Tips for Children on Sick Days

The most important factors to remember when your child has a bug or a mild cold is to keep them properly hydrated, include adequate calories and protein in their diet, and get plenty of rest.

Fluid Facts and Tips

Children need between five and eight cups of water each day. Under normal conditions, we all lose some body water every day in our sweat, tears, urine, and stool, however, when sick kids can lose a large amount of water and salts through fever diarrhea, vomiting.

Diluting fruit juices with water, soups and broths are great ways of replenishing fluids. If your child has a fever, vomiting or diarrhea, follow your pediatrician’s recommendations for replacing fluids. Older kids with a cold may benefit from decaffeinated teas with honey and lemon.

Try Giving Them Fruit

There may be no solid evidence to suggest vitamin C will cure a cold, but its antioxidant properties can’t hurt. Good sources of vitamin C include lemons, oranges, grapefruit and even strawberries.

Offer your child a variety of soft fruits; they are not only full of vitamins and minerals to support good health and immunity, but contain a good deal of water to help support your child’s fluid needs. Frozen sliced fruits are convenient and easy to thaw, and they won’t spoil as quickly as fresh fruit.

What to Avoid

A sick child may have a poor appetite and while it can be helpful to make their favorite foods to entice them eat, you want to avoid serving them too much, too fast. Small frequent meals are recommended to help with digestion. Steer clear of rich, fried, greasy foods and lean toward simple starches such as rice and noodles as these are easy on the stomach. Try bananas, rice, applesauce or toast if they are a bit queasy. If you can get in some vegetables, great, but focus more on getting them nourished!

Source:  Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics