As a parent, a case of diarrhea in your child can be stressful. And while many cases of diarrhea will naturally run their course, there are things you can do to shorten the span and severity of diarrhea.
Children’s diarrhea is defined as three or more loose stools per day for multiple days in a row. If your child is experiencing this, you’ll want to keep the following tips in mind. Here is our parent’s 5-step guide to children’s diarrhea.
Foods to Offer and Foods to Avoid
Your child might not have much of an appetite if they are feeling unwell, and there is no need to force feed them. For kids who don’t want to eat, plain water or homemade broth is perfect.
Both vegetable and bone-based broths (especially the latter) are an excellent way to get your child the nourishment they need to feel better. Broth is easy to digest and provides protein, nutrients, and amino acids.
If your child is feeling up for food, healthy and easy-to-digest foods we recommend are bananas, applesauce (ideally with no added sugars), soups, and stews.
Foods to avoid include fried and especially fatty foods, refined sugar, and sugary drinks. For many kids, foods with strong flavors will be bothersome, so the blander, the better.
Beverages to Include
Aside from plain water and broth, natural coconut water is an excellent electrolyte replenisher. Studies show that coconut water can work to prevent dehydration and support rehydration, and is a healthier and more natural alternative than common sports drinks like Gatorade.
A major bonus of coconut water is that it’s naturally sweet and most kids like it. It also works well as a base for a smoothie.
For Extra Support
Some extra support might be in order if your child is suffering from diarrhea; we recommend two products.
Probiotics help maintain an optimal balance of healthy bacteria in the gut, and you can find brands that are specifically for kids.
In addition to probiotics, Children’s DiaResQ is a food for special dietary use that relieves diarrhea quickly. It works by promoting healthy digestion by providing beneficial nutrients to the digestive tract. It is safe for kids as young as one year old.
Oral Rehydration Solutions (ORS)
While the above-mentioned foods and beverages might do the trick, we also suggest ORS options such as Pedialyte or Infalyte. These products are a combination of salt, potassium, sugar, and minerals that work to replace your child’s lost fluids.
For a homemade ORS that avoids the artificial ingredients that come with some of these store-bought versions, you can simply mix together water, a splash of natural fruit juice, a bit of sugar, and a pinch of salt. Of course, if you feel that your child’s diarrhea might merit a specialty ORS, consult your healthcare provider.
As with any illness, be sure your child gets plenty of rest. Rest is crucial for having the resources to recover as quickly as possible.
By following this guide, you can help your children during a bout of diarrhea. Keep them hydrated, rested and offer them the right foods to ensure they feel better fast!