Bland Diet to Treat Diarrhea in Children
When starting to recover from diarrhea, it's important to follow a bland diet. Also, make sure to watch how much you eat and that you're staying hydrated.
Diarrhea can have many different causes, ranging from poor digestion to an intolerance to certain foods. Once the doctor makes the diagnosis, it’s important to give children a bland diet to treat diarrhea. That way, they can get enough nutrients and recover properly.
What is a bland diet? It’s a diet based on soft foods that are easy to digest and don’t irritate the digestive system. In general, this type of diet excludes seasonings, especially those that have strong flavors. It’s best to just use a pinch of salt.
Following a bland diet to treat diarrhea will help the body recover. By not impacting the digestive system, you can use a bland diet so your child can feel full and strong.
You can use this diet for more than just diarrhea. It also helps children with other digestive disorders. However, in this article, we’ll focus on how to use a bland diet to treat diarrhea.
Bland diet to treat diarrhea
As we mentioned earlier, foods that make up a bland diet to treat diarrhea are really easy to digest. These foods all come from different food groups.
Apart form the typical chicken noodle soup, some of the best bland foods to treat diarrhea are:
- Grains: white rice, oats, wheat
- Fruits: bananas, bananas, apples (boiled or baked)
- Proteins: eggs (cooked), beef, pork, chicken, fish or turkey (steamed, grilled or baked). In addition, you can use the broths of these meats
- Vegetables: carrots, beetroot, pumpkin, celery, zucchini (peeled), asparagus, yams, potatoes, and sweet potatoes
- Other: Jell-O
You can also include some probiotic foods in your bland diet. Include ones that balance good and bad bacteria in your intestine. Probiotics are live bacteria that are beneficial to your body.
Recommendations for a bland diet
First, avoid foods that are difficult to process and produce gas or other discomfort. Therefore, it’s best to avoid legumes like lentils and beans, as well as dairy products.
Second, eliminate spicy foods since they can be irritating to the digestive system. On the other hand, fried foods are also hard to process, which makes diarrhea symptoms worse.
Third, avoid sugary foods and those that contain artificial substances like colorants and sweeteners. They can disrupt sensitive bacteria in the colon. Additionally, artificial sweeteners can actually act as laxatives.
However, although you can make some fruit smoothies or juices, they should be strained very well. That is, you need to make sure to remove all pulp and seeds so they’re easier to digest.
Fourth, keep in mind that with diarrhea, your child needs to eat in very small quantities. That way, his body can recover gradually. Don’t give him too much food or force him to eat if he can’t eat any more.
What should children drink to treat diarrhea?
As we mentioned earlier, liquids are essential to keep children hydrated when they have diarrhea. Although you need to tell him that it’s important to drink water every so often, don’t force him to drink too much water all at once.
With diarrhea, your body loses minerals and electrolytes. That’s why it’s important to drink fluids to replenish what has been lost. Some of the best liquids to drink are:
- Coconut water
- Electrolyte water
- Sports drinks
- Chicken or vegetable broth in soups
With a good bland diet, proper hydration, along with a follow-up treatment that your doctor prescribes, the diarrhea should go away soon and your child will recover completely.
Once the doctor’s treatment is done, your child can go back to his normal diet, little by little.