What is BRAT diet ?
The BRAT diet stands for Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, Toast. This is recommended for children with an upset stomach. This diet will help your stomach to give rest and reduce the amount of stool production.
- weak tea
- apple juice or flat soda
- boiled potatoes
- cooked cereals, like oatmeal or cream of wheat
There are foods that should not be taken when following the BRAT diet plan. They include:
- milk and dairy
- alcohol, coffee, or other drinks containing caffeine
- anything fried, greasy, fatty, or spicy
- raw veggies, including salad greens, carrot sticks, broccoli, and cauliflower
- proteins, such as steak, pork, salmon, and sardines
- very hot or cold drinks
- fruits, such as pineapple, orange, grapefruit, apple, and tomato
How to follow the BRAT diet ?
First six hours: skip the food all together for the immediate six or so hours till the vomiting and diaarhea has stopped. this period will give rest for your intestines and stomach. Following this period of one to two hours, suck on hard candy or Popsicle (no chewing). Then progress to ice chips or sips of water or sports electrolyte drinks.this can replace the water and electrolytes that were lost due to the vomiting and diarrhea.
First 24 hours: try only clear liquids in your diet till the vomiting has ceased. Beginning with a sip or two every ten minutes is a good way to start. try things like apple juice, flat soda, weak tea, jello, broth. If symptoms of nausea or vomiting return, begin the process again, taking nothing by mouth for an hour or so. at the first day of the illness, start a BRAT diet. since the diet is less nutritious, the patient cant stays on it longer.
Day Two: continue the BRAT diet along with the other blend foods that are mentioned.
Day Three: on the third day of the illness, you can start adding a “regular” diet by adding such things as soft-cooked eggs, sherbet, stewed fruits, cooked vegetables, white meat of chicken or turkey.
Foods to be avoided while on BRAT diet:
- Avoid milk and dairy products for three days.
- Avoid extremely hot or cold beverages.
- Avoid fried, fatty, greasy and spicy foods.
- Other fruits to avoid are cherries, grapes, figs, currants, raisins, rhubarb, seeded berries.
- Avoid pork, veal, salmon, and sardines.
- Avoid coffee and caffeinated sodas.
- Avoid raw vegetables such as parsnips, beets, sauerkraut, corn on the cob, cabbage family, onions.
- Avoid alcohol.
- Avoid citrus fruits: pineapples, oranges, grapefruits, tomatoes.
How effective is a BRAT diet?
There are both pros and cons of this diet
In a research study done on BRAT diet where ill baby boys ages 5 to 12 months were given either a diet of rice alone or rice and bananas or pectin. The boys who ate both the rice and bananas or pectin had between 55 and 59 percent reduction in the stool versus 15 percent in the rice-only group. The rice and bananas or pectin group also needed less intravenous fluids for hydration and experienced less vomiting.
Though through many years the BRAT diet is recommended by doctors, American association don’t recommend the Brat diet anymore. That’s because the foods are restrictive and don’t give the body enough protein, micronutrients, and macronutrients for healing.
Another research study done, where two toddlers with diarrhea were put on the BRAT diet after bowel rest and hydration with clear liquids. Both developed severe malnutrition along with other medical issues after two weeks of the BRAT diet.(source)
The BRAT diet is a simple synonym of Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, Toast. this is recommended for children with an upset stomach. This diet will help your stomach to give rest and reduce the amount of stool production. Though this DIET is widely used all around the world, still there are few controversies that are associated with the use of this diet during the period of diarrhea or vomiting. According to the Academy of Pediatrics now recommends that kids to resume eating a normal, well-balanced diet appropriate for their age within 24 hours of getting sick. That diet should include a mix of fruits, vegetables, meat, yogurt, and complex carbohydrates.
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