Gastroenteritis Diet

Gastroenteritis, or the stomach flu, is caused by swallowing certain viruses, which travel through your system and inflame the linings of your stomach and intestines.  This inflammation can increase the speed with which food moves through your digestive tract.  As a result, you may experience fatigue, diarrhea, cramps, nausea and vomiting.  Supportive measures may help you get better sooner.

Suggested progression of a diet as you recover:

STEP 1:
  • Jell-o
  • Clear soups
  • Coconut water, Gatorade or Kool-Aid, diluted apple juice, and decaffeinated/herbal tea*
  • Plain saltines

*It is very important to stay hydrated. Aim for 8-10 glasses of fluids each day including water.

STEP 2: ANYTHING FROM STEP 1 PLUS:
  • Applesauce
  • Bananas
  • Refined grains (white or potato bread, pasta, white rice, cereals not made from whole grains, oatmeal, pretzels)
  • Mashed potatoes (without skin)
STEP 3: ANYTHING FROM STEPS 1 OR 2 PLUS:
  • Broiled or boiled lean meat, white poultry or fish
  • Poached or boiled eggs
  • Well-cooked vegetables and fruits without seeds or skins
  • Sorbet
  • Smooth nut butters like almond or peanut

Avoid the following until you are feeling better:

  • Spicy or fried foods
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Raw or dried vegetables or fruits (except bananas and applesauce)
  • Whole grain breads, cereals, or bran (including whole wheat breads and pastas and brown rice)
  • Milk or milk products (cheese, yogurt, ice cream, or creamed soups)
  • Nuts, seeds, coconut, popcorn

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