Infection during the development of the fetus, genetic abnormalities, lack of oxygen and other reasons like premature delivery can result into cerebral palsy. This abnormal condition is marked by different types of motor disorders. The child who suffers from this type of disorder may be afflicted by sensation, cognition, communication and perception problems. Children with cerebral palsy need special attention and care from their parents or caregivers.
As a parent, you should consult the physician and make a proper diet chart for your kid. Balanced diet and nutrition can improve the physiological condition of children who have cerebral palsy. For meeting their nutritional needs, you first must find out what type of foods they can consume and digest without difficulties. These days there are many different varieties of health foods available in the market. Before giving your children any of these products, ask the permission of his or her doctor.
Nutritional requirements of cerebral palsy patients
Both the children and adults who have cerebral palsy often suffer from malnutrition, as they are incapable of leading a normal life. These patients have to be hospitalized frequently because they suffer from infections. They cannot consume food normally due to feeding, eating, drinking and swallowing problems. The caregiver has to moisten the food items or feed them pureed foods. They have to rely on others for feeding. As they suffer from severe motor dysfunctions, their nutritional needs are rather high. The cerebral palsy patients also suffer from constipation and lack of appetite that again affects their health.
Some tips for feeding the cerebral palsy patients
As a caregiver, you must understand that the cerebral palsy patient is not capable to cope with physical stress and get tired easily. They cannot eat a full meal like a matured individual. Feed them small meals throughout the days so that they are not physically stressed. According to the specific requirements, you may have to thicken or change the consistency of the meals. Find out if the patient is having problems in sitting and swallowing and make necessary arrangements for feeding them.
The cerebral palsy patients often suffer from Oro-motor difficulties including tongue thrust problems and bad lip closure. Due to these problems the patient cannot eat or drink normally and food may fall from their mouth. Do not feed the patient too much liquid foods. The consistency of the food should be such that they can swallow it without spilling.
Weight gain is another problem related with nutrition and diet that the cerebral palsy patients and their caregivers have to face. As the patients do not exercise or move much they tend to gain weight quite easily. This may lead to further problem in movements and cause sores in different body parts. Make sure that the patient does not eat fatty or sugary foods regularly and do not give them excessively protein rich foods.
A proper diet, which includes leafy veggies and fruits, will help the patient in countering constipation. Feed the patient more fiber rich foods like cereals, bran, oats, and breads. Instead of processed flour, give them wholegrain bread. Help the patients walk using standers or walkers because physical exercise is necessary for normal bowel movements. The children who have cerebral palsy fall sick easily. They cannot digest heavy foods laden with fat and proteins. Hydration is must for their health. As they are unable to drink glasses full of water at one go, you will have to feed them spoonfuls of water every hour at least twice. This will help in clearing their bowels.