What Should You Feed Your Child When They Have Diarrhea?

The BRAT diet (Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, Toast) was once a staple that most pediatricians recommended for children with an upset stomach. The idea was that it gave the gut a chance to rest and reduced the amount of stool produced. Now most doctors have moved away from that recommendation.

Fluids, Fluids, Fluids First

As diarrhea can lead to dehydration, it is important that the child drink enough fluids. A child with diarrhea can drink a range of liquids, including water, clear broths, apple juice, or herbal tea. You can purchase oral rehydration products over the counter at a pharmacy such as Pedialyte. They are available as a liquid, popsicle, or powder to mix with water. Once they are no longer dehydrated let them eat. If they can tolerate it, they can eat it.

Then A Normal Diet

The BRAT diet carries several risks, including nutrient and calorie deficiencies. As a result, many health organizations no longer recommend it as a treatment option for diarrhea or other stomach problems. The AAP, American Academy of Pediatrics started moving away from the BRAT diet in the late 1990s. It turns out that most children with diarrhea who get regular food do just fine. The nutritional content of a regular healthy diet is far superior to the BRAT diet. The AAP affirmed that in 2016. Instead of the old BRAT diet, children with stomach issues diet can consist of their normal diet.

If Diarrhea Lasts More Than 24 Hours With Your Child, See a Doctor

Parents or caregivers should take infants and children to see a doctor if they experience vomiting or diarrhea for more than 24 hours, cannot produce tears, have sunken cheeks, or exhibit any of the symptoms of dehydration.

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Pediatrics of About Pediatrics of Florence

We believe that children are more than just “little adults.” They have unique personalities, challenges, and life circumstances and we have made every effort to make our offices and care as “kid friendly” as possible. We have an aquatic theme in the waiting rooms (separated for sick and well children) as well as themed examination rooms. All of our physicians are Board Certified Pediatricians and members of the American Academy of Pediatrics and our nurse practitioners are all licensed Pediatric Nurse Practitioners and are available to see both well and sick children.
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