Tag Archive | "sick toddler"

What To Feed A Sick Toddler

A sick toddler normally loses his appetite which makes feeding a struggle. However, it is essential for a toddler to take in as many nutrients as possible to boost his immune system. These foods are perfect for keeping a toddler well-fed when he is feeling under the weather.

Plenty of Fluids

First of all, it is very important for a sick toddler to stay hydrated than stay fed. Whether it is a case of diarrhea, vomiting or low-grade fever, the body needs all of the water it can get in order to counter the infection. This way, even if your toddler rejects to eat but is able to drink, his immune system is still continuing to function. Make sure your toddler stocks up on these fluids:

  • Water
  • Milk
  • Oral rehydration solution (e.g. Pedialyte)
  • Broth
  • Popsicle
  • Apple juice
  • Hot cider
  • Orange juice mixed with ginger ale
  • Warm and fresh lemonade


For colds, sore throats and a congested nose, feed your toddler warm foods such as soups. Chicken soup has anti-inflammatory components and acts as a vaporizer, reducing nasal mucus which helps in your toddler’s breathing. You can add cooked macaroni or whole wheat cracker crumbs if your toddler has some appetite. Serving tomato soup with milk also helps. Just dilute the tomato soup with milk instead of water. It will reduce the tomato’s acidity and provide a tasty and creamier concoction.


The BRAT (bananas, rice, apple sauce and toast) diet consist of foods that are tasteless and low in fiber. These foods are best offered for toddlers who are suffering from gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea, dyspepsia, gastroenteritis and vomiting. These foods are great sources of vitamins and minerals that will not upset the stomach.


Another alternative that can sooth an upset tummy is the CRAM diet. CRAM stands for cereal, rice, apple sauce and milk. These foods have more fat and protein content making it a more effective remedy than BRAT according to child health experts.

High-fiber Foods

Offer your toddler foods rich in fiber if he is constipated. Breads, cereals, apples, oranges, raspberries, artichokes, broccoli, carrots, celery, green peas, lentils, prunes and prune juice help stimulate bowel movement to keep stools regular.


Non-fat yogurt is a cool and smooth food you can give your sick toddler. Yogurt is nutritious and easy to eat and digest. Plus, the probiotics can actually help fight off some of the bad bacteria that dwells in the stomach which are very helpful in treating diarrhea, typhoid and vomiting. Just make sure you avoid offering sugary yogurts to your little one as his tummy can reject sweet foods which will only aggravate his condition.

Regular Diet

If your toddler has fever, continue with his regular diet. Your toddler still has the appetite to eat but only in small amounts. Add dips, sauces or butter to his food to increase calorie intake. Give him crackers, oatmeal, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, pudding or his favorite food.

The main idea is to keep your toddler healthy even when he is sick. Keep him hydrated and offer comfort foods. But, never force your toddler to eat. Just offer small, frequent meals throughout the day. His appetite will return once he is feeling better.

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How To Entertain Your Sick Toddler At Home

Having a sick toddler stay at home can be difficult, especially if all he wants to do is play outside with his friends. Here are some fun, quiet indoor activities you can use to keep your sick child entertained.

Watch Movies

Children love movies and there is no perfect time to let your little one watch as many movies as he wants than when he is sick. Have your toddler pick out several movies (make sure they are age-appropriate) he wants to watch. Set up a sofa bed on the living room floor for him to lie on or have him curl up on the couch. Bring his favorite stuffed toy (if case he gets bored) in the living room so he can play with it while watching. Give him a blanket so he can cover himself if he feels cold. You can either watch with your little one or finish your household chores, either way, your toddler will remain preoccupied.

Read Books

When your toddler is feeling blue because of flu, one effective way to cheer him up is to read him books. Aside from your usual bedtime story, read books to your toddler throughout the day. To keep it interesting, pick out a different genre each time you read to your toddler. For instance, you can save fairytale stories for bedtime and stick to board books, picture books and easy-to-read books during the day.

Play Board Games

This is the perfect time to play card and board games. Set up a table or sit on your living room floor with your toddler and complete jigsaw puzzles or race to the end line by playing classic board games like Snakes and Ladders, Cranium Cariboo, Melissa and Doug’s Flip to Win Memory and Monopoly and card games like Crazy 8s, Go Fish, Old Maid and Snap. Playing these games will be so much fun that it will make your toddler forget he is sick.

Do Arts and Crafts

Keep this activity quick and easy since arts and crafts can be messy which will only add stress to your sick child. Skip finger painting for now and let him try out these projects instead:

  • Make Your Own Necklace – place Cheerios in a large bowl, give him a cord and have him string Cheerios to make a necklace
  • Tie blankets - cut 2 large pieces of fleece and have your toddler place the pieces of fleece on top of each other until a medium-sized blanket is formed
  • Decorative Hats – look for a plain fedora, hat or beanie around your home or you can buy one at a department store and help him customize it by placing strings, buttons, googly eyes, feathers or craft fabric letters

Host A Puppet Show

Use old socks, popsicle sticks, straws or paper bags to create puppets. Decorate it together and then put on a puppet show while your little one relaxes in bed. You can pretend that puppet A (the main character) cannot play outside because it is sick and show how all the other puppets helped puppet A recuperate.

Give A Bath

A warm bath can soothe an aching and feverish body. Rubber duckies, ships, plush stuffed animals, bath time crayons and finger paint soap will keep your toddler occupied while he is cooling down.

It is very hard to watch your usually energetic toddler get sick. But with the help of these ideas, you can divert him from his uneasiness and make time fly quickly.

