What should I feed my child if they are sick?
Whether is be a simple cold (is there such a thing anymore?), virus or tummy bug, it is common for children who are feeling unwell to eat and drink less than usual. If you have a baby who is under 1 year of age, this is far more concerning that in an older child who is less likely to dehydrate. The important thing is not to panic and to follow some simple tips:
- Make sure that your child/baby is drinking ‘adequate’ amounts of fluid.
For a baby, continue to breastfeed/bottle feed on demand or perhaps offer more frequent and smaller feeds than usual to keep them drinking throughout the day.
The way that you know whether they are drinking ‘adequately’ is that they are still weeing throughout the day and that the wee is clear. If your baby/child’s urine is dark and foul smelling/or if they are not weeing much at all, this can be a telltale sign that they have not had enough fluids and might need a bit of encouragement.
If you are struggling to get them to take any fluids and their mouth/tongue seem a bit dry, be sure to take them to your local emergency department as they may need some rehydration.
- Offer small and frequent meals and snacks
Don’t be surprised or disappointed if your child/baby only has little bites and nibbles for a few days. You’ll know when they’re better as they will start to eat more again and will often make up the difference for the days they were not feeling well.