Kids and stomach bugs are a common combination. Working as a child Nutritionist it’s probably the most common condition I see. We all know the drill….keep them hydrated! But sometimes when you have a fussy sick child, shoving pedialyte pops or liquids which can taste weird to a sick child may not be as easy as it seems. Some kids are easier than others. My oldest is still the fussy sick child while my youngest will eat any medicine like candy 🙂 Well, sharing with you some of my tried and tested tips on feeding the stomach bug. I am also sharing some delish home-made pedialyte popsicle recipes which are so delish grown ups will want them too 🙂 These tips on stomach bug foods are for grown ups too. Don’t we get it ? I do !! Probably from the kids and it takes me a lot longer to bounce back .
Stomach Bug Dont’s
Rule number 1 : Don’t panic! even if your child is throwing up and having diarrhea. Dehydration is very real, but it takes some time before a child gets dehydrated. Worse case scenario, if your child is refusing any fluid, has become very weak, having projectile vomiting accompanied with high fever you can call yr doctor or check into to the ER. These conditions however are extreme and can be avoided by treating the stomach bug in timely manner.
Milk products : Avoid any kind of milk product including , cheese yogurt etc untill symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea have passed.
Spicy, high fat foods : fries, chips ,fast food especially pizza.
Sweet Sugary Drinks : Empty calories and sugars can aggravate a stomach bug.
Caffeine: Chocolate, Sodas etc. Check here for a detailed listing of caffeine foods .
Stomach Bug Friendly Foods
If there’s no vomiting for 6- 8 hours, introduce bland, mild foods gradually. But do not force any foods — your child will tell you when he or she is hungry. Saltine crackers, toast, broths, or mild soups (some noodles are OK), mashed potatoes, rice, jello, applesauce, banana, bread are good soothing foods.
Pedilayte pops or the drink are needed to rehydrate the lost salts etc. You can continue this for safe measure until stomach bug has passed on and child is feeling chirpy again:) Here is a great recipe for homemade pedialyte which is quite yummy and will save you money. Please note : If you are making this for an infant (0-12 months) skip the honey since it can lead to infant botulism. I personally would recommend homemade pedialyte for children above age one only.
Oral Rehydration Tips
For Kids 1 Year and Older ( in cases of extreme vomiting and diarrhea)
Give clear liquids in small amounts ranging from 2 teaspoons to 2 tablespoons, or up to 1 ounce or 30 millilitres depending on how much your child can tolerate, every 15 minutes.
Appropriate clear liquids include: ice chips or sips of water, flavored oral electrolyte solutions, frozen oral electrolyte solution or pedialyte pops.
Recipe for homemade pedialyte pops.
I like use a combination of pedialyte and clear less acidic juices. You can however substitute the pedialyte for home made pedialyte. The trick is to use pedialyte and clear fruit juice. in the ratio of 3:1. Use ice-cube trays with toothpicks stuck in the middle, yogurt containers with a stick in the center or popsicle molds. If you are using the homemade pedialyte mix, you can jazz it up with a little unsweetened Kool aid if you like. If you’re wary about using Kool aid, you can use natural food dyes like beet juice, pomegranate juice, berry juice to give just a tinge of color. Dont overuse the natural dye as that can upset the stomach when you have a stomach bug.
Make these yummy pedialyte pops ahead of time for a stomach bug day or when you or your child just need some rehydration !!
- Pedialyte solution :12 ounces. For homemade pedialyte : ingredients below
- Clear juice : 4 oz ( apple, white grape, clear strained baby juices are the best)
- Good combinations
- Grape pedialyte + white grape juce
- Orange pedialyte + apple juice
- Lemon pedialyte + white grape juice
- Be creative !!
- Homemade Pedialyte
- 4 cups water
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 3 Tbsp sugar or honey
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Mix 3 ounces pedialyte with 1 ounce of clear fruit juice.
- Freeze in ice cube trays with a toothpick stuck in it or in popsicle molds.
- You can get fancy, by swirling some beet juice or pomegranate juice for red swirls or freezing 2 different combos of pedialyte ( see picture above). This is done by freezing the first part and then adding the top half once the mixture has frozen and refreezing it. Plain or fancy, your kids will love this. a great snack for when they have sportsy moments and games to help them re-hydrate. If using homemade pedialyte, use unsweetened kool aid to add some flavor or color if you wish.
Just a note : Making food fun for kids is time consuming but has great rewards ! Also remember the most important thing when you or your child has a stomach bug is to stay hydrated 🙂 To read more about hydration click here.