your meals and store them in the parents lounge, odds are you’ve taken a stroll through the hospital cafeteria once or twice. Perhaps even had dinner out of the vending machine. We’ve all been there! The issue becomes a full blown problem once this is the norm, and especially so if this is what your child is dining on all week as well.

Whether your child is healthy or not, you want the best for them. Mom and Dad need to take care of themselves as much as possible in order to be present and strong in this journey. That’s going to equate putting some effort into what you both eat. Some have their own theories and convictions on how nutrition can play a strong role in cancer treatment, and that’s for everyone to research and decide on, but as far as just a daily choice at each mealtime, it shouldn’t be too challenging.

If your child is eating from the hospital cafeteria, most have healthy options. Choosing milk, water, and low sugar fruit juices for instance over giving the child soda. Have fresh fruit and vegetables as a part of each meal to make certain that your child is eating well. I can’t tell you how many times while we were staying in the hospital for a week or longer that I witnessed parents shuffling in bags of fast food, and sugary sodas to their children. I realize that these children are warriors, and deserve to be surprised with treats to keep their spirits up, but at every meal is probably hurting their recovery more than helping it.

I found it somewhat bizarre that throughout my son’s sarcoma treatment we never once saw a nutritionist. Granted, he had no dietary restrictions, but should’t there be some guidelines to educate parents on what to feed their children dealing with this illness? Some parents have had excellent assistance on the matter that I’ve spoken with, and others just like myself, received none whatsoever. Sometimes, you just have to perform your own due diligence to seek the best overall care package for your son or daughter. Ask for a meeting with the nutrition department within the facility where your child is treated to get more information, and hopefully a quick one-to-one breakdown from someone with a degree in nutrition.