While many people have heard of bronchitis, bronchiolitis is not the same thing. They are both infections of the lungs, but the way that they come about is different. More specifically, bronchiolitis is almost exclusive to young children, generally under the age of two. Bronchiolitis occurs when there is swelling in the tiniest parts of the lungs, which are known as bronchioles. This can make it more difficult to breathe for some children. Typically, it is no more severe than a common cold is, but as with many health conditions, it can require hospitalization. To properly take care of your child who has bronchiolitis, you will want to make sure that the diet you are feeding him or her is best suited to the needs of the body. There are some specific foods you should be considering during this time.
Food & Nutrition Diet (Meal Plan) for Bronchiolitis
#1 Recommended Breakfast Diet for Bronchiolitis
Getting your young child to eat food when he or she is not feeling well is a difficult task; however, ensuring a steady diet is going to help your child’s body better fight the infection. Generally, foods that are easiest for your child to get down without the risk of choking are going to be best. Pureed foods are going to be a wonderful way to get your child eating in the morning. If it is possible, you might want to find your child’s favorite flavor of pureed food so that he or she can have a little bit of comfort while fighting off the infection.
#2 Recommended Lunch Diet for Bronchiolitis
Generally, young children who have bronchiolitis aren’t going to want to eat any solid foods. While this can be extremely worrying for a parent, it is important to know that this is a common and known part of taking care of a child who has bronchiolitis. What you can do for your child is make sure that he or she is getting the nutrients needed through juices, pureed foods, and breastmilk. Any combination of these can serve well for your child’s lunch. Because many children become distressed when they are sick, you can try to find some of your child’s favorite flavors of juice or pureed foods so that he or she has some comfort while fighting off the virus-based infection.
#3 Recommended Dinner Diet for Bronchiolitis
There’s a very good chance that your child isn’t going to be over the bronchiolitis infection in time for dinner. After all, this is an infection that can take weeks to run its course. The most that you can do, aside from taking your child to the hospital if you are truly worried about your child’s nutritional intake, is to make sure that you are still giving your child juices, purees, and breastmilk. You should also make sure that you are not forcing too much liquid on the child at once. Giving frequent, small drinks to the child is the best course of action to take as you wait for him or her to fight the bronchiolitis infection. Honey can be effective in soothing congestion and sore throat in toddlers.
#4 Recommended Snack Diet for Bronchiolitis
Because your child is probably not going to feel up to eating snacks, you can make sure that he or she is getting the nutrients that are needed for a growing child through the juices, purees, and breastmilk. Juices are going to have some of the nutrients from the fruits that were used to make the juice, so this is one way to make sure that your child is getting some nutrients. The same goes for purees, but there are often more variations of vegetables with purees. Breastmilk has many, many nutrients in it, as well as some of the mother’s antibodies. This means that it is by far one of the best snacks to give your child, as long as you remember to feed small, but frequent quantities of it.
#5 Recommended Drinks for Bronchiolitis
Because bronchiolitis affects children who are under two years old, drinks are just about the only thing that the child is going to be drinking while fighting off the infection. Juices, generally those that have an abundance of nutrients from real fruit, are going to be one of the best options. If your child feels like stomaching down some pureed food, this will also be a way to get your child to ingest some vegetables alongside the fruit. However, the best drink for your child to have while fighting off bronchiolitis is breastmilk. Breastmilk has nutrients from the mother, as well as antibodies. While bronchiolitis is a virus-based infection, having extra antibodies against other diseases is something that most children can benefit from. You will also want to follow a clear liquid regimen, which includes grape juice, filtered apple juice, cranberry juice, and plain water.
#6 Recommended Herbs for Bronchiolitis
It is usually not recommended to give a young, sick child herbal remedies, if you can find a nutritious herbal remedy that can come in a liquid form, then it might be worth it. The main concern that most parents have with children fighting off bronchiolitis is whether or not the child is getting enough nutrients. There isn’t much that herbal remedies can do. With that being said, the scent of peppermint might help to clear out the mucus in your child’s nose, making it a good herb for fighting bronchiolitis.
#7 Recommended Fruits for Bronchiolitis
While there are not many solid fruits that a child with bronchiolitis will consume, generally most fruits (in the form of fruit juices) are going to be good. Some of the most common juices, that also double as a clear liquid diet, are grape juice, filtered apple juice, and cranberry juice. These are all fruits that can also provide benefits to your child’s body as well, which is all the more important while your child is fighting off bronchiolitis.
#8 Recommended Vitamin/s for Bronchiolitis
Your child is generally not going to have much of an intake of solids, which means that vitamin intake is going to be significantly reduced. Stressing your child out by demanding that he or she eat solids is only going to cause more problems for everyone. Instead, you should look for juices and purees that have a high amount of all vitamins, as it is important for your child to get nutrition through liquid foods while he or she is refusing solids. Just about all the vitamins are recommended for children with bronchiolitis, as even if they are sick, they are still growing children.
#9 Recommended Mineral/s for Bronchiolitis
There are even fewer minerals in juices and purees than there are vitamins. This is because vegetables and fruits aren’t well known for their mineral count. This also means that your child is going to receive minerals from breastmilk, rather than juices or purees. Thankfully, breastmilk has quite a few vitamins and minerals alike, meaning that if your child can handle drinking breastmilk, you will be able to rest assured knowing that he or she is getting at least some of the minerals needed. Usually, any and all minerals are good for children fighting bronchiolitis infections.
#10 Discouraged Foods for Bronchiolitis
Solid foods are just about the worst thing you could try to feed your child. More often than not, your child will refuse solids not because he or she is being picky and fussy, but actually because he or she is having trouble breathing and the idea of eating a solid, while having trouble breathing, is not a good one. Trying to force your child to eat solids is also severely discouraged. It can stress your child out, especially if you are overbearing about trying to get your child to eat solids. This extra stress can worsen your child’s inability to breath, potentially causing your child to panic. This whole situation has the potential to escalate into something worse. If you believe your child is suffering on a nutritional level because of the lack of solid foods, you can always take your child to the hospital, but it is generally advised that you stick to a liquid diet to ensure that your child gets over his or her bronchiolitis infection as easily and as smoothly as possible.
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