What To Feed A Sick Toddler Who Won’t Eat

How to Feed A Sick Toddler

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If you have a sick toddler who won’t try to eat solid foods, we need a rehydration solution to help your child feel better fast! Here are my best mommy tips on what to feed a sick toddler who won’t eat.

It’s unavoidable: your child will become unwell at some point with a stomach flu, high fever or a sore throat. As painful as it is to have a sick child, getting the correct nourishment into their body can sometimes help them feel better. You’ll find the finest food for sick kids in this article.

We need to be prepared for ill toddlers now that cold and flu season has arrived. Because ill children are notoriously difficult to feed, stocking up on the best meals for sick toddlers is the best thing you can do.

There’s a fine line between what sounds wonderful and healthy and what will actually make people feel better.

This article is not intended to replace medical advice. Always contact your health care provider with questions or concerns regarding your child’s health.

What To Feed A Sick Toddler Who Won't Eat

The Most Important Thing Is Hydration

Cold liquids and especially electrolyte solutions which are better than plain water should be pushed in every manner possible for toddlers and older kids because most illnesses cause fluid to be discharged from the body (think diarrhea, vomiting, mucus production, and sweating from a fever).

This is true whether your child is suffering from a stomach sickness, a fever, or anything else! When children are unwell, dehydration is a major issue.

When they aren’t feeling well, they often grow drowsy or refuse to drink anything. This is why healthy foods are a good idea for all snack times even when they have little appetite because they contain a lot of water.

It’s much more of a problem if there’s a stomach bug, because they’re losing fluids as well as not absorbing them.

The Signs of Dehydration in Children

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the following are indicators of mild to moderate dehydration to be aware of:

  • Plays less than usual
  • Urinates less frequently
  • Parched, dry mouth
  • Fewer tears when crying
  • Sunken soft spot of the head in an infant or toddler

If you see any of these symptoms during your child’s sickness, you should contact your healthcare professional for advice.

oral rehydration solution

Young children need plenty of fluid when they feel sick. Here are some things you can try as an oral rehydration solution. If your child is having a hard time drinking fluids, try offering them plenty of fluids often and in small amounts.

  • Electrolyte solution
  • Fruit juice
  • Ice pops
  • Broth
  • Ginger ale
  • Coconut water
  • Chicken soup

The most crucial thing is ensuring your youngster drinks enough water. That’s fine if it means drinking more sugary drinks for a few days. Once your youngster is feeling better, you can resume your normal schedule and nutrition.

If you’re breastfeeding, your toddler may want to nurse more frequently than normal. This is completely natural and healthy. Breast milk has compounds that aid in the fight against illness as well as pain relief.

What To Feed A Sick Toddler who Won’t Eat

It used to be recommended that sick kids be fed bland foods to help them recover faster. Bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast are examples of BRAT diet foods. It was notably advised as a sort of stomach rest for children suffering from diarrhea.

However, we now know that this is not the best course of action. One of the best things you can do for your sick children is to feed them a healthy, balanced diet. I would still stay away from extra fatty foods and even new foods at this time as they could further cause an upset stomach.

To recover faster, they require calories, protein, good fats, vitamins, and minerals (chicken soup, Smoothies, fruit juice etc). BRAT diets are often deficient in nutrients, resulting in a lengthier recovery time.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t be concerned about what they’re consuming while they’re ill. Remember, the most essential thing is to stay hydrated and the best way to do that is to offer lots of water!

However, because they are unwell, you do not need to restrict what they eat. Continue to provide them with typical alternatives, such as normal, nutritious foods, in order to provide them with the nutrients they require to recover.

A toddler with a stomach upset needs to be treated with care, but the right foods can help. There are two main types of food for upset stomach – those that are easily digested, such as plain rice and bread, and those that have electrolytes in them to help restore hydration.

These include yogurt, milk and fruit juice. The best way to help a toddler with a stomach upset is to stick to bland food that is easily digestible. Avoid greasy and spicy foods.

Once the toddler feels better, try introducing more complex foods such as fresh fruit and vegetables.

