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Nutrition and Burns

Nutritional needs for a child who has been burned

A child who has been burned needs a diet higher in calories and proteins to help him/her heal and grow. Your child may have an intravenous (IV) for extra fluids when he/she first comes to the hospital. When your child is more alert and is feeling better, he/she can start to eat.

Most children do not eat as well when they are feeling sick or when they are in the hospital. There are many ways parents can help encourage their children to eat, including the following:

  • Bring your child's favorite foods from home.

  • Serve your child small frequent meals.

  • Praise your child after eating, even if it was only a small amount eaten.

  • Offer your child high-calorie shakes and snacks (ice creams, puddings, and custards). Avoid candy and soda, as they do not contain any nutritional value. The dietitian will help you to set up snacks for your child.

  • Let older children help choose their own meals by filling out their own menus. Also let them help set up their tray.

  • Serve drinks with fun straws in fun cups.

What foods should I give my child?

Give your child a variety of foods that have good nutrients to help the skin heal. Vitamins A and C are important vitamins for the skin. Some foods that have Vitamin A and C are oranges, grapefruits, tomatoes, strawberries, broccoli, and carrots. Many enriched cereals also contain vitamins. Foods that contain protein, such as meat, fish, eggs, peanut butter, chicken, and milk, are also important to skin healing.

Consult the child's dietitian for diet and nutritional information.

Online Medical Reviewer: Bass, Pat F. III, MD, MPH
Online Medical Reviewer: newMentor board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Date Last Reviewed: 5/26/2013
© 2000-2014 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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