- To meet the nutritional requirements
- To replenish water and electrolyte losses
- To provide extra nutrients to compensate for losses
Energy: Energy requirements are increased 10-20% to meet the losses as well as to overcome weakness.
Protein: Protein intake needs to be increased as much as 50%.
Carbohydrates: Carbohydrate intake should be increased to meet the increased energy requirement but at the same time fibre needs to be restricted.
Fats: Fats are not completely digested in case of diarrhoea, and therefore their intake needs to be restricted. Fats in the form of butter and whole milk may be given as they are easily digested.
Minerals: Foods high in iron and calcium should be given during diarrhoea, as the absorption of theses mineral gets lowered. Other minerals salts such as sodium and potassium are lost in high amounts. To replenish this loss, oral rehydration therapy is a simple, inexpensive and effective treatment. It is used to prevent or treat the dehydration that results due to diarrhoea and should be started as soon as the child passes even one loose stool, regardless of the cause. This solution consists of a mixture of salt and sugar in water. It should be given as frequently as possible, or at least one glass for every stool passed.
Other fluids, which may be given, are coconut water, weak tea, whey water, buttermilk and dal soup.
Fibre and residue: Diet should be low in fibre and residue.
|Food groups||High fibre foods (to be avoided)||Low fibre foods|
|Cereals||Whole cereals like whole wheat, dalia, whole wheat flour||Refined cereals like rice, bread, maida, suji, noodles, macaroni etc|
|Milk and milk products||-||Milk and milk products|
|Pulses||Whole dals and dals with husk||Washed dals|
|Meat, fish and poultry||-||Eggs, chicken, fish|
|Vegetables||Vegetables like peas, beans, lotus stem etc.||Vegetables like potato, lauki etc.|
|Fruits||Fruits like apple, cherries, pears, peaches, plums, guava etc.||Fruit juices and fruits like banana and papaya|
|High residue (to be avoided)||Low residue foods|
|Milk based beverages||Curd and paneer|
|Strongly flavoured cheeses||Mild cheese|
|Whole grain cereals and their products||Maida and its products like bread, noodles, macaroni etc. |
|Raw fruits and vegetables||Pureed vegetables and fruits|
|Nuts, pickles etc.||Chicken and fish|
Sample diet plan
|Breakfast||Suji kheer / milk |
Bread and butter
|Mid morning||Fruit juice e.g. Orange juice(fresh)|
|Lunch||Moong dal khichri|
|Mid afternoon||Custard with banana|
Paneer sandwich / idli / suji upma / bread poha / chiwra poha
|Dinner||Soup e.g. Dal soup, tomato and chicken soup |
With soup sticks or
Boiled or grilled potatoes
Curd / potato raita
|Bedtime||Sewian kheer / rice kheer / phirni|
- Diet should be soft, bland (less spices), low in fibre, residue and fat.
- Patient should drink plenty of fluids and eat at frequent intervals.
- It is advised to break the plan to 6-8 meals in a day, as the patient may not be able to eat very large meal at one time.
- Foods to be avoided: whole cereals and pulses, raw vegetables and fruits, fried foods, nuts and spicy foods.
- Foods allowed: washed dals and refined cereals, well cooked vegetables, fruits like banana and papaya, milk products such as curd and paneer, boiled egg, chicken and fish.