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Overview of  Basic  Nutritional  Needs  

Energy: The  energy  needs  of  children  with  SMA  are   lower  than  healthy  children  of  the  same  age  and  gender.     • Calorie  needs  are  calculated  based  on  the  height  of   the  child  in  centimeters.  The  range  of  7  –  14   calories  per  centimeter  is  typically  used   • Where  a  particular  child  with  SMA  falls  within  this   range  will  depend  on  several  factors,  including  type   and  severity,  need  for  respiratory  support,  muscle   tone,  level  of  activity,  and  ability  to  eat  orally2,3,4     Protein:  The  DRI  for  age  can  be  followed.     • Protein  needs  are  generally  in  the  range  of  1  –  2   grams  protein  per  kilogram2     Fat:  Children  with  SMA  do  not  metabolize  fatty  acids   normally.     • The  guidelines  for  fat  intake  are  based  on  clinical   experience  and  observation.  It  is  important  to   remember  that  the  stronger  a  child  is,  the  better  fat   is  tolerated   • For  children  under  1  year  of  age,  it  is  important  to   ensure  adequate  fat  in  the  diet  to  aid  in  brain   development  (approximately  45%  of  total  energy)   • Between  the  ages  of  1  and  2,  children  often  receive   20  –  30%  of  calories  from  fat   3  

Nutritional Management of Children with SMA: A Toolkit  
Nutritional Management of Children with SMA: A Toolkit  
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