Nutrition and Dietary

"Do you know ..." is an educational series for patients and their families.

Anticoagulants and vitamin K

An anticoagulant is a blood thinner, which helps keep blood clots from forming. It can be used to prevent blood clots in the veins and arteries that can lead to heart attacks and strokes. When your child is taking an anticoagulant, the vitamin K in his diet can react with the medicine to cause a negative effect.

Breastfeeding and milk storage

If you are breastfeeding your infant while at St Jude, you may need to pump (express) your breast milk and store it for later use. It is important to know how to store your milk so that it will be safe for your infant to drink.

Calcium and vitamin D

Good bone health is all about eating the right foods. Learn more about calcium and vitamin D and the best foods to eat to get these two important nutrients.


Cholesterol is made by your liver, and it is also in some of the foods you eat. Your body needs a small amount of cholesterol to help it work properly. But having a high level of cholesterol in your blood can cause problems.

Food diary

This is a tool for you to use for keeping a 3-day record of all food and beverages consumed.

Foods with potassium

Sometimes the amount of potassium your child gets in his diet needs to be watched. Please increase or decrease the potassium your child eats by encouraging or avoiding these foods...

High magnesium foods

Magnesium is a mineral your body needs. Green vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains are good sources of this mineral. Try to eat at least one serving of a high magnesium food with each meal and snack...

High phosphorus foods

Your child needs a certain amount of phosphorus in her diet for her body to function properly. The best sources of phosphorous tend to be foods high in protein. Meats, fish, dairy products, and nuts head the list...

How to help your child gain weight

If your child needs to gain weight here are some ways to help add extra calories. Try to encourage smaller, more frequent meals with foods that have lots of nutrients.

How to keep a food diary

A food diary is a complete record of the food your child has eaten during a certain period of time. This record will help the dietitian know your child's needs.


Iron is a mineral that can be found in every cell in your body. It helps carry oxygen to the tissues in your body. Iron can also give you energy and help to make your immune system stronger. The following is a list of foods that are good sources of iron.

Low bacteria diet

Use these food safety guidelines when your child's ANC is less than 300 and during induction and re-induction therapy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) treatment plans.

Low bacteria diet - AML

These guidelines are recommended for all patients with AML from the time of diagnosis until the time of count recovery following the completion of all therapy.

Low bacteria diet - Allogeneic SCT

For patients receiving allogeneic stem cell transplants follow these guidelines during conditioning and until at least day 100. Your dietitian or doctor will tell you when you can resume a regular diet.

Mixing liquid concentrate infant formula

This handout offers guidelines for mixing liquid concentrate infant formula (20 calories per ounce) and for feeding your baby.

Mixing powdered infant formula

This handout offers guidelines for mixing powdered infant formula (20 calories per ounce) and for feeding your baby.

Mothers' Rooms at St. Jude

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital offers several Mothers’ Rooms around campus for patient families and staff.

Sore Mouth Diet

Radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and infection can cause mouth sores, tender gums, and a sore throat. The condition is called mucositis (mew koh SY tis). Any food that is tough to chew or swallow will make it harder for your child to eat. This handout offers ideas for foods that might be easier for your child to eat.

Stay active and feel better

Make physical activity your solution to feeling tired, bored, and out of shape. Find time. It is never too late to commit to having a healthy heart and healthy body. Add movement to your daily routine.

Tube feeding

Nutrition is important for good health and normal growth. Cancer and other diseases can keep children from eating the good foods that they need. Tube feeding is a safe way to give nutrients to your child when she cannot eat on her own.

What to do when you have diarrhea

What to eat and drink, and what to avoid.

What to eat for GVHD of the gut

Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) of the gut may cause your child to have nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. The doctor may ask your child to follow a bland diet to give the gut time to heal.