Common nutrition concerns for children with cerebral palsy

Good nutrition is essential for children with cerebral palsy (CP) to reach their potential in growth and development. The benefits of good nutrition include:

  • Improved weight and growth
  • Improved immune function
  • Decreased irritability
  • Improved cognitive ability
  • More rapid recovery from surgery and illness
  • General improvement in well being
  • Improved circulation

Children with CP may be at risk of the following nutritional concerns:

Poor weight gain

Some children with CP have difficulty gaining weight and may be underweight for their height and age.
Poor weight gain and growth were once thought to be a usual consequence of having CP; this is no longer the case. Poor weight gain in children with CP can be due to a number of factors which may include:

  • Inadequate nutritional intake
  • Increased energy expenditure

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