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Dietary modifications
Sample diet plan
To remember
Written by : DoctorNDTV Team
  • Objectives

    • To meet the nutritional requirements
    • To replenish water and electrolyte losses
    • To provide extra nutrients to compensate for losses

  • Dietary modifications

    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 groupsHigh fibre foods (to be avoided)Low fibre foods
    CerealsWhole cereals like whole wheat, dalia, whole wheat flourRefined cereals like rice, bread, maida, suji, noodles, macaroni etc
    Milk and milk products-
    Milk and milk products
    PulsesWhole dals and dals with huskWashed dals
    Meat, fish and poultry-
    Eggs, chicken, fish
    VegetablesVegetables like peas, beans, lotus stem etc.Vegetables like potato, lauki etc.
    FruitsFruits like apple, cherries, pears, peaches, plums, guava etc.Fruit juices and fruits like banana and papaya

    High residue (to be avoided)Low residue foods
    MilkClear soups
    Milk based beveragesCurd and paneer
    Strongly flavoured cheesesMild cheese
    Whole grain cereals and their productsMaida and its products like bread, noodles, macaroni etc.
    Raw fruits and vegetablesPureed vegetables and fruits
    Nuts, pickles etc.Chicken and fish

  • Sample diet plan

    BreakfastSuji kheer / milk
    Boiled egg
    Bread and butter
    Mid morning
    Fruit juice e.g. Orange juice(fresh)
    Moong dal khichri
    Mid afternoon
    Custard with banana
    Evening tea
    Paneer sandwich / idli / suji upma / bread poha / chiwra poha
    Soup e.g. Dal soup, tomato and chicken soup
    With soup sticks or bread
    Boiled or grilled potatoes
    Boiled rice
    Curd / potato raita
    Sewian kheer / rice kheer / phirni
  • To remember

    • 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.

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