It’s normal for your child to be fussy or easily irritable when sick (same as adults). Common conditions such as cold or flu, cough, fever and diarrhea are almost inevitable during childhood period. While following treatments prescribed by your paediatrician, the following tips will definitely be helpful in feeding your baby
Your baby (if under 18months) will prefer breastmilk over other meals during this period, try not to deprive him. Breast milk is rich in immunological properties which contain antibodies that fights infection. The more you breastfeed, the more your child will be able to overcome the infection. Breastfeeding also provide hydration and comfort needed by your baby during this period
Give Vitamin C supplement
This also helps in boosting the immune system of your baby and shortens the duration of illness. Follow prescription on how to use Vitamin C drops to avoid an overdose.
Clean baby’s mouth once or twice a day
Babies may experience changes in mouth’s taste especially after taking some medications, cleaning your baby’s mouth will help him try new foods presented to him without hesitation. Damp a small towel with hot (clean) water and wipe the mouth gently. You can do this before feeding or shortly after a medication.
Give small and frequent meals
It’s normal for your baby not to eat as much as he does before sickness, so help him get adequate nutrients by presenting small foods as often as 5-6times per day. This will definitely be an extra work for you but will help your baby gets all the nourishment needed to come out of the sickness faster.
Present Foods in attractive colors
It is very important that you make food very attractive at this period, this is because your baby will become more choosy and picky. Colors attracts children and helps them try out new things.
Be patient at feed time
Your baby will be slower in eating so try not to run out of patience. Help your baby relax during feeding time and make it fun. He will eat faster as the sickness resolves.
Encourage but don’t force feed
This is so against maternal (parental) instinct, only encourage your baby to eat and pack the food off the table if he refuses. Signs that your baby don’t want a particular food is if he shuts his mouth against the spoon, cries or tries to jump out of the high chair. Try giving another food few minutes or hours after.
Identify and keep giving favorite foods
Allow your baby stick to a particular food that he likes during this period. Present the food in various ways to help him get necessary nutrients. He will bounce back into eating other types of food after the course of illness.
Try out different fruity drinks
Give your baby various recipes of fresh fruit drinks to help hydrate him and also soothe him during the illness. Also try fresh ginger drink, this contains antiinflammatory properties and is quite helpful for cold and cough. Avoid sugary drinks especially if your baby is suffering from diarrhea
After the illness phase, your baby’s appetite will return fully and you will need to increase his meal intake as he will become more hungry and responsive to feeding. The extra food is needed to regain any weight lost and to enhance healthy growth.