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#1 Tue 22 Mar 11 1:12pm

VictoriaD

Member
Occupation Medical secretary
From V�rmland Sweden
Member since Sun 19 Jul 09

How to get the appetite back after stomach illness (child)

Hi there!

My son, 2 years old, was recently suffering from a stomach disease and was feeling sick for almost a week. I really had a hard time to get him to drink during the days when he was most sick, and for a while I was afraid that we had to go to the hospital to get a drip, since the was about to get dehydrated. He felt that bad that he didn't want anything - nothing to drink, nothing to eat.  sad

We tried to offer him water, fruit drinks, juice, ice cubes, ice lollies, but he wouldn't have it.  After speaking to a doctor, we were told to give him tiny, tiny amounts of water in his mouth every five minutes with a small squirt while he was asleep, which we did. After about three days he wanted water again "by free will", but we really had a hard time to find anything that he would want.

This is the first time he was sick in his stomach, and I assume it is not the last time. So, now I am wondering what your kids drink/eat when the are feeling sick? Maybe you have some good suggestions or a trick that I could try out the next time? Anything special that you do in order to get your childs appetite back?   smile

Last edited by VictoriaD (Tue 22 Mar 11 1:38pm)

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#2 Tue 22 Mar 11 1:40pm

falconcy

Forum champ
Occupation Project Manager
From Limassol, Cyprus
Member since Tue 19 Dec 06

Re: How to get the appetite back after stomach illness (child)

Chicken Broth?

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#3 Tue 22 Mar 11 1:42pm

WheelieFoodChik

Member
Occupation ex-Avon Representative(though not for long, I hope), Online Student
From Rocky Mount, NC, United States
Member since Sat 05 Jun 10

Re: How to get the appetite back after stomach illness (child)

VictoriaD,
Hi, I wish we were meeting under better circumstances:(
Is it that your son literally has no appetite or is he afraid to eat? If he's afraid to eat, because he's associated food with pain or illness that could be GERD. When you try giving him water, does he struggle to swallow it or throw it back up? Again that could be GERD. I suggest that as a possiblity because I have GERD & know what could help.

Without more to go on I can't think of what else it might be.

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#4 Tue 22 Mar 11 2:43pm

oliviascotland

Forum champ
From Scotland
Member since Wed 06 Apr 05

Re: How to get the appetite back after stomach illness (child)

I've always tempted my children with very tiny portions of things like jelly or hot blackcurrant juice, or mashed bananas or sometimes a banana cut into chunks and frozen like a lolly.  My eldest always wanted dry, white toast after being ill, my middle one was more into rice cakes, and my youngest will go through any amount of mashed bananas lol I always found that it was important to keep offering things even when they were refused, and to not make a judgement on how "healthy" or otherwise they might be if one of them asked for something - but I always keep the portions really, really tiny - often just a mouthful or two. 

Just out of interest (and because it could well have a bearing on things), was it a "tummy bug" - i.e. vomiting, etc?  If so, he might be afraid to eat in case he vomits again, and you may have to take things very slowly indeed to build up his confidence.   Don't discount the fact that hunger can feel like nausea when one is hungry enough and that may well be making him upset if it's the case.

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#5 Tue 22 Mar 11 6:42pm

asublimepizza

Member
Occupation nom nom nom
From Wooloomooloo
Member since Mon 14 Mar 11

Re: How to get the appetite back after stomach illness (child)

Food poisoning, GERD or some variation of GERD ? 

I had problems swallowing food for a while which contributed to effect self-starvation and malnutrition.

Food poisoning, there is a very basic food during and post recovery.  Porridge, rice in water cooked 30-60 mins with a slice of ginger, and drink isotonic fluids to replace salts the body has expelled.

Mixed green vegetable juice (exclude carrots, beetroot) helps post recovery but not for everyone.

Chicken broth may have been good in the past, except these days the food chain is so contaminated it may not be an option as growth hormones and antibiotics do appear do affect today's generation of kids in so many ways.

Anxiety triggered by subconscious may also be a culprit.

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#6 Tue 22 Mar 11 7:45pm

DebDiMaggio

Forum champ
Occupation Newbie Mamma
From Italy-UK-Spain
Member since Mon 16 Jun 08

Re: How to get the appetite back after stomach illness (child)

oliviascotland wrote:

I've always tempted my children with very tiny portions of things like jelly or hot blackcurrant juice, or mashed bananas or sometimes a banana cut into chunks and frozen like a lolly.  My eldest always wanted dry, white toast after being ill, my middle one was more into rice cakes, and my youngest will go through any amount of mashed bananas lol I always found that it was important to keep offering things even when they were refused, and to not make a judgement on how "healthy" or otherwise they might be if one of them asked for something - but I always keep the portions really, really tiny - often just a mouthful or two. 

