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Early Intervention Speech Therapy

"Sick Food" for Picky Eaters

Published February 24, 2012 9:15 AM by Stephanie Bruno-Dowling

I don't know about you and your friends and family, but this past month I feel like almost everyone I know is battling some sort of cold, cough or congestion. Some say it's because we have had such a mild winter here in the northeast part of the country. (I've heard one person say that what we need is a good snow to "kill all these germs.") Unfortunately, many of the children on my caseload have been under the weather lately, including my own little one.

My daughter, who as you all know can be quite fussy at mealtime, has been exceptionally picky these past several days. And because she has also been battling an upset belly, I have needed to be more careful about the types of foods I've been giving her. For example, I have been refraining from giving her dairy foods, most fruits, meats and most sweets because I know these can further disrupt her temporarily sensitive digestive system.

So, what have I been giving my picky little 2-year-old with the upset belly and lingering cold and cough? Well, for about 24 hours I did my best to follow the BRAT diet. (And, NO, this is not a diet specially designed for a difficult and obstinate child!) For those of you who do not know what the acronym BRAT stands for, here's a link from WebMD that talks about when and for how long the BRAT diet is appropriate: Bananas, Rice, Applesauce and Toast.

My guess is most parents out there already know this information, but if not I hope you find it helpful. One of the most challenging parts of following the BRAT diet was that my daughter won't touch rice or applesauce and has been boycotting bananas for about three months now. Toast was the only winner on the list! So, here are some solutions I came up with to make "sick food" not so yucky and a bit more appetizing for my picky child:

  • TOAST with creamy peanut butter (she won't eat jelly!)
  • Pedialyte¬ģ (we tried orange and grape and she hated both, so I came up with two tricks: I made icepops out of the grape and mixed the orange with a little APPLE juice for her to drink, and they both worked!)
  • Icepops (to help keep her hydrated and used as an incentive to eat half of a BANANA!)
  • Plain chicken broth (she would drink it if I promised to take out all the noodles)
  • Plain RICE cakes (or add a little peanut butter!)

Overall, we both survived and she is now eating normal again (well, she's still a picky eater, but now her plate has a bit more variety on it!)



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About this Blog

    Stephanie Bruno Dowling, M.S. CCC-SLP
    Occupation: Speech-Language Pathologist
    Setting: Early Intervention in Delaware County, PA
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