Health Topics

Nutritional Requirements for a Child with Cancer

Good nutrition is very important for children being treated for cancer. Children with cancer often have poor appetites due to one, or more, of the following:

  • the hospital environment
  • side effects of chemotherapy and/or radiation
  • depression
  • changes in the cells of the mouth which may alter the way food tastes
  • side effects from medications
  • inadequate absorption of calories, vomiting and diarrhea

Poor nutrition contributes to poor growth. If a child with cancer maintains adequate nutrition, then he/she may be more likely to:  

  • better tolerate chemotherapy or radiation and with fewer side effects
  • heal
  • grow and develop
  • maximize quality of life
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Special Diets for Children With Cancer

Managing Treatment Side Effects and Nutrition

Mouth Sores

Taste Changes

Dry Mouth

Nausea and Vomiting



Tooth Decay

Last Updated: 09/2011