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What should my child suffering from chicken pox eat?

Q: My son is suffering from chicken pox. People have different versions of what should be an ideal diet at this time. Some doctors say that food intake can be of any type while some say that oily stuff should be avoided. I am confused. Can you guide me on the food dos & don'ts?

A:In children with chicken pox, a high-calorie, well-balanced diet is encouraged as part of the healing as well as general health maintenance for the young patient, but may be quite difficult to achieve. If there is no clear history of lactose (milk sugar) intolerance, eliminating dairy products from the diet is not required. These foods often constitute a major source of the child's daily caloric intake, and are important sources of dietary calcium; eliminating them may result in malnutrition. Children may complain about the unacceptable taste or refuse to take the amount needed to achieve the stated caloric goals. Give your child foods that are cold, soft, and bland because chickenpox in the mouth may make drinking or eating difficult. Try to avoid feeding your child anything that is highly acidic or especially salty, like orange juice or pretzels. Dampened appetites are common during the first few days of chicken pox. You needn't force your child to eat. Oily and high fat foods are preferably avoided. Keep offering fresh fruits and vegetable soups, and plenty of liquids. Cool treats such as ice candies, ice cream, and frozen juices are favourites among kids with hot, itchy rashes. Within a few days, your child’s appetite will return to normal. Consultation with a nutritionist is advised, as is involving the young person in ways to make sure that nutritional goals are achieved.


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