Dealing with nutrition problems in children with cerebral palsy

Maintaining nutrition in children with cerebral palsy is not so easy task. The difficulties are multiple; it can be because of constipation, unbalanced diet, under nutrition or overfeeding, difficulty in chewing and swallowing, hyper or hyposensitivity to touch around mouth.

Parents have to make sure that they should make child sit for defecation at the same time everyday even if they don’t pass stool for few days. This sets their biological clock. They should be comfortable while sitting on commode otherwise they can be afraid to it. diet should include more fiber to facilitate defecation and care should also be taken for sufficient fluid intake.  Besides this we have to be very vigilant about a balanced diet containing all the nutrients in right proportion like cereals, pulses, green vegetables, fruits etc.if the child is undernourished then he/she shall have low immunity and if overweight then it will further make mobility difficult.  Since these children are mostly confined to homes they are very much prone to develop rickets/ osteomalacia. Exposure to sunlight and supplementation of Vit D are also essential for its prevention. Dental care is very important because many times it lead to dental carries, cavity which eventually affects chewing. So brushing twice daily has to be ensured. oro-pharyngeal exercise(like blowing balloons) helps a lot in swallowing and chewing.  if child is sensitive to touch then make sure to use brush with soft bristles. Apart from this hypersensitive child reacts touching of food around mouth and hyposensitive does not feel it. We have to be cautious that with hypersensitive child touch should be very soft and conversely and temperature also should be normal not too hot nor too cold. avoid spilling of food material. On the other hand with hyposensitive child we have to introduce touching with different temperature and texture  food items at a time for example solid to liquid, hot to cold.

most important thing is that parents /caregiver must be very calm while dealing with these children otherwise their anxiety, only increases the problems than to decrease. They should be confident that there is solution to their problem. more update about latest development in mx of cerebral palsy log to http://www.trishlafoundation.com & you tube trishla foundation cerebral palsy