What should you feed your child when he is sick?
Children who are sick generally have a poor appetite. You shouldn’t force him to eat his normal food in the same amounts. Give him light appetizing food in small quantities.
You can occasionally give him his favourite foods like ice-cream, iced-lolly, chocolates and home-made desserts; fruit like bananas,mangoes, cheekus and dahi(curds). However, make sure you get an approval from your child’s paediatrician. Dry toast, mashed potato or biscuits can also be given.
A glass of warm milk with a few saffron strands is a great home remedy for cough and cold.
In case of diarrhea, ORS can be given, or a solution of a pinch of salt, a pinch of sugar and a little lemon squeezed in to a glass of water can be administered a little at a time; especially each time your child passes a stool.
But remember that “ prevention is better than cure”, so you would do well to look at your child’s health in these areas:
Bad digestion often adversely affects the over-all health of your child. So it is important to check if your child’s gut is functioning properly.
1. Good digestion starts in the mouth. Thorough chewing of food is essential.
2. A good balance of gut flora is essential for healthy digestion.
If it is absolutely necessary to give antibiotics to your child, follow it up immediately with a probiotic like dahi(curds), as it replaces good bacteria. But then dahi should be given regularly in order in order for it to benefit; or you can also give probiotic drinks available in the market just for variety.
3. Adequate fibre from vegetables, pulses and oats in the diet not only eases constipation, it can also help children whose stools tend to be loose too. Fibre supplements such as psyllium seed husks or ground linseeds, both taken with plenty of water are a gentle way of providing bulk to the stool.
4. Plenty of water in the diet helps the gut to function properly.
Regular constipation could lead to your child’s over-all health problems like persistent ear, nose and throat infections and lowered immunity.
Allergic reactions to different foods can affect the body and can be behind illnesses such as fatigue, asthma, aching joints, constipation, diarrhea, tummy aches and frequent ear infections, slowed thought processes, ADHD, nervousness, anxiety, autism, hyper activity and learning disabilities.
To test for your child’s allergic potential, limit wheat and dairy products by not including them in your child’s diet every day. Improve your child’s digestion by including plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables, seeds and fish in his diet.
If you suspect your child has a food allergy, consult your physician and ask him to recommend a good nutritional therapist.
Keep the use of antibiotics to the minimum– follow a dose of antibiotics with a good probiotic.
To reduce your child’s susceptibility to ear, nose, throat and chest infections and asthma:
1. Increase his intestinal health and investigate possible food allergies.
2. Make sure your child’s diet is rich in anti-oxidents such as vitamins A,C and E, particularly if he is regularly exposed to air pollution. Include vitamins AC and E from fruits and vegetables. (Check out the Vitamin Chart for your child).
3. Keep the air in your home as free from chemicals as possible.
4. Ensure a good intake of magnesium from green leafy vegetables and pumpkin seeds. If your child is wheezing give him a magnesium supplement of 50-150 gms.
5. Avoid foods which have additives like msg (ajinomoto).
6. A bad throat can be relieved by giving a warm glass of milk at night having a pinch each of haldi, pepper,salt and sugar.
7. Another home remedy is fresh ginger juice, a pinch of haldi and a teaspoon of honey.
Older children can be given a teaspoon of it in the morning and a teaspoon in the evening. Toddlers can be given half a teaspoon each time. Do not administer honey to a child under the age of 18 months.