Nutrition and burns

Nutritional needs for a child who has been burned:

A child who has been burned needs a diet higher in calories and proteins to help him/her heal and grow. Your child may have an intravenous (IV) for extra fluids when he/she first comes to the hospital. When your child is more alert and is feeling better, he/she can start to eat.

Most children do not eat as well when they are feeling sick or when they are in the hospital. There are many ways parents can help encourage their child to eat, including the following:

  • Serve your child's favorite meals.
  • Serve your child small frequent meals.
  • Praise your child after eating, even if it was only a small amount.
  • Offer your child high-calorie shakes and snacks (ice cream, pudding and custard). Avoid candy and soda, as they do not contain any nutritional value. A dietitian can help you to set up snacks for your child.
  • Let older children help choose their own meals by filling out their own menu. Encourage them to feed themselves.
  • Serve drinks with fun straws in fun cups.

What foods should I give my child?

Give your child a variety of foods that have good nutrients to help the skin heal. Vitamins A and C are important vitamins for the skin. Some foods that have Vitamin A and C are oranges, grapefruits, tomatoes, strawberries, broccoli and carrots. Many enriched cereals also contain vitamins. Foods that contain protein such as meat, fish, eggs, peanut butter, chicken and milk are also important to skin healing.

Consult the child's dietitian for diet and nutritional information.