It can be very difficult for people with full control of their bodies to understand exactly what cerebral palsy entails. Some children with CP have trouble controlling their mouths, tongues and the muscles used to swallow. This oftentimes results in speech problems, but there are other, very severe consequences that may manifest as a result of this lack of control.
Some people with CP have to be fed through a tube, simply because they are completely unable to chew or swallow on their own. Among those who do not rely on a feeding tube, eating can still be very difficult. To get just a small idea of what this is like, think of what happens after you visit a dentist and have your mouth numbed. You can barely talk, you cannot really chew and cannot feel the food when you do, and you oftentimes end up biting your gums, cheek or tongue while eating. CP sufferers sometimes deal with this every day and the consequences can be quite severe.
A doctor who recently wrote about this issue recommends that parents make an effort to ensure that every bite their child takes counts. This means making sure that giving the child food that is healthy, that provides them with needed nutrients and that is very calorie-rich is imperative. She recommends food such as bananas, mangoes, yogurt, coconut milk and other very rich foods that are easy to swallow but that provide a great deal of nutrition.
She also recommends keeping a log of the food that you’re giving to your child. This way, you can always be sure that you’re giving them enough nutrition to keep them healthy.
Remember that CP sufferers oftentimes suffer from bad acid reflux as a result of their overall poor muscle tone. This means that foods that cause acid reflux in most people—spicy food, caffeine, garlic, etc.—should be avoided whenever possible.
Not all cerebral palsy treatments involve a scalpel or a needle. Some of them simply involve being smart and being healthy. Many of the foods that this doctor recommends are the same types of foods that would be recommended for any adult that wants to stay fit and keep healthy in every other way. If your child has cerebral palsy, one of the ways that you can help them might actually be beneficial to you, too! Make sure their diet is as healthy and energy-rich, and they will benefit!