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Home Remedies For A Sick Toddler

It is never a good thing to let your toddler drink medicine for every runny nose or burn he might have. There are common home remedies that are as effective as over-the-counter medicines you can give to your sick toddler. Here are some tried and tested treatments you can try.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is known as a powerful cleaning agent. But did you know that it is also effective in treating sick children? For treating diaper rash, fill the tub with lukewarm water. Put 2 tablespoons of baking soda into the water and mix it using your hand. After which, place your toddler in the baking soda bath and have him sit in it for at least 10 minutes. Do this until the rashes disappear.

For treating bug bites, mix a teaspoon of baking soda with just enough water to make a paste. Dab it on the bites and let it dry.

Chamomile Tea

Chamomile is known to have anti-spasmodic properties, which sends off a soothing sensation in the tummy. Over the years, chamomile tea has been used to treat an array of conditions such as abdominal pain, colic, constipation, diarrhea and hay fever to name a few.

You can either buy ready-made chamomile tea in grocery stores or add 1 teaspoon of dried chamomile flowers to water and boil it for 10 minutes. Strain the mixture, let it cool to room temperature and then place 1 to 2 ounces in a bottle or administer it with a dropper 3 times a day.


Honey is a natural antibiotic that can soothe a sore throat and stop a cough. The best way to give honey to your toddler is to add half a teaspoon of honey to 2 ounces of water, microwave it for approximately 20 seconds or until warm (not hot) and let your toddler drink it down. Adding lemon juice (make sure it is skinned and the seeds are removed) to the mixture can also quickly cleanse the body and kill any bacteria.

Saline Drops, Steamy Air and Humidifiers

If your toddler has a stuffy nose, a saline drop will clear up a stuffy nose just by spritzing a few drops of saline in each nostril. Make sure you have a tissue handy since it can run out of his nose. A warm bath, sitting in a steamy bathroom (by running hot water in the tub or shower), taking your toddler outside on a cool night or installing a cool mist humidifier in your toddler’s bedroom can help loosen the mucus in his nasal passages as well as treat croup (a viral infection of the upper airway that impedes normal breathing).

Hot or Cold Compress

If your toddler has earache or swimmer’s ear (a red, swollen ear canal), putting a heated or cooled compress over the ear can help alleviate pain. You may use a heating pad, soak a clean washcloth in warm or cold water, place ½ cup of rice inside a clean sock, tie it and let it heat up in the microwave for 2 minutes or use a hair dryer and blow warm air into the ear.


Drinking plenty of fluids is very effective to fight off any illnesses such as dehydration, constipation, fever, common colds and flu as it replenishes the lost fluids in the body. Have your toddler drink 8 to 10 glasses of water per day. Serving your toddler chicken soup can ease aches, colds, congestion, fatigue and fever. Serving other warm liquids such as tea and apple juice also helps.

Plenty of Rest

Of course, the best way to treat a sick toddler is to make sure he gets adequate sleep. Rest helps the body direct its energy on getting well so see to it that your little one has a comfortable place to relax in order to boost his immune system so he can fight the sickness fast.

With the help of these safe, doctor-approved cures, you no longer have to rush to your local pharmacy every time your toddler gets sick.

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What To Do With A Sick Toddler

Getting sick is normal especially for toddlers. It is one way of helping them boost their immune system, even if it is hard to watch your toddler suffering. Here is a guide to help you and your sick toddler make it through this difficult time.

Spot The Signs

The first step to caring for a sick toddler is to know how to spot the symptoms. Here are common signs that will tell you your toddler is sick:

  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Dehydration
  • Restlessness
  • Low energy
  • Lack of appetite
  • Rapid breathing
  • Rashes

Provide Comfort

Once you spot the symptoms, it is important to treat them at once. Doing this will make an illness more tolerable for your toddler. Use safe home remedies at first. Place a cool-mist vaporizer or a humidifier to moisten the air in your toddler’s room. Give him a warm bath or stay in a steam-filled bathroom for 15 minutes to loosen chest congestion.

In addition, give him a comfortable spot to lie down. Make sure he gets plenty of sleep. Remove excess blankets and clothing. Keep your toddler lightly dressed to prevent overheating. But do not allow him to shiver as this contributes to a rise in temperature. If he does shiver, cover your toddler in a lightweight blanket until the shivering stops. You may give him children’s acetaminophen, ibuprofen or Tylenol to stop shivering and lower fever. Offer him healthy foods and lots of fluids to prevent dehydration so he can keep up his strength. Try chicken noodle or vegetable soup, crackers, fruit smoothies, milk and of course, water.

Most importantly, your sick toddler will need physical comfort from you now more than ever. Cuddle him close to you, pat his back, give a relaxing massage and do soothing activities together such as reading a book or singing a song.

Check Your Toddler Regularly

It is very essential that you know how to use a thermometer so you can constantly check your toddler’s temperature. Mercury and digital thermometers are the most accurate. Monitoring your sick toddler’s temperature will help you determine if he is getting well or getting sicker by the day.

Seek Medical Help

Call your toddler’s pediatrician if you notice any of the following – fever reaches 103 degrees Fahrenheit or if fever lasts for more than 2 days, a worsening cough, wheezing or if he is out of breath, rubs his ear or cries unusually when being put to bed, teary eyed (a sign of pinkeye or conjunctivitis, a redness and swelling of the mucus membrane that lines the eyelid and eye surface), extreme changes of eating and sleeping habits and if the symptoms last for more than 14 days or if your toddler takes a turn for the worse instead of starting to improve after 5 to 7 days.

It is a major concern for parents when their toddlers are sick. But it is especially important to be able to tell the difference between a serious illness and a minor one so you can provide the correct medical attention your toddler needs.

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