Dehydration often follows a severe bout of diarrhea and vomiting. This condition is classified by a fluid deficient in the body. While most cases of dehydration are mild to moderate, in some cases it can become so severe that IV fluids are needed to correct the imbalance.
BRAT Diet For Babies
If your child is suffering from diarrhea with/without vomiting, you should attempt to offer them fluids. Pedialyte powder pack is very popular among parents, because it can replace lost vitamins and nutrients related to diarrhea. Chicken broth, weak or watered down juice, and the BRAT diet are often used, as well.
Nuun Active Hydration Electrolyte enhanced tablets is also very convenient, because you can put them bottled water. They are flavorful and delicious tasting, but they are low in sugar and full of electrolytes.
Half-strength breast milk and formula should be substituted for regular feedings. BRAT diet includes bananas, rice cereal, applesauce, and toast (toast can be substituted for teat). Although the BRAT diet is very popular there has been no scientific facts that support its effectiveness over the traditional diet for nausea (NIH).
It is crucial to note that some pediatricians may consider bananas a solid food, so it may not be suitable for a small child that is actively vomiting.
BRAT Diet Pregnancy
The BRAT diet may not be suitable for pregnant females, infants, toddlers, and young children, because it may contain insufficient calories and water-soluble vitamins and nutrients. Oral rehydration therapy should include plenty of water and electrolytes, which can be found in Pedialyte.
By decreased food consumption will allow the bowels to rest, since stool output is decreased. The BRAT diet is one of the oldest diets that contains a food combination of bland low-dietary fiber.
BRAT Diet Recipes
Bananas are filled with amylase-resistant starch, which is capable of preventing gastrointestinal mucosa (lining) damage and alleviating symptoms of peptic ulcers. One study showed that combining rice and bananas together can improve a child’s outcome verses eating them alone (Rabbani, Bangladesh).
Rice may potentially lower digestive osmosis, which basically involves the tendency of water moving from a high concentration area to a lower concentration area. This process continues until a fluid balance is reached, in both areas. This will decrease the need for IV fluid infusion.
- BRAT Recipe – prepare the rice in a rice cooker and drain when done
- Applesauce – slice 6 unpeeled, cored apples and place them in a pot. Add 1 cup of tap water, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, and let boil for 25-30 minutes, stirring frequently. Pour contents into a large bowl and smash into a fine consistency. Optional: 1 teaspoon sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon. Let cool and serve
- Place 2 slices of whole wheat bread into a toaster. Avoid jams and butter
- Slice 2 peeled bananas
- You can store these foods, except toast in the refrigerator safety for 24-hours
Only feed the child small proportions to see how well they tolerate it.
Brat Diet Menu
The menu above can be utilized as a brat diet for adults and children. It is important to avoid this diet for more than 24-hours, due to its limited supply of nutrients. Malnutrition is inevitable, if you continue to feed your child the BRAT diet longer than this time frame.
A 2 year old toddler’s regular diet should contain 34-41 calories per each pound of weight. For example, a 26 pound toddler should consume 884 or 1,066 calories a day. The BRAT diet supplies a child 300 calories a day, give a few calories.