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Having a baby at home can be both joyous and fraught with worries especially when they fall sick. When your baby or toddler has a fever, it can be physically taxing for your child as well as for you. Sometimes, the best way to build up the strength to fight the infection is 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 breastmilk will provide your baby with all the essential nutrients she needs during her illness. Remember to feed your baby food that will give her energy to fight the illness at regular intervals without forcing her to eat more than she wants to.
8 Foods for Babies Having 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 in order to shore up your babies defences in the face of the fever. Here are a few food items you can give your baby during fever.
1. Rice and Lentil Soup
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 spice 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 to and let your baby eat how much ever 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 filled to the brim with essential vitamins and minerals as well. Just boil a few chopped vegetables of your choice in some filtered water. You can either feed just the broth to your baby or even offer some of the boiled vegetables that you can mash finely.
You can make this dish by cooking the washed Bulgur (broken wheat), in a pressure cooker with water. Remember to add a quantity of water that will give it the consistency of a porridge. Bulgur is a good source of protein that will give your baby an energy boost. Add a pinch of turmeric which has been proven to be excellent 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 the tastes she generally prefers. 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. Breastmilk, in particular, contains antibodies that help build your baby’s immunity that will help her fight the 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 fruits that are cut small into the mould. Freeze it for a few hours and your baby will enjoy this cold treat that is full of vitamins. They also help keep your baby hydrated.
7. Ginger Tea
This simple drink will give a boost to your baby’s immunity. Ginger has been known to have high anti-oxidant 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. Add a few drops of lemon juice and honey which are also excellent for fighting illnesses.
8. Ajwain or Caron seeds
Carom seeds are truly a super-food when it comes to treating illnesses. Soak some seeds overnight in a cup of water or just boil in water for a few minutes and give your baby a couple of teaspoons every few hours.
5 Foods for Toddlers Having 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 and you might be concerned about giving her nutritious food. 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. Add cinnamon and star anise for added nutrition and flavour. Remember to remove the spices and spread the sauce over the toast if the latter is too dry.
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.
3. Chicken Soup
Almost everyone will tell you the virtues of a chicken soup during sickness and this is for a good reason. It is easy on the stomach and is rich in proteins and other nutrients. Chicken soup is made with a few vegetables and hence your child will get a balanced nutrition.
4. Baked/steamed food
Baking and steaming food will ensure that the nutrition remains intact in the food while also not using foods that can cause strain on your child’s body such as oil or butter. You can bake or steam a variety of food. Vegetables like peas, carrots, and sweet potato are ideal. If your child feels up to it, then 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 provide a boost to 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 they are sick. Offer food on a regular basis and try to give them food that they enjoy.
- Feed your child when they are sitting upright. Do not feed them when lying down as they may choke.
- Do not force your child to eat.
- Offer fluids if your baby is vomiting.
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.