The main priority for their nutrition is to improve their growth rate and get more calories in a healthy way to make sure they are getting the proper nutrients they need without having to eat more, which can decrease their energy.
Children can get tired easily when feeding, and they may also have malabsorption from reduced blood flow which may limit the amount of nutrients and calories their body is profiting from even with a good diet.
Patients should be consuming foods with a lot of calories because their energy depletes faster from having to take more breaths and need calories to keep up with their energy. Maximize calorie intake whenever possible, for example, by adding cheese or butter to bread or making sure they drink a lot of milk/dairy. Calorie intake is also important to aid in growth, since CHD patients make growth failures. Infants need 24-30 calories per ounce of body weight.
Some children cannot simply just 'eat more' to increase body weight or gain more energy because the eating can be fatiguing and expends more energy for them.
They can also take glucose polymer supplements to aid in their intake to gain energy. Glucose is very important to maintain energy that all parts of their body needs. Food pumps can also be used if they are still calorie deficient and malnourished. Because they do not need to expend more energy to eat, they are getting the right nutrients and calories from the food without having to waste any energy. Bad blood flow is harmful to CHD patients because the heart will have to work harder to pump blood, which can exhaust its energy. Still remember to maintain a good and healthy diet to avoid other heart diseases like atherosclerosis or coronary heart disease.