Mary White

by | January 31, 2007 12:00 am

Feeding a sick child

Have you ever wondered what to feed your child when she is sick? Here are some tips on what to feed a child with some common childhood illnesses. These are just guidelines. Remember that every child and every illness is different. Talk to your child’s doctor for more specific ideas and tips.

A child with a cold needs to drink lots of fluids, especially water and juice, so he stays hydrated. Diluting the juice may reduce that chance that it will upset your child’s stomach. You may also want to give your child light foods, such as soup (chicken noodle is good), yogurt, ice cream, applesauce, and other smooth foods. It is fine to give your child milk if he wants it.

When you child has a fever, she may not feel like eating. Make sure your child drinks plenty of fluids. Children lose lots of fluids during a fever, so it is important to keep them hydrated. Encourage your child to eat small amounts of light foods, but do not force her. If there are any changes in your child’s urination or sleep habits, call the doctor because these changes might indicate dehydration. You should also call the doctor if your child’s fever stays high or persists for more than 24 hours.

When your child has a sore throat, warm liquids are best because they are soothing to the throat, foods like soup, tea with honey, hot chocolate, and soft warm noodles. If your child does not like warm liquids, cold liquids like popsicles, ice cream, frozen yogurt, milkshakes, and other cold snacks may also soothe the throat. If your child has sore throat for more than 24 hours, call the doctor.

When your child is vomiting, do not give him any fluids or foods. Offer your child some fluids about an hour after he has quit vomiting. After a few hours have passed without vomiting, you can give your child more fluid and begin introducing a few foods. Start out with a small portion of mild foods like bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. If your child is able to keep these things down and is still hungry, it’s all right to give him more. If he starts vomiting again, stop giving him food and liquids until the vomiting stops.

When your child has diarrhea, one of the biggest risks is dehydration. Even if she does not feel like drinking, offer her fluids over and over. Try diluted juice or sports drinks if your child will not drink water. When your child has regular diarrhea, around 3 times in 3 hours, you may want to consider an oral rehydration solution for children, because the solutions help restore the balance of electrolytes in your child’s body. These solutions are sold under many brand names, such as Pedialyte, Infalyte, Naturalyte, or Rehydralyte. Give your child about _ cup to 1 cup of a rehydration drink every 24 hours.

Your child might want to eat before the diarrhea is completely gone. Give your child mild foods, but be aware that some foods might cause more diarrhea. Avoid foods that are spicy or greasy. Call your doctor if your child has diarrhea for more than 24 hours.

Remember to keep your child hydrated, and give her small amounts of mild foods she enjoys eating so she can get well quickly. It is very important to call your child’s doctor if you have any questions, or if your child does not seem to be getting well. For information, call Emanuel County Extension office at 237-1226.

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