A gastroenteritis diet includes foods that should be eaten or given to a person who has gastroenteritis. This is an infection of the intestines and stomach. Symptoms usually last 1 to 2 days and include:
This diet can help ease symptoms and prevent dehydration. In the past, gastroenteritis diets have included withholding food for 24 hours and the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, toast). Some organizations now do not advise these methods. Most people of all ages should eat a normal diet with changes like limiting sugars and fatty or spicy foods.
The goal of this diet is to help with hydration, balance minerals in the body, and provide nutrition.
|Eat These Foods||Foods to Avoid (Adults)||Foods to Avoid (Infants and Children)|
For young infants—Breast milk or normal infant formula
For older children or adults—Normal food is best, such as:
Adults should also avoid alcohol and smoking.
Follow these special steps for infants:
Talk to a doctor, nurse, or the emergency room about any infant that seems ill or is not getting enough nutrition.
Children should eat normally to maintain nutrition. Follow these steps:
Adults should follow these steps:
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians
Healthy Children—American Academy of Pediatrics
Caring for Kids—Canadian Paediatric Society
Bányai K, Estes MK, et al. Viral gastroenteritis. Lancet. 2018 Jul 14;392(10142):175-186.
Gastroenteritis. Cincinnati Children’s website. Available at: http://www.cincinnatichildrens.org/health/g/gastroenteritis. Accessed August 20, 2020.
Rotavirus gastroenteritis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:https://www.dynamed.com/condition/rotavirus-gastroenteritis. Accessed August 20, 2020.
Stomach flu (gastroenteritis). Cleveland Clinic website. Available at: http://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases_conditions/hic_Gastroenteritis. Accessed August 20, 2020.
Last reviewed March 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review BoardDianne Scheinberg Rishikof MS, RD, LDN Last Updated: 2/26/2021