Food For Kids With Leukemia

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This week I found out a little 5 year old boy who has grown up with the neighbor boy was diagnosed with Leukemia. He’s just beginning treatment and has a long road ahead of him. The good news is that Leukemia is beatable and there are many things families can do to help. This post is dedicated to him, his family and their road recovery.

Nutrition plays a big role in recovery. Not just for the patient but for the caregivers as well. It is crucial to eat right to keep up strength and combat other illnesses. Additionally, for the patient there are many side effects from the chemo that can be offset with food. Here are few types of foods Livestrong and Mayo recommend for children with Leukemia.

  • Whole Grains can help with weight management. Children on steroids with chemo need extra calories for proper organ function and to protect muscles from being used for energy by the body. Oatmeal and brown rice are great sources.
  • Fruits are full of antioxidants and help protect against other illnesses. Eat lots of apples, berries, oranges, bananas. Bananas also help with diarrhea which is a common side effect with chemo.
  • Veggies are full of a variety of vitamins. Dark green ones like green beans and broccoli are high in magnesium that helps muscles function and bones grow. Other veggies are high in vitamin C which builds immunity. Choose various colored bell peppers for the highest vitamin C content. Iron allows the body to make healthy blood cells, so remember to eat green leafy veggies like spinach, Popeye’s favorite.
  • Children need extra protein after chemo to build new cells. Lean protein is the best source including chicken, fish, beans, tofu, eggs, milk, cheese.
  • Liquids are critical to prevent dehydration. Make sure to drinks lots of water and stay away from sugary substitutes like pre-made juice and pop. Fresh squeezed juice from fruits or vegatables are ideal. Try juicing or making smoothies. Remember liquids can come from broths too so soups are another good option.

O.K. so how do you actually get your kids to eat their fruits and vegetables? Check out the fun food for kids recipes (made from natural products) from the links below:

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