Specialized nutrition support should be offered to patients who are malnourished or at risk of becoming malnourished when it would benefit patient outcomes or quality of life. Improving the nutritional value of ingested food and tailoring intake to the patient's preferences, abilities, and schedule should be the first measures in addressing nutritional needs. When these interventions alone are insufficient to meet nutritional requirements, oral nutritional supplements should be considered. Nutritional status should be evaluated in patients before specialized nutrition sup- port is considered. Enteral nutrition is used when patients have a functional gastrointestinal tract but are unable to safely swallow. Although a variety of enteral formulas are available, evidence for choosing a specific formula is often lacking. Parenteral nutrition should be used only when enteral nutrition is not feasible. There are no known benefits of parenteral nutrition over the enteral route, and the risk of serious complications is much greater with parenteral nutrition. Even when the parenteral route is necessary, some enteral nutrition is beneficial when possible. Specialized nutrition support can provide an effective bridge until patients are able to return to normal food and, in rare cases, may be continued as long-term home enteral or parenteral nutrition. Specialized nutrition support is not obligatory and can be harmful in cases of futile care and at the end of life.