Cardiac nutrition becomes an issue in children with heart disease with a large shunt and increased pulmonary blood flow. This may be the situation with child who are pink (e.g. VSD) or with children are blue (e.g. TAPVD, Truncus, TGA).
A regular follow-up and thorough check up with your Pediatrician/Pediatric Cardiologist includes nutritional assessment at every stage. There are several situations where nutritional issues come up in relation to children with heart disease:
- Child not gaining weight: Is there a heart problem which is the cause?
- Child is not gaining weight with heart problem: Is the heart problem the cause always and is surgery the only solution?
- Child is having a heart problem and waiting for surgery: How to increase weight gain?
- Child has had heart surgery for a problem. Before surgery the problem was weight gain and after surgery also the problem is weight gain. Now what to do?
- Is your child overweight and you child need to understand what to do to improve his nutrition and get him healthier?
- If your child’s feeding takes more than 30 minutes you can cross check with your pediatrician/pediatric cardiologist
- Infants those who are unable to gain sufficient weight with breastfeeding, extra supplements or 24 hours breastfeeding is advisable.
- A calorie intake of 140-200 per kg per day is required to catch a normal growth.
- There is a definite role for parental education from a dietitian to optimize feeding.
In these situations is extremely advisable to develop a nutritional strategy forming a team of parent + doctor. Please schedule an appointment with Dr. Vikas Kohli to discuss your child’s nutritional problem and form a strategy.