Diet therapy

Food safety

Following the recent earthquake our water sources may have been contaminated and so wear are being reminded on a daily basis to only drink water that has been boiled first. This is to stop the spread of gastro-intestinal diseases.

If you do suffer bouts of vomiting and diarrhoea then here are some helpful tips…

First aid nutrition

The majority of stomach upsets are caused by viruses or bacteria, which will settle if the stomach is rested. People with diarrhoea should still eat because food helps the gut to recover and absorb water. However these foods should be low in fat and residue.

Offer the following treatment:

  • Small amounts of clear fluids such as diluted fruit juice, water, flat lemonade or sports drinks. Aim for 100mls (0.5 glass)/hr.
  • Make sure that sugary drinks are well diluted.
  • Avoid tea, coffee or alcohol.
  • Electrolyte replacement drinks e.g Gastrolyte are available from Pharmacy’s.
  • As you start to feel better slowly double the fluid volume.
  • Start to use more carbohydrate rich foods e.g canned fruit, jelly, clear soup, crackers, bread, Vegemite®/ Marmite® or honey, rice or pasta.
  • After a day or two try soy milks, low-fat cheese or soy yoghurt. These foods are lactose free and more easily digested than straight cow’s milk.
  • Commercial lactose-free meal replacement such as Ensure Plus® & Isocal® can also be used to maintain nutrition after day 2-3.
  • Avoid foods which are fatty or spicy.
  • Gradually reintroduce vegetables, some low-fat lean meats such as fish or
  • chicken as you feel better
  • When the diarrhoea has settled then slowly introduce cow’s milk, yoghurt and in fact
  • normal eating may resume but continue to keep fat levels low.
  • If symptoms persist then see your doctor
  • If you are diabetic, or symptoms persist see your doctor

|If you have specific dietary concerns then do contact us today

About the author View all

Lea Stening

Lea is one of New Zealand’s leading paediatric dietitians and also specialises in Sports Nutrition. She has specialised in Paediatric Nutrition for 31 years and in 1985 was the first paediatric dietitian to enter private practice in New Zealand. Lea helps families through her private consultations, public lectures, newspaper and magazine articles as well as television and radio interviews. Read more »

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