Just about every child has experienced a bout of loose motions while growing up as he/she begins experimenting with outside food after the age of 4. As the immunity buckles up the new infectious agents, parents fret over what to give or avoid the child during this period of abdominal distress. Most of the pediatricians recommend the BRAT diet.The BRAT diet is a bland-food diet and stands for Bananas, Rice, Applesauce and Toast.The BRAT diet helps to recover from lose stools since it includes binding foods which make the stools firmer.
Here is the list of foods that are recommended for your young one:
1 . Bananas: These sweet fruits provide plenty of potassium and iron as well as fibre. 1-2 bananas can be easily consumed during loose motions.
2 . Rice: Cooked rice is extremely easy to digest and provides ample energy due to its starch content. It is easy to eat and can be easily combined with dal, curd or buttermilk, vegetables to make for a quick but complete meal.
3 . Apple: It is high on soluble fiber content which binds the stools and eases off the loose motions. Also, it is high on vitamins and minerals like iron.
4 . Toast: Toast is also a binding food and helps to make the stools firmer. You can give your young one a slice with a bowl of curd.
5 . Curd: Curd or buttermilk helps to ease the discomfort and settles the digestive tract as it is loaded with good bacteria. It acts as a probiotic by replenishing these gut bacteria that get washed off during the loose motions.
6 . Coconut water: Coconut water is rich in potassium, sodium and sugar. All of these replenish the minerals that are lost during diarrhea and provide much needed energy.
7 . Potatoes: Boiled potatoes are fantastic during loose motions as they are easy to digest and provide adequate energy owing to their high carbohydrate content.
8 . Fluids: Ensure your child has at least 2-3 liters of water in the form of coconut water, lemonade, ORS, rice kanji and plain water..
There are certain foods that you should avoid during this period. These include:
1 . Fruit juices and soft drinks: They can be high in simple sugars that can draw water into the intestines and from rest of the body. This can cause dehydration. Instead, drinking plain (boiled and cooled) water is a good choice.
2 . Milk and milk products: Milk is to be avoided as the gut enzyme needed to digest milk is washed out in diarrhea. Milk should be avoided for at least 3-4 days even after the loose motions have stopped, till the enzyme is produced adequately again.
3 . Fat rich products: Nuts, cheese, butter, fried foods, and pickles are difficult to digest due to their high fat content and add stress on the overworked intestines.
One important thing to remember: feed your child small portions of foods/liquids every hour or so. Follow these simple do’s and don’ts to hasten recovery and provide comfort. If the loose motions persist or worsen beyond 48 hours, immediately consult your pediatrician.