Foods to Give to Babies and Toddlers During Fever

Foods to Give to Babies and Toddlers During Fever

When your baby or toddler is sick and has a fever, it can be physically taxing for your child as well as you. You can’t see your little one feeling miserable like that. While you can’t wave a magic wand to make your child feel like herself again, there’s something you can do (apart from following the doctor’s order) to strengthen your little one’s immune system and help him recover soon. One of the best ways to build up the strength to fight the infection is by putting your child on a diet that will bolster up the defences of the body. In this article, we will tell you what you can feed your child when he has a fever or when he is sick!

Feeding a Baby During Fever

One of the symptoms that accompanies a fever is the loss of appetite. Your baby is no different and will also refuse to eat in the manner she normally does. Try to get your baby to eat by offering foods that she likes, and ensuring they are healthy and nutritious. Your baby might also want to be breastfed or have formula during this time. There is no reason to worry about this, as breast milk will provide your baby with all the essential nutrients she needs during her illness. Remember to feed your baby food at regular intervals so her body has the energy to fight the illness without forcing her to eat more than she wants to.

11 Foods for Babies With Fever (Age: 6-12 months)

Knowing what foods to feed is half the battle won when your baby has a fever. The food should be both well-balanced and energy-rich so it can shore up your baby’s defences in the face of the fever. Here are a few food items you can give your baby during a fever.

1. Dal Khichdi

This basic dish will help your baby regain strength as she fights the illness. It is rich in protein which is easy to digest and also high in energy. Prepare this dish with no spices and salt, and do not add any strong flavours in order to make it more palatable to your baby. Keep it simple and serve it warm. Let your baby eat as much as she can.

Dal Kichdi

2. Soup

Giving your baby a bowl of warm soup is a great way to ensure that she gets the nutrition she needs while also keeping it light on her digestive system. It is easy to prepare and is packed with essential vitamins and minerals. Just boil a few chopped vegetables of your choice in some filtered water. You can either feed your baby only the broth or offer some of the boiled vegetables in mashed form.

Homemade soup

3. Daliya

You can make this dish by cooking the washed daliya (broken wheat), in a pressure cooker with water. Remember to add a quantity of water that will give it the consistency of a porridge. Daliya is a good source of protein that will give your baby an energy boost. Add a pinch of turmeric, an excellent ingredient for boosting immunity.

Homemade Dalia

4. Vegetable and Fruit Puree

One of the simplest things you can give your baby when she has a fever is pureed fruits and vegetables. You can choose which fruit or vegetable you want to give your baby according to her preferences. Apples, peas, and carrots in puree form are all good for your baby when she has a fever.

Vegetable puree

5. Breast Milk or Formula

Sometimes, your baby might want to go back to feeding entirely on breast milk or formula. As breast milk and formula are high in nutrition and also make sure that your baby stays hydrated during the fever, do not hesitate to offer some to her. Breast milk, in particular, contains antibodies that help build your baby’s immunity that help fight infection.

Baby drinking milk

6. Popsicles

This is a unique way to get your baby to eat nutritious food – just ensure you make this yourself at home with ingredients that you know are safe. Juice a few fruits and put them in a popsicle mould. You can also add a few pieces of cut-up fruits into the mould. Freeze it for a few hours and let your baby enjoy this cold treat that is full of vitamins. Note: Please don’t give store-bought popsicles to your baby as they are high in sugar and contain artificial colours, which aren’t good.

Homemade popsicle

7. Ginger Tea

This simple drink will boost your baby’s immunity. Ginger has been known to have high antioxidant properties. It also helps clear chest congestion. Boil some ginger in a cup of water for a few minutes. Strain it and let it cool till it is warm. Feed the beverage to your child.

Ginger tea

8. Ajwain

Carom seeds are truly a superfood when it comes to treating illnesses. Soak some seeds overnight in a cup of water or just boil them in water for a few minutes and give your baby a couple of teaspoons every few hours.

Ajwain

9. Boiled Potatoes

Mashed or boiled potatoes are bland and can be comforting for a sick baby. They provide carbohydrates for energy.

10. Plain Yogurt

If your baby has no history of dairy allergies and is already eating dairy, plain yoghurt can be a source of probiotics that support gut health.

11. Rice Cereal

Plain, cooked rice cereal is a gentle and easily digestible option. It can be mixed with breast milk or formula to add extra nutrients.

7 Foods for Toddlers With Fever (Age: 1-3 years)

While fighting the fever can leave your toddler without her usual appetite, it is important that your child gets nutritious food packed with vitamins that will keep her hydrated. You might be wondering what foods to give a toddler with a fever as they can be picky – here are a few things you must feed your child when she has a fever.

1. BRAT Diet

This stands for banana, rice, applesauce, and toast. You should be able to make these food items easily at home. Bananas can be offered just as is. For the applesauce, you will need to peel a few apples, slice them and boil in some water until it become syrupy. You can add in cinnamon and star anise for added nutrition and flavour. Remember to take all the spices out of the applesauce before feeding it to your child.

Banana

2. CRAM Diet

This stands for cereal, rice, applesauce and milk. Depending on what your child likes, you can choose between the two diets in order to ensure that your child is getting every bit of nutrition she requires to get better.

Milk and rice

3. Chicken Soup

Almost everyone will tell you the virtues of chicken soup during sickness. Chicken soup is beneficial for a fever-ridden baby as it is easy on the stomach and rich in proteins and other nutrients. Chicken soup with added vegetables will give your child a balanced meal with ample nutrition.

