Dietary Advice during Stomach Upset and Fever

My 9-year-old son is suffering from loose motion and fever. I am confused as to what foods should and should not be given in such a condition. Please advice on the right foods to control this condition?

My first advice is donít try to treat a diarrhea without consulting a doctor. There are different types of organisms, which cause loose motion, and they just donít go away by drinking lots of tender coconut water or lemon tea. They have to be treated with medication or they only grow in the stomach and intestine and later have to the treated with much stronger medication and for a longer duration. The first step is to call your doctor. Here are some food dos and doníts. Try to avoid milk as far as possible for at least 48 hours. If your child wants only milk make it Ĺ strength with clean boiled water. Light tea may also be good. Ideal is to give milk only in the form of curds for 2 days. If the child can drink buttermilk, replace each milk feed with a glass of buttermilk or lassi. For breakfast give bread toast or idli dipped in curds. Salt and sugar may be added to the curd. Avoid rasam and dhal at lunch and give only curd rice for lunch and dinner.

The reason for avoiding milk is that milk is an ideal medium for bacteria and other organisms to grow on and the infection inside will increase instead of being controlled and destroyed. On the other hand curds have a bacteria in them, which can fight the bacteria or organisms causing the infection therefore in diarrhea curd is a form of natural treatment.

Please note that other foods like arrowroot porridge, apple, arrowroot biscuits, barley or tender coconut water do not fight the infection in any way. They only help in controlling the frequency of the motion and are soothing to the body. They also help to replace calories, minerals and vitamins, which are lost.

Please avoid eating non-veg completely for at least 48 Ė 72 hours. Non-veg food again is ideal medium for organisms to grow and you will only see the infection increase rapidly if non-veg is eaten. B complex and C vitamin supplement is very important during diarrhea so please take a capsule of this daily.

Apart from toast, rice and curds, Marie or arrow root biscuits, rusks, apple, dilute lime juice and sugar, rice gangi with salt and curds and arrow root porridge and tender coconut water are ideal to be consumed in the first 2-3 days.

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