Recovery Diet for Stomach Upsets
What Can I Give Her Now That She's Better?
Dr. Denmark's enema really worked! Ella has finally stopped vomiting and says she feels much better. So what is the next step? What can I give her to help her continue down this path of recovery? I don't want her to get nauseated again.
Hi, I’m Madia. I have eleven children and one of the greatest privileges of my life was to know Dr. Leila Denmark. She practiced pediatrics for over 75 years and was my mentor for 32 years.
I can hardly express how much she helped me, both with the children’s medical issues and family life challenges. I would love to share what she taught me with you.
Take It Easy, Take It Slow
When a child is recovering from a stomach upset (major or minor) I am careful not to rush him into a regular diet. The first, most important consideration is that he is well hydrated. Give him as much water as he wants, but warm it up. Warm foods and drinks are gentler on the stomach than cold ones.
If my child has severe vomiting, then I always give him a Denmark enema. With Dr. Denmark's enemas, there is complete assurance that he is not going to get dehydrated. Fluids are absorbed quickly through the colon and the mixture Denmark recommended restores the balance of electrolytes.
After a digestive disorder, we take special care not to give a child foods that will irritate his stomach. Typically, I start with a few spoons of warm chicken broth and wait to see if it settles on his stomach. If the broth feels good, I try a little more.
It's wise to gradually transition from warm fluids to solid food and a three meal-a-day schedule, taking cues from how the child's stomach is responding to the nourishment.
If vomiting has been severe, it may take extra time to adjust to a normal diet. The following liquids are best to start off with:
• Chicken or beef broth (see below)
• Warm water or weak black tea with a little sugar
• Pear juice
• Thin baby rice cereal
As a child begins to recover, these foods are appropriately mild:
• White rice
• Lean beef
• Toast without butter
• Apple jelly
• Baked potatoes without butter
• Peppermint drops are soothing and good for children who are old enough not to aspirate them
Avoid all milk products, citrus and fatty foods.
Space meals 5-1/2 hours apart.
Chicken broth is a wonderful food for ailing stomachs. It is
gentle on the tummy and contains a lot of protein from gelatin
boiled off the bones.
1. Place whole chicken in large pot; add enough lightly
salted water to cover it; boil for at least 1-1/2 hours.
2. Pour off broth and cool to room temperature..
3. Refrigerate until fat congeals on surface.
4. Skim off fat and serve warm.
There have been many times (in 38 years of parenting) that a stomach bug has passed around our family. At such times, we follow Dr. Denmark's advice and wipe off all the handles and doorknobs in the house with alcohol. Once, with a particularly nasty stomach bug, she suggested that I place a bottle of hand sanitizer (62% alcohol) on the back of each commode. Everyone was instructed to use it after a bowel movement even before touching the toilet handle. I used the sanitizer immediately after cleaning up vomit or changing diapers. We finally stopped passing the bug around!
Dealing with family illnesses can be a very challenging, but it's also an opportunity to draw closer as a family. It's a great time for yummy soups, fun story books and special individual attention. When kids are recovering from a stomach bug, I often make a big pot of "Grandma Hart's Famous Noodle Soup". We found the recipe in a children's story book years ago and it has become a favorite!
Grandma Hart’s Famous Noodle Soup*
Simmer, covered for 1-1/2 hours:
1 large chicken
14 cups water
1 tbsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. basil
1 bay leaf
Remove chicken and bay leaf; skim fat off broth.
Add to broth:
6 medium carrots, sliced
3 stalks of celery, sliced
2 onions, sliced
Simmer for 45 minutes.
While broth is simmering, cool chicken, debone and cut in
Add chicken and 3 cups of uncooked elbow noodles to broth during
the last ten minutes of cooking.
Sprinkle with 1/4 cup chopped parsley (optional).
*Gloria Repp, Noodle Soup (Greenville, SC: BJU Press 1994), 28-29
For more tips on treating common childhood illnesses, read Dr. Denmark Said It!