Diet During Fever in Children
Friday, August 22, 2008
Diet during fevers
- Fever by itself is not an illness; it's the body's own way of fighting infections or sickness.
- Fevers are usually caused due to various infections such as bacterial, viral, fungal or immune mediated.
- Do not panic if your child has fever, but just remember to keep a strict watch on his behavior and activities to monitor the severity of his illness.
- Any drastic changes in the child's behavior can be brought immediately to a doctor's attention.
-Common symptoms during fever are:
- Loss of appetite
- Lack of interest
- Cold sweats.
In some cases there can even be vomiting, diarrhea, cough & cold depending on the infection.It's most important to manage all these conditions with good nutrition to alleviate the symptoms and make the child feel comfortable.
Foods that should be included:
- The diet usually prescribed is a high calorie, high protein, low fat, & a high fluid diet.
- The first two or 3 days can be more of a fluid diet consisting of soups, glucose water, juices, milk (only if there's no diarrhea). Give small frequent meals at regular intervals, every 2 hrs which can be gradually increased to every 4 hrs.
- Include foods which are soft, bland, easily digested and absorbed like gruels, cereal and milk, soft fruits like banana, papaya, orange, musambi, melons etc. soft or mashed khichidi or mashed curd rice or softly boiled veggies can also be included,
- Protein intake of the diet should be increased, so it important to provide high nutritive value protein like milk, eggs & dhal
- Fatty foods, spicy and highly fibrous foods are difficult to digest and should be avoided.
- Its also very important to remember that during fever, there is an increase need of certain nutrients like Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B, Calcium, iron & sodium.
Foods that should be avoided:
- Fruit juices
- Glucose water
- Coconut water
- Barley water
- Thin dhals
- Vegetable juices
- Cereal preparations
- Tender meat
- Baked fish
- Buttermilk with a pinch of salt
- Boiled leafy veggies
- Boiled veggies (carrots, beans, pumpkin, sweet potato etc)
- Dried fruits or dried nuts blended with milk
- Orange and yellow fruits (citrus fruits)
Some things to keep in mind:
- Vegetable oil
- Irritating fibrous foods
- Fried foods
- Rich pastries
- Rich puddings
- Highly spiced preparations
- Strongly flavored beverages
- Cream soups
If your child is a healthy eater and consumes a balanced diet that meets his or her daily requirements, they will be better able to fight off viruses, and bacterial infections.
- Don't force your child to eat if he /she doesn't like it, just stop and feed them after a short interval.
- Make sure they get plenty of rest.
- Give your child a sponge bath with room temperature - cool water to bring the fever down and make them feel comfortable.
- Dress them with light weight clothes and just cover them with a light sheet.
- Keep the child's room airy, well ventilated and maintain the right temperature, not too cold or too hot.
- If the fever consistently spikes above 102-103 for 2-3 days you must call the pediatrician immediately.
By Kanchan Saggi, Dietitian, NutritionVista.com
Tags: General health
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