Sore mouth and throat in childhood cancer - nutrition advice

Sore mouth and throat in childhood cancer - nutrition advice

A sore mouth and throat are common side effects of treatment which can affect a child's ability to eat, making it more difficult for them to have a balanced and varied diet. The first step is to make sure your child has a fresh, clean mouth before eating. Some hints about foods to select.

How can I encourage my child to eat?

A sore mouth and throat are common side effects of treatment which can affect a child's ability to eat, making it more difficult for them to have a balanced and varied diet. There is information about mouth and dental care in the following fact sheet:

The first step is to make sure your child has a fresh, clean mouth before eating. Swishing with water or a mouthwash may be enough, or you may need to help with gentle teeth cleaning. After that, select foods keeping in mind the following hints:

  • give soft moist foods such as custard and yoghurt, scrambled eggs, mornays, mashed vegetables with butter, ice cream, pasta, custard, rice or baby food
  • give nourishing drinks that can be sipped slowly - see suggestions in High energy drinks
  • avoid giving foods that might sting like citrus juice and very salty or spicy foods
  • avoid giving rough foods like toast, and foods that may need a lot of chewing
  • keep foods moist by adding extra gravy, sauce, yoghurt, cream or butter

Where to go for information and support

On this website:
Nutrition and childhood cancer
Childhood cancer: Where to go for more information and support

All the information in the Childhood cancer section of this website has been written by health professionals who work in the field of paediatric oncology. They have been reviewed by the members of the National Child Cancer Network (NZ). Medical information is authorised by the National Child Cancer Network Clinical Leader.

This page last reviewed 22 June 2013.
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