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Having a baby can be both joyous and fraught with worries. When your baby or toddler is sick and has a fever, it can be physically taxing for your child as well as you. Sometimes, the best way 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.
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 ensure 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.
8 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 fever.
1. Dal Kichdi
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 how much she can.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 let your baby enjoy this cold treat that is full of vitamins. They will also keep your baby hydrated.
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 congestions. 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.
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.
5 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 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 becomes syrupy. You can add in cinnamon and star anise for added nutrition and flavour. Remember to take the whole spices out of the applesauce before feeding it to your child.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 her 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.
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
- Unusually sleepy, fussy, or ill
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.
Also Read: The Best Home Remedies for Fever in Children