NMCP Important Notices (Click Here)

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NMCP has limited the number of entrances to the hospital and continues COVID-19 screening at each. Please see our VISITOR and  MASK Policies

For Operational Units requesting testing please contact fleet liaison or click here (CAC card required).

HomeHealth ServicesHospital Care & SurgerySurgical CarePediatric SurgeryPediatric Preoperative Diet Guidelines

Health Services

Preoperative Diet

Preoperative Diet Guidelines

It is important for a child’s stomach to be empty prior to surgery to decrease the risk of stomach contents entering the lungs during anesthesia. Your child’s safety is our highest priority, but we also recognize that fasting for long periods can be uncomfortable. Please follow the diet guidelines as closely as possible, as any deviation from the guidelines may result in a delay in or cancellation of your child’s procedure.

The following preoperative diet guidelines are used by your surgical team for elective procedures:

For infants younger than 6 months:

  • Pedialyte® may be consumed until two hours before your scheduled arrival time to the hospital.
  • Breast milk may be consumed until three hours before your scheduled arrival time to the hospital.
  • Formula may be consumed until four hours before your scheduled arrival time to the hospital. Do not add cereal to the formula or use formula that has cereal already added.
  • No solid foods or any other liquids after 11 pm the night before surgery.

For infants 6-12 months old:

  • The following “clear liquids” may be consumed until two hours before your scheduled arrival time to the hospital: water, Pedialyte®, clear apple juice, and clear white grape juice.
  • Breast milk may be consumed until three hours before your scheduled arrival time to the hospital.
  • Formula may be consumed until six hours before your scheduled arrival time to the hospital. Do not add cereal to the formula or use formula that has cereal already added.
  • No solid foods, liquids not defined as “clear liquids,” or candy after 11 pm the night before surgery.

For all children 12 months and older:

  • The following “clear liquids” may be consumed until two hours before your scheduled arrival time to the hospital: water, Pedialyte®, clear apple juice, and clear white grape juice.
  • No solid foods, liquids not defined as “clear liquids,” candy, or gum after 11 pm the night before surgery.

You may bring a bottle or sippy cup and any special beverage that your child likes to drink for use after surgery.

Your surgeon or anesthesiologist may give you specific diet instructions based on the type of procedure your child is having and/or a medical condition that your child might have. They may also give you specific instructions regarding taking or holding scheduled morning medications. These specific instructions overrule the above guidelines. If you are uncertain as to what to do, please call the clinic or the urgent/after hours pager for clarification.

Don't forget to keep your family's information up-to-date in DEERS.