Just out of interest (and because it could well have a bearing on things), was it a "tummy bug" - i.e. vomiting, etc?  If so, he might be afraid to eat in case he vomits again, and you may have to take things very slowly indeed to build up his
confidence.   Don't discount the fact that hunger can feel like nausea when one is hungry enough and that may well be making him upset if it's the case.

mashed bananas or mashed potatoes are good jelly too as it has water. I like chicken broth but also mashed carrots or pastina in light broth.

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#7 Tue 22 Mar 11 9:06pm

mummza

Forum super champ
Occupation avoiding housework
From The land of song.
Member since Tue 04 Oct 05

Re: How to get the appetite back after stomach illness (child)

A couple of things are important ...

Rehydration ... For this weak fruit 'squash' is good ( Squash is the fruit drink you add water to to dilute it) add a little pinch of salt to the diluted squash as this will help with the rehydration.
In a similar way flat ( without bubbles ) cocacola is also good ( not the diet kind , the one full of sugar , again add a tiny pinch of salt., only a tiny Pinch , is should not bu detectable in the taste.

If he won't drink at all , fruit icelollys are good , most children are happy to eat an ice lolly.
The tiny amount of salt will help him retain the fluid and actions a rehydration solution .

Give hima little plain rice or plain mashed potato ... Nothing in it and nothing on it ( but I don't think a very tiny bit of ketchuP to help flavour it would hurt )......You do this as it gives something for the 'bug' to latch onto and can speed recovery .
The important thing with reintroducing solid food is to avoid ALL fat .
This is important as even a tiny amount fat will likely possibly redraft the sickness again . He needs to have a full 24 hours free from the sickness before restarting any form of fats ( this includes milk and butteron toast)
Reintroduce the fats to his diet gradually.

Because of this it is best to avoid chicken broth for a few days untill after the sickness well stopped . The reason here is it will contain a small amount of fat which might be enough to restart the sickness.

What is important is, once he starts eating again , give him foods he
likes but small quantities more frequently , reintroduce fats slowly and try not to be anxious as he will pick up on this.so don't make a fuss.
As he feels a bit better he will start to Play and generally get back to his 'old self' .
Children tend to bounce back fairly quickly once they start improving.

I used to find that if I left out little bowls of things like dry breakfast cereal or tiny biscuits  they  would get nibbled at and soon disappear.

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#8 Tue 22 Mar 11 9:19pm

MsPablo

Forum super champ
Occupation Just being me
Member since Fri 28 Mar 08

Re: How to get the appetite back after stomach illness (child)

Medical standards vary in different countries, but here, the advice is to start the rehydration solution right off with young children, not just plain water.  The only really sound thing to do is to ask your doctor and insist your child's not had anything other than water for a week.  Whatever the cause, you need peace of mind from obtaining advice from a qualified doctor.

Last edited by MsPablo (Tue 22 Mar 11 9:45pm)

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#9 Tue 22 Mar 11 10:47pm

VictoriaD

Member
Occupation Medical secretary
From V�rmland Sweden
Member since Sun 19 Jul 09

Re: How to get the appetite back after stomach illness (child)

Hi again! Thank you so much for all advices! I would like to add a few things that I never wrote about in the beginning.

He is now well again, and he's eating and drinking as usual. I was a "tummy bug", my husband was also sick, but I never got it - I usually have luck when it comes to tummy bugs. So, it was not GERD, and I don't think that it was food poisoning, because it lasted for so many days, and hubby didn't get it until 3 days later. Probably the tummy bug came from someone of his friends from the day nursery. 

Our problem was mainly that we couldn't get him to even try to drink. He pushed away the glass of water, juice etc when he was offerered something to drink. We suspect that he felt sick all the time, and therefore didn't want anything to drink at all.

Usually, when he is well, he eats and drinks just about anything with great appetite. Although, he is not fond of sweet things, such as candy, fruit drinks, ice cream etc.

We had added both sugar and some salt to the water we gave him when he was asleep, this was suggested by our local doctor.

I was told by several people not to give him milk, since dairy could make things worse. Mummza! Thank you so much about the advice about other kinds of fat aswell, and that it should pass 24h before I give him fat!   

Something that I also have learned, is that he probably felt that I was nervous and constantly nagging about that he should drink. Perhaps he would have paid more attention to the water bottle in front of him, if I hadn't told him that he had to drink all the time.... It is more or less the first time ever that he is sick, and since I have never really seen him sick before, I was extra worried. Now I know how he reacts to a stomach jerm and to fever.

Once again thank you all! Lots of great suggestions!  thumbsup

Last edited by VictoriaD (Tue 22 Mar 11 11:00pm)

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#10 Tue 22 Mar 11 11:51pm

The White Rabbit

Forum super champ
From Sydney, Australia
Member since Tue 22 Jun 04

Re: How to get the appetite back after stomach illness (child)

When we were older kids mum used to give us lemonade and pancakes to inspire us to eat. Now when I'm ill I have to have lemonade and my sister has to have pancakes.

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