Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Truth About Bland Diets

Lately you have not been feeling well.  You have had nausea, diarrhea, and maybe even vomiting.   You have just left the doc’s office where he may or may not have given you a prescription; however, he has recommended you to start with a bland diet after your nausea and/or vomiting has subsided.  Now you are driving home and wondering, “what is a bland diet?”

Your provider has recommended you restart your regular diet by eating a bland diet to give your gut (stomach) the opportunity to recover from your illness.  The type of foods you should eat are toast, saltine crackers, plain rice, applesauce, tea, yogurt, and pretty much anything else that is not fried, spicy, dairy, or good tasting.  In addition to the listed foods to eat, remember to drink plenty of water or sport drinks to avoid dehydration from diarrhea and vomiting.   Sports drinks will replace electrolytes lost through diarrhea and vomiting.

The bland diet has gone by other names such as the Brat Diet or the Bratty Diet.  Brat and Bratty Diet are both acronyms for the foods that make up the bland diet.  For instance, brat is short for bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. 

Before starting this diet be certain that a bland diet is exactly what your physician has recommended.   For children, please consult with your child’s pediatrician before starting your child on a bland diet. Some pediatricians no longer recommend a bland diet for young children, as it is deficient in fats, proteins, and other needed nutrients.   Seek emergency medical services if your child develops signs of dehydration (sunken cheeks, dry eyes with no tears, persistent fever or vomiting and/or diarrhea lasting more than 2-3 days).  Children are unable to tolerate dehydration, as would an adult.

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