Cancer handbook: Diet and nutrition

Proper nutrition is an essential part of living well during and after cancer treatment. Detitians can help children to eat properly for their specific conditions.

Cancer treatment can cause appetite changes and your child may also experience changes in taste. Some foods may have a metallic taste or they may not want to eat foods they usually enjoy. 

A dietician can work with a child's medical team to set nutrition goals. They can help the child solve problems such as providing hints on taking food when nauseated or do not feel like eating.

When a child is not eating well

When a child has a poor appetite, a dietitian might try making meals smaller or suggesting the nutrition in a different form such as in a milkshake. 

Often dieticians build a meal plan that the child finds appetising and includes dense calories to help fight weight loss. 

Keeping a healthy weight

As a parent you may be reassured that most children gain weight after they finish treatment. Some children may gain weight at an unhealthy rate and need physical activity and a balanced nutritional diet to help them adjust. Y

our child's health care team and dietitian can help with this.

The benefits of healthy choices after cancer

Making healthy choices after cancer treatment helps:

  • build strength and energy levels
  • heal tissues and organs that were damaged by the cancer and treatment
  • reduce the risk of developing certain types of adult cancers and diseases
  • reduce the risk of long-term complications from cancer treatment
  • feeling healthy and emotionally well. 

Outpatient appointments

To make an appointment as an outpatient you need a referral from a hospital medical officer or paediatrician with admitting rights to the hospital.

Once you have a referral you can call the nutrition and dietetics team at the hospital to make an appointment.

Contact us

(02) 7825 2225

Diagnostic Services Building, level 2

Last updated Wednesday 26th June 2024