During gastroenteritis, it is important to eat as normally as possible. In fact, eating helps the lining of the intestine to heal quickly and allows the body to regain strength. On the contrary, not eating prolongs diarrhea.
Start by eating small amounts of food. Then, gradually increase quantities depending on your appetite and the improvement of your condition.
Make sure you rehydrate well by drinking water or a rehydration solution preferably, especially if you cannot eat. If your child is breast or bottle-fed, he or she can continue drinking his or her regular milk, without diluting it. Offer it more often, in small quantities. To find out more about rehydration, read the page Hydrating and rehydrating when you have gastroenteritis.
Foods to eat
Lean meats prepared with little fat
Low-fat cooked fish
Fresh fruits, or fruits canned in their own juice
You can eat the following foods if you tolerate them well or if they are lactose free:
Some studies show that probiotics can help reduce the intensity or duration of diarrhea. Consult your pharmacist for further information.
Foods and drinks to avoid
Fruit juices that contain a lot of sugar and fruit drinks
Sports drinks such as Gatorade
Soft or carbonated drinks
Broths and canned or packaged soups
Fried foods or those rich in fat (delicatessen, potato chips, French fries, pastries)
Ice cream, sherbet, popsicles and jellies (such as Jell-O)
Dried fruits, fruits canned in syrup
Candy and chocolate
Very spicy foods
It is not recommended that you stop eating. It will not reduce the symptoms of gastroenteritis, does not provide enough calories and can delay healing. You can eat small portions of the recommended foods for gastroenteritis that you can tolerate.
If you have questions regarding rehydration or diet in cases of gastroenteritis, you can contact Info-Santé 811.