Gastrointestinal disorder is frequently occurred to children. It is because his digestive tract is not completely developed compared to that of an adult. One type of gastrointestinal disorders commonly found in children is diarrhea.
Diarrhea refers to passage of loose or watery stools with increased frequency for more than 3 times a day. During diarrhea episode, fluid will lose more quickly from the body. The gut will also lose its ability to absorb the incoming fluid. This would usually cause your child to be limp, refuse to eat, and at risk of dehydration.
As parents, you have to be cautious when your little one is starting to refuse to eat or drink. The less food and drink that are consumed, the weaker the body and the easier to become dehydrated. American Academy of Pediatrics stated that even without signs of dehydration, a child with diarrhea has lost about 5 percent of body fluid in general. So, if a child refuse to eat or drink, the recovery will also become more difficult.
Giving food and drink while your child gets diarrhea is quite easy but somehow a little bit difficult. You need to be aware to not let food intake worsen the diarrhea. BRAT Diet or Banana, Rice, Applesauce, Toast, which is recommended for diarrheal patients by many pediatricians worldwide, is criticized by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) due to low in fiber, protein, and fat. Now, AAP recommends that children with diarrhea should keep following a daily balanced diet appropriate to their age.
The digestion of a child with diarrhea may not work optimally. Therefore, you should provide various food that are easy to chew, easy to digest, as well as easy to be absorb by the gut. Young infants below 6 months should be breastfed as much as possible. For older children, you may consider to provide the food listed below.
Oatmeal or milk biscuits crushed with breastmilk or its substitute is the best choice for a child with diarrhea. Its tender and soft texture make it easier for children to eat it. After giving it your child, observe his condition. If there is no problem existed, you may continue to give this food to your child.
Diarrhea is not a reason to not giving fruits and vegetables to your child. As long as the type and portion are appropriate, you can keep providing it. During the recovery phase of diarrhea, your child needs lots of vitamins and minerals. What other food sources rich in vitamins and minerals other than vegetables and fruits? You may provide banana, apple, or pumpkin for your little one. Avoid vegetables and fruits that cause overproduction of gas such as broccoli, peas, and cauliflower.
Yoghurt is widely believed to be a diarrhea reliever, both for children and adults. If the diarrhea is not due to cow’s milk allergy, giving yoghurt when your child gets diarrhea is a right choice. The ‘good’ bacteria within yoghurt would help fight the pathogenic microorganisms that cause diarrhea.
So, do not be confused dear Dads and Moms. When your child gets diarrhea, the most important thing is to avoid dehydration by keeping his food and fluid intake. If there is no improvement after a few days or your child looks lethargic, get medical advice from a pediatrician immediately.
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