Diarrhea happens to everyone occasionally and is defined as the passing of three or more loose or watery stools within a day. Fortunately, most cases of diarrhea won’t require medical attention, but should always be taken seriously, especially with young children.
Therefore, when your toddler is suffering from diarrhea, it is important to know how to support their health at home with foods and beverages. Here is what to feed your toddler with diarrhea.
Plenty of pure water is important for any toddler with diarrhea, and should always be given instead of fruit juices or drinks with added sugar, as these can draw water into the large intestine and make symptoms worse.
Both vegetable and bone-based broths (especially the latter) are an excellent way to get your toddler the nourishment they need to feel better. Broth is very easy to digest and provides protein, nutrients, and amino acids.
Coconut water is rich in electrolytes, and studies show that it can work to prevent and support dehydration. A major bonus of coconut water is that your toddler is sure to love its naturally sweet taste, whether on its own or as a base for a smoothie.
Soups and Stews
Like broth, if your toddler can handle some solid foods, soups and stews are perfect. Ideally, you’ll cook any vegetables and meats for a long time (a slow cooker or crockpot makes this easy), as then they are easier to digest.
Studies have shown that the pectin in apples acts as a probiotic (AKA, friendly gut bacteria), which decreases intestinal permeability and helps with fluid loss. Not to mention, most toddlers enjoy applesauce. Make your own at home to avoid added sugars, or choose a natural brand.
Bananas are also easy to digest and are high in potassium, which has been shown to help gut bacteria generate short chain fatty acids that stimulate fluid absorption.
With these foods in mind, the main points to remember when feeding a toddler with diarrhea are that you’ll want to choose foods that are:
- Low in fat
- Low in insoluble fiber (which can be irritating to the intestines and stomach),
- Are bland (won’t cause queasiness)
- That both hydrate and replace lost electrolytes
In addition to the foods mentioned here, you can also give your toddler DiaResQ, a food for special dietary use that is safe for children as young as one year. This food releases important nutrients to promote digestive health and rapidly support intestinal function for soothing relief.