Maternal / Newborn Question #31


A pediatric client with phenylketonuria (PKU) is in the pediatric wing of the hospital and selects a diet-carbonated beverage containing aspartame on the daily nutritional menu. What PKU diet instruction by the nurse will best address the child’s selection?


  1. “You may have any type of diet drink since you only need to watch for sugar intake.”
    • Rationale:
  2. “Foods and drinks sweetened with aspartame have high levels of Phenylalanine and should be avoided.”
    • Rationale:
  3. “The client’s bill of rights means you have the choice to pick whatever you want.”
    • Rationale:
  4. “You must only drink water.”
    • Rationale:



Answer B is the best reason to provide since aspartame may be in foods or drinks and should always be avoided. Selection A is incorrect since avoiding sugar is not the issue with PKU. Many drinks are permissible as long as there is no evidence of aspartame or other Phenylalanine containing ingredients. Selection C is incorrect because although clients have rights, nurses have a responsibility to explain adverse effects and conditions that may cause harm. Selection D is incorrect since many fluids such as Kool Aid, apple juice, etc are permissible on a PKU diet.

Learning Outcomes

Test Taking Tip

Video Rationale