Diet for Children with Pneumonia

It's important to improve the diet of children with pneumonia to fight the disease, thus avoiding complications. Learn more.
Diet for Children with Pneumonia
Saúl Sánchez Arias

Reviewed and approved by the nutritionist Saúl Sánchez Arias.

Last update: 16 December, 2022

Pneumonia is a disease that can develop from various causes. It’s one of the most frequent health problems during the first stages of life, especially when children start going to school. In addition to the appropriate pharmacology, there’s a diet for children with pneumonia that can help mitigate the symptoms.

It should be noted that the promotion of a healthy diet will be highly effective in preventing infectious diseases. If a correct nutrient intake is ensured, the incidence of infections will be reduced, as the capacity of the immune system will be increased. Likewise, it’s essential to avoid a sedentary lifestyle.

Foods to fight pneumonia

First of all, we’re going to show you which are the key foods to fight pneumonia. We’ll tell you about them below.


To fight pneumonia in children, yogurt stands out first of all, due to its probiotic content. These bacteria colonize the digestive tract and improve the host’s immune function. This is according to a study published in the journal Probiotics and Antimicrobial Proteins.


At the same time, all vegetables with a high vitamin C content should be prioritized. This nutrient is capable of helping to combat the symptoms of respiratory diseases. In addition, they boost the defense system, according to research published in the journal Nutrients. Among them, the following stand out:

  • Peppers
  • Blueberries
  • Carrots
  • Kiwi

When vitami n C levels in the organism are optimal, contracting diseases of an infectious nature becomes less likely. In addition, the speed of healing increases. For this reason, most of the drugs for pneumonia have a dose of the substance inside.

A toddler sitting in the grass biting into a red apple.

Pneumonia usually occurs with difficulty in breathing. In these cases, the child can become overwhelmed and tired very easily. Fortunately, there are a number of foods that can mitigate these symptoms and also help reduce the associated cough. These include the following:

  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Citrus fruits
  • Apples
  • Dates

How to prepare a diet for children with pneumonia

Now you know which foods to include in your pneumonia diet. All of them will contribute to improving the treatment and making the healing process faster. But it’s important to take into account a number of extra considerations that we’ll tell you below.

Ensure the presence of protein

It’s very important to ensure the presence of protein in all main meals. Whether through fish, meat, eggs, or dairy, these nutrients need to be consumed daily in significant quantities.

Be careful with cooking methods

However, special attention should also be paid to cooking methods. It’s important to opt for low-fat processes such as grilling, baking, steaming, or cooking with water. This avoids the formation of inflammatory trans fats that could worsen the symptoms of pneumonia.

A toddler girl sitting at the table eating a tomato.

Make vegetables a priority

Moreover, it’s essential that vegetables make up the majority of the dish in order to provide essential micronutrients that are key to reducing symptoms. Low-aggressive cooking methods should be used so that they’re not damaged.

Choose fresh foods

Finally, it’s essential to prioritize the presence of fresh foods over industrial ultra-processed foods. The latter contain simple sugars, trans fats, and additives inside. All these compounds are capable of producing an inflammatory state that can make breathing difficult for children with pneumonia.

It’s possible to improve the diet for the treatment of children with pneumonia

As mentioned above, it’s possible to adapt the diet for children with pneumonia in order to correctly manage the symptoms and speed up the healing of the disease. However, this doesn’t mean that it’s not necessary to consume the pharmacology prescribed by the physician to avoid severe complications.

Also, keep in mind that the inclusion of certain culinary spices in the diet can contribute to modulating inflammatory mechanisms. Among the most beneficial is turmeric, although it’s not recommended for younger children. If you have any doubts, consult your specialist before offering this type of product to your child to ensure safety and avoid side effects or pharmacological interactions.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.