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 that 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, he or she may be more likely to:  

  • Better tolerate chemotherapy or radiation and with fewer side effects
  • Heal
  • Grow and develop
  • Maximize quality of life