Energy: Increased by 50%, if the temperature is high and tissue damage is high should be able to ingest 600-1200 k cal daily.
Protein: During prolonged illness 100g of protein with liberal calorie intake for efficient utilization. High protein beverages can be supplemented.
Carbohydrates: Glycogen stores are replenished by readily absorbable glucose.
Fats: Judiciously increased. Fried foods to be avoided.
Minerals: Sufficient intake of NaCl through soups, fruit juices and milk for calcium.
Vitamins: Vitamin A, C and B-complex requirements increase in proportion to calories. Oral therapy of antibiotics in short courses interferes the absorption of B-complex vitamins, hence necessitates supplementation.
Fluid: Must be liberal to compensate the losses from sweat and to permit adequate volume of urine for excreting the waste. 2500-5000ml/day.
Ease of digestion: Bland, readily digested, soft or of regular consistency food should be used to facilitate digestion and rapid absorption.
Intervals of feeding:
If the illness persists for more than few days high calorie and high protein is emphasized.
- Small quantities of food at intervals of 2-3 hrs to provide nutrition without overtaxing the digestive system.
- Upon improvement 3 meals can be given along with bedtime feeding
- The duration of fevers is shortened by antibiotic and drug therapy therefore the nutritional needs can be met without difficulty
- In acute fevers as the patient's appetite is often very poor, small feedings of soft or liquid food at frequent intervals is desired
- Sufficient intake of fluids and salt is essential