Good nutrition is essential for all children, and even more important for children with Cerebral Palsy. To assist your child reaching their full growth and development potential, a rounded and balanced nutritional intake is required.
All children living with Cerebral Palsy have up to three times increased energy expenditure during any given movement. This increase can be due to many things such as, increased muscle tone, involuntary or inefficient movements, epilepsy or seizures and many other things. With increased energy expenditure, nutrition is incredibly important. If energy being used exceeds energy being consumed, children with Cerebral Palsy can experience poor weight gain, swallowing or feeding difficulties, reflux, constipation and more.
Increasing dietary intake can be difficult and nutrition can be hard to monitor due to feeding difficulties, food selection, appetite, time to consume food, communication of hunger or thirst and how your children are feeling/behaving at mealtime. However, with good nutrition, comes great benefits.
Correct nutritional benefits include a great general improvement in overall well being of your child, improved immune function, improved weight and growth, improved cognitive ability and decreased irritability. During intensive therapy good nutrition benefits include, increased concentration and focus to exercises completed, increased exercise abilities, decreased fatigue and muscle soreness.
For more individualised information and dietary requirement information and prescription specified to your children always speak to your dietitian or general practitioner.