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Eat smart >> Balanced Diet >> Growing Kids >> Feeding after fever must knows

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Feeding after fever must knows

The period of recuperation that follows an illness as common as fever in children, can be trying for parents. Especially in terms of providing adequate nutrition through foods that the child finds appetizing. Feeding during recuperation is critical to help the child “catch up” from nutritional losses that may have occurred. The objective of the diet is to give food which is well nourishing in a form the child can digest.


Inefficient absorption of nutrients, loss of energy stores, and dehydration due to vomiting or diarrhea must be overcome. Even during a short illness, child growth often falters.1 During illness, a child normally eats less and rejects food but during the recovery stage the child slowly gains appetite. It is important to provide appetizing and nourishing food to the child at this stage. Appropriate feeding after illness not only ensures speedy recovery but it also helps reduce the chances of the child becoming malnourished which in turn might lead to illness.

During recuperation

  • Foods offered should be fresh and simply prepared, requiring minimal digestive efforts
  • Children should be encouraged to eat more at every meal: Given an extra “meal” each day (or extra snacks in between meals) for at least two weeks
  • Give plenty to drink every 1–2 hours. Boiled water, coconut or rice water, yogurt drinks, and other nutritious liquids should be given. Sodas or artificially flavored fruit drinks to be avoided
  • Emphasize on giving a complete diet as soon as possible, take advice from your doctor for the same
  • Foods should be offered at frequent intervals as not much will be taken at any one time
  • Children aged 6 months and older need energy-rich and nutrient-rich foods during and after illness to regain strength. These foods include meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and milk when possible

Avoid spicy and fatty and fried foods. Also avoid processed foods as they have content of additives which do no good.


References


1.Facts for Feeding. Feeding Infants and Young Children During and After Illness. [cited on 31December 2010] Available at http://www.linkagesproject.org/media/publications/Facts-for-Feeding-Illness_11-21-06.pdf