Food is only one part of the treatment for an upset stomach. The best way to treat this problem is by giving the correct nutrients, hydration and rest.

Caring For A Sore Throat and Cough

The same thing that adults like when they have a sore throat will appeal to children with a sore throat. Consider what would be the most relaxing.

The good news is that chicken soup or hot chocolate and other simple foods, for example, may be quite comforting to a sore throat. Try ice pops or milkshakes if your toddler likes something cooler.

While giving your child an orange for Vitamin C may seem like a smart idea, citrus fruits and acidic meals should be avoided. These can aggravate a toddler’s sore throat significantly and make their stomach sour too.

Honey is a good idea to offer to your child over the age of one if he or she has a sore throat or cough. Honey has been demonstrated to be quite beneficial in decreasing cough in a few trials. It is also a great addition to their food group when they have little appetite.

We used to believe that dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt thickened mucus and made it more difficult to remove.

Dairy products do not enhance mucus production or thicken mucus, according to scientific research. It’s perfectly OK if your child wants to drink milk, a smoothie, or a milkshake to comfort their throat.

Smoothies are one of the best foods because they have so much nutrition, a high water content and can really help boost your child’s immune system. It’s one of my kids favorite foods and we have one for desert after dinner almost every night!

Dairy and Dry Coughs

It’s unclear whether dairy products directly cause croup. However, dairy may be a food allergen for some individuals. Cows’ milk is the most common allergen, followed by goat, sheep and buffalo milk.

People with certain conditions may be more likely to have an allergic reaction to dairy products. For example, individuals who are lactose intolerant (meaning they can’t digest lactose — the sugar found in milk) are likely to experience an allergic reaction after drinking cow’s milk.

Other potential causes of croup include viral infection or bacterial infection in the back of the throat. In these cases, dairy products could worsen symptoms if they are consumed before the condition has been diagnosed and treated appropriately.

In some children, it has been hypothesized that milk protein allergy might play a role in croup severity and duration. However, there is no scientific evidence to support this hypothesis yet.

How to Help Prevent Dehydration in Babies and Toddlers

Dehydration is one of the most common causes of illness in young children. Babies and toddlers are especially susceptible because they don’t have the ability to regulate their body temperature.
As a result, they cannot sweat or produce enough urine to prevent dehydration. They may also not be able to tell you when they are thirsty, so it’s important to keep an eye on them and stay aware of the signs of dehydration. These include:

  • Thirsty but refusing a bottle or breastfeeding more frequently than usual
  • Mild irritability and fussiness
  • Lack of tears when crying
  • Pale, dry skin

The Role Of Electrolytes

Electrolyte drinks are the best way to replenish your electrolytes after sweating a lot. They contain sodium and potassium salts that help restore fluid balance in the body. Some electrolyte drinks also contain sodium citrate and malic acid, which help prevent cramps by boosting blood flow to the muscles.

You can buy electrolyte drinks at most drugstores, convenience stores, and grocery stores. Some good brands include Gatorade, Clif Shot Bloks, and Pedialyte.

Electrolyte drinks should be consumed right away after you’re done sweating. They should not be saved for later drinking because they will lose their effects once they sit out for too long.

Electrolyte drinks are not meant to replace a balanced diet with regular meals and snacks. They are best used as a supplement to hydrate your body after exercise or heavy physical activity.

What To Do When Your Child Is Feeling Better

Routines and norms often fall by the wayside when children are unwell. That’s never a reason to feel bad about anything! When feasible, I still advocate sticking to a typical eating setting and normal snack times, but small tweaks to help them feel better are never a bad thing.

However, after your child has recovered, it is critical to get back into the swing of things and a normal diet. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard from parents who say that once their children were ill, everything went off the tracks and they never returned to their usual feeding schedule.

I don’t say this to intimidate you or convince you that you shouldn’t allow them to break the rules while they’re unwell. Rather, it’s to urge you to make a return plan so that things don’t drag on indefinitely. (I’m here to assist you in getting back into a routine, or in building one in the first place!)

Kids are clever, and if they sense an opening to acquire what they want even after they improve, they will seize it! So, once they’re feeling better, concentrate on getting back on track.

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