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Best foods to give children down with diarrhoea

Diarrhoea is the passage of loose or watery stools. For some children, diarrhoea is mild and will go away within a few days. For others, it may last longer. It can make your child lose too much fluid (dehydrated) and feel weak. Dehydration may occur due to loss of fluids and electrolytes in stool, or not consuming enough of these in the diet. Children may be dehydrated when they demonstrate more thirst, less urine output, and seem more tired or lethargic

It is truly important for the child not to become dehydrated. Give the child frequent sips of water, they might vomit but keep at it. Hold on with any solid food until they have taken enough fluids. Once they stop showing signs of dehydration, they can start eating their normal diet.

If your child isn’t dehydrated, offer them food they normally eat. If the child doesn’t have an appetite (which occurs sometimes), continue to give them fluids and wait until their appetite returns, also note that feeding them with too much water may become harmful. Using water alone to keep your child hydrated is okay as long as salty foods are being eaten as well. Water without food may make things worse, as your child may lose too many electrolytes in the stool.

Below are foods highly recommended for children who are suffering from diarrhoea:

The best foods for helping your child overcome diarrhoea are those that are easy to digest, keep your child eating, and offer nutrition. Foods containing a bit of extra salt can help replenish the electrolytes sodium and chloride (salt) lost in stool.

– Salty fluids (that also contain potassium). Broths, stock, and oral rehydration solutions like CHI Pharmaceuticals Zinc & ORS. The amount of ORS your baby needs depends on your baby’s age and size.

– Low fibre foods. Rice, noodles or pasta, small amounts of peanut butter, white bread, cornflakes, cooked vegetables like carrots, potatoes or green beans, crackers, and baked or broiled lean meats such as chicken, turkey, or lean beef.

Other foods. Boiled or fried eggs, banana, pancakes, waffles, and low fat dairy products. Cut out milk and other dairy products if they are making diarrhoea worse or causing gas and bloating.

If your child is down with diarrhoea, the following foods should be avoided;

High sugar foods. Soda, juice, and other similar drinks should be not be consumed by a child when down with diarrhoea. It worsens & or extends its duration.

Fatty foods. Chips, French fries, and pastries like doughnuts should be avoided until diarrhoea has been managed effectively. Watch out for fatty meats such as bacon, and sausage.

High fibre vegetables. Corn and peas are high fibre vegetables that can worsen diarrhoea. Even pepper too.

Caffeine. Caffeine has a laxative effect. It could make diarrhoea worse. Avoid coffee, tea, chocolate, and other caffeine-containing foods.

Dried fruits. Dates, raisins, and prunes are all high sugar items and may also worsen diarrhoea in children.

Spicy foods.  The body might react to the chemical composition of spicy food items thereby aggravating your gastrointestinal system and, in turn, increase the speed & duration with which you pass stools.

Years ago, people would commonly treat diarrhoea by totally eliminating food and focusing on hydrating the child, for the hopes of managing the stooling. Mild to moderate instances of diarrhoea can be managed with simple changes in diet, as long as vomiting or dehydration is not an issue. Using a regular diet as we’ve suggested above (The best foods for diarrhoea) may even shorten the length of diarrhoea, and certainly helps your child get optimal nutrition.


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