Chicken soup with vegetable

4. Baked/Steamed Food

Baking and steaming food will ensure that the nutrition of the food remains intact without the use of oil and butter, two things that can cause a strain on your child’s system. You can bake or steam a variety of food – vegetables like peas, carrots and sweet potatoes are ideal. If your child feels up to it, you can give her baked or steamed fish as well.

Steamed food

5. Turmeric Milk

A lot has been said and written about the health benefits of turmeric. While you can add turmeric to the food that you prepare for your child, it is also recommended that you add a pinch of turmeric in a glass of warm milk and give this drink to your child once a day. Turmeric has medicinal and anti-inflammatory properties that will boost your child’s immune system.

Turmeric milk

6. Curd (Yogurt)

Curd, or yoghurt, is a typical and easily digestible food for toddlers with a fever. It is packed with probiotics that help boost the immune system and aid digestion. Serve a small bowl of plain, unsweetened curd to your toddler. You can also mix in a mashed banana for added taste and nutrients.

7. Vegetable Khichdi

Vegetable khichdi is a nutritious one-pot dish that combines rice, lentils, and vegetables. It is gentle on the stomach and provides essential nutrients. To prepare vegetable khichdi, cook rice, lentils (such as moong dal), and vegetables like carrots, peas, and beans. You can add mild spices like cumin and turmeric for flavour. Ensure the khichdi is cooked to a soft and easily mashable consistency suitable for your toddler.

Foods to Avoid When Your Child Has a Fever

When your child has a fever, a balanced and nourishing diet is essential to aid their recovery. However, certain foods should be avoided as they may exacerbate symptoms or hinder healing. Here are five types of foods to avoid when your child has a fever:

  1. Sugary Foods and Beverages: Excessive sugar intake can weaken the immune system and impair the body’s ability to fight off infections. Avoid sugary foods like candies, chocolates, sodas, and sweetened juices, as they can contribute to inflammation and make your child’s fever symptoms worse.
  2. Fried and Greasy Foods: Foods high in unhealthy fats, such as fried snacks, fast food, and greasy chips, should be avoided during a fever. These foods are difficult to digest and can cause gastrointestinal discomfort, which may further strain the body’s energy and delay recovery.
  3. Spicy and Hot Foods: Spicy and hot foods can irritate the throat and digestive system, leading to increased discomfort for your child. Avoid dishes that are heavily spiced, contain hot peppers, or have excessive amounts of chilli powder, as they may worsen symptoms and cause digestive issues.
  4. Citrus Fruits and Juices: While citrus fruits are generally nutritious, their high acidity can sometimes irritate the stomach and worsen fever symptoms in some individuals. Avoid citrus fruits and juices, such as oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes, until your child’s fever subsides.
  5. Processed and Packaged Foods: During a fever, it’s best to avoid processed and packaged foods. These often contain artificial additives, preservatives, and high sodium levels, which can strain the immune system and hinder recovery. Avoid packaged snacks, ready-to-eat meals, processed meats, and sugary breakfast cereals.

It’s important to note that every child’s tolerance to certain foods during a fever may vary. It’s always best to consult with a paediatrician for the best dietary guidance based on your child’s needs and condition.

Tips for Feeding Your Child During Fever

  • Break down the meals into small portions that you can feed your child at frequent and regular intervals.
  • You can express breast milk and feed it to your baby with a spoon, especially if your baby is too weak to suckle.
  • Exercise patience when feeding your child when she is sick. Offer food on a regular basis and try to give the food she enjoys.
  • Keep your child upright when you are feeding her. Do not feed her when she is lying down, as it may cause her to choke.
  • Do not force your child to eat.
  • Offer fluids if your baby is vomiting.
  • Introduce nutrient-rich, immunity-boosting foods like bone broth, yoghurt, and vitamin C-rich fruits to support your child’s recovery during fever.
  • Encourage fluid intake through sips of water, herbal teas, or diluted fruit juices.
  • Provide nourishing, easy-to-digest foods such as soups, broths, and steamed vegetables.

When to Call a Doctor?

If your baby is suffering from other symptoms aside from fever, it’s best to take her to the paediatrician immediately. Some of the symptoms to look out for are:

  • Unexplained rashes
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Unusually sleepy, fussy, or ill
  • Seizures

It is important that you give your child food that is nutritious and energy-giving when they are suffering from fever. Be patient and offer food in small quantities over frequent meals. If your child is not eating at all, then you must seek medical help, as this lack of appetite could be indicative of something more serious than a fever.

References/Resources:

1. When your baby or infant has a fever; MedlinePlus; https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000319.htm

2. Feeding the Sick Child; Health and Social Services Haldimand and Norfolk; https://hnhu.org/health-topic/feeding-the-sick-child/

3. Signs and Symptoms of Fever; American Academy of Pediatrics; https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/fever/Pages/Signs-and-Symptoms-of-Fever.aspx

4. MYTHS AND FACTS ABOUT FEVERS IN CHILDREN AND INFANTS; Health University of Utah; https://healthcare.utah.edu/the-scope/kids-zone/all/2018/06/myths-and-facts-about-fevers-children-and-infants

5. Malaria; Nemours KidsHealth; https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/malaria.html

6. Fever in a Newborn; Stanford Medicine; https://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default?id=fever-in-a-newborn-90-P02662

7. Fever in Children; URMC; https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=90&ContentID=P02512

Also Read:

Best Baby Foods You Should Give Your Child
Foods for Babies and Toddlers With Diarrhoea
Foods to Eat & Avoid During Cold and Cough for Babies, Toddlers and Kid

Previous article «
Next article »