What is included in nutritional treatment of pediatric growth failure (failure to thrive)?

Updated: Nov 05, 2018
  • Author: Andrew P Sirotnak, MD; Chief Editor: Caroly Pataki, MD  more...
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Nutritional treatment is based on aggressive feeding to prevent cognitive loss. Most children require 100-120 kcal/kg/day, but this may be increased to achieve catch-up weight gain that is greater than normal. Other dietary instructions should include the following:

  • Eliminate empty calories from items such as soda or other high sugar drinks.

  • Schedule regular meals and snacks (usually 3 meals and 2 snacks per day). No grazing between meals.

  • Offer solids before liquids.

  • Consider fortifying calories with extra oils and carbohydrates.

  • Increase protein.

  • Consider vitamin and/or mineral supplements, especially zinc and iron.

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