A healthy, nutritious diet helps children grow and learn. It also helps prevent weight-related diseases, such as diabetes and obesity. Children need different amounts of specific nutrients at different ages. They need to eat three meals daily and have healthy snacks in between. The more active your child is, the more calories he or she needs. Here are some ways to encourage your child to follow a nutritious diet:



Sodium is an essential mineral for life. It is regulated in the body by the kidneys. It helps control the body’s fluid balance, affects muscle function and helps send nerve impulses. An Australian study showed the brain responds to sodium in the same way it responds to substances such as cocaine and heroin, which may explain why we tend to overindulge in high-sodium foods.



A balanced healthy diet should contain a variety of nutritious foods and sufficient vitamins and minerals. Such a diet can help you maintain a healthy body weight and reduce your risk of many diet-related problems, such type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers. It’s recommended men have around 2,500 calories a day and women 2,000 calories a day. Studies indicate eating a typical Western diet filled with packaged meals, takeout foods, processed meats and sugary snacks may lead to stress, high rates of depression....


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To deal with it, let people help you with shopping, housework, gardening and driving. Save your energy by allowing your body time to recover. Plan activities for the time of day when you feel the most energetic. Try to eat a balanced meal with plenty of fruits and vegetables. Relaxation and meditation exercises may improve your sleep and give you more energy.

Nausea or vomiting and appetite changes

During chemotherapy, some drugs may change the taste of food. Sometimes you may not like food you enjoyed before or you may crave foods you don’t usually eat. Chemotherapy can also make you feel sick or even vomit. There are medicines that help most people with this symptom; they are usually given in the form of injections, tablets, liquids and wafers. If you feel you are likely to vomit, breathe deeply and gently through your mouth. Remain hydrated to keep your fluid levels up. Sip fluids all through the day rather than drinking a lot all at once. Having small meals can help; just be sure to eat and drink slowly and chew your food well. Eating a little ginger may help manage nausea and vomiting, says the National Cancer Institute.

According to the American Cancer Society, your doctor can choose from more than 100 chemotherapy drugs to fight cancer. Chemotherapy destroys cancer cells in the body as the medicines target the dividing cells, but the normal cells in the blood, nose, nails, mouth, etc. also divide rapidly because chemotherapy affects them as well. The cancer cells cannot repair themselves well enough, but the healthy cells can repair the damage chemotherapy causes.

When the normal cells are damaged, it triggers certain side effects such as hair loss, mouth sores, skin and nail changes, loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting, tiredness and lack of energy. You may also experience changes in hearing, sex and fertility and memory and concentration. Chemotherapy can have an adverse effect on the blood and immune systems. It can cause constipation and diarrhea and damage nerves and muscles.

Most chemotherapy side effects go away after you have finished treatment, but some may take a long time to dissipate completely. Here are some ways to deal with the main side effects of chemotherapy:

Lacking energy or feeling tired

This is the most common and debilitating side effect of chemotherapy. It includes feeling drowsy, confused and exhausted.



Harleena Singh is a professional freelance writer with a background in teaching and education. She has a keen interest in food and health related issues and can be approached through her website Checkout her blog and network with her on Google+, Twitter, and Facebook.

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Hair loss

This affects most people going through chemotherapy in various ways, depending on the drugs taken. After the treatment, the hair grows back, but during the time when hair loss is most apparent, many people feel unattractive, sad and vulnerable. To help you handle with these emotions, keep your hair and scalp clean with a mild shampoo. Limit the use of hair dryers, rollers and harsh styling products. Use vegetable-based dyes or those with few chemicals if you want to dye your hair. Wear sunglasses or glasses to protect your eyes from the sun and dust, especially if your eyelashes fall out. Wear a turban, cap, wig, hat or scarf to make yourself feel comfortable and confident.

Mouth sores

Some chemotherapy drugs may cause mouth sores and infections or ulcers. Radiation on the neck, chest and head may cause dental and gum problems. In such cases, use a soft toothbrush to clean your teeth twice a day and soothe mouth sores and tender gums with plain yogurt. If toothpaste irritates your mouth, use a mixture of half a teaspoon of salt with four cups of water. Use mouthwash to help heal mouth sores. You can make a homemade mouthwash by dissolving a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda or salt in a glass of warm water; rinse four times daily. Blend foods to make them easier to eat and avoid hot, spicy, acidic or coarse foods. Do not smoke or drink alcohol, as this irritates the mouth.

You can find more tips about managing chemo side effects at: and