Food for Kids With Diarrheaby Maggie McCormick
When your child is sick with diarrhea, you want to do anything to make him feel better. Certain foods are better at stopping diarrhea than others. Try to take things slow when offering new foods for diarrhea, and pay attention to how your child responds to each one. Fortunately, diarrhea typically only lasts a few days, so he should be feeling better in no time. If it lasts longer than that, contact his doctor.
It's best to serve your child bland foods. Typically, a doctor might recommend the BRAT diet, which consists of bananas, plain rice, applesauce and plain toast, but other types of bland foods, like saltine crackers and plain baked or boiled potatoes without toppings, should also ease stomach pain if your child prefers those foods. A broth-based soup along with crackers may feel like a heartier meal than a banana, if your child is up to eating that.
Foods to Avoid
Dairy products can make diarrhea worse, as can foods that are high in fat. Avoid cooking with oil, and don't put any high-fat condiments, such as mayonnaise or butter, on your child's food. High-fiber foods are usually good for regulating bowel movements, but in the case of diarrhea, you want to avoid them. Additionally, spicy foods can make the situation worse.
Oral Rehydration Solutions
Dehydration is a big concern when your child has diarrhea. She may be losing a lot of liquid through the diarrrhea and not replacing it through her food or drink. Oral rehydration solutions are available in most stores, usually in the children's medicine section. This can help keep your child hydrated while she has diarrhea. If your child becomes very lethargic or has other symptoms besides diarrhea, contact your doctor.
If your child has mild diarrhea that occurs often, it is probably related to a food he's eating rather than a bacterial or viral infection. Greasy foods tend to be the most likely culprit, but he may have a bad reaction when eating a very high fiber meal. Track the foods that he eats, and make a note of which foods seem to cause diarrhea. Eliminate those foods from his diet, adding new foods if necessary to make sure he has a balanced diet.
Even if the diarrhea stops, it may start again if you feed your child a rich food too soon. Have your child follow a bland diet for about three days after the diarrhea has stopped to ensure that she has fully recovered.
- Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images