Diarrhea and vomiting cause the loss of fluids and may cause
gradual dehydration. The child's diet needs to be changed when
diarrhea and vomiting occur in order to limit the symptoms and
supply the right type of fluids in sufficient amounts to maintain
the child through the illness. The dietary change will depend on
the child's usual diet.

A.   Children who are usually on formula feedings:

     Give only clear fluids (as much of either of the following as
     the child wants in the first 24 hours)
     -    Pedialyte (or equivalent electrolyte solution available
          in drugstores)
     -    Gatorade (a drink found in most grocery stores)
     -    breast feeding can be continued with supplementation by
          either of the above

     If the child won't accept either of the solutions because of
     taste you may try to dilute slightly with a soft drink. If
     vomiting is present start the clear fluids in small amounts
     with frequent feedings. After 24 hours, if the diarrhea has
     improved, the diet can be increased for the next 24 hours as
     -    re-introduce formula
     -    if your child is at the age of also eating some solids as
          well, then you may re-introduce baby food gradually.

     If the above routine is tolerated well and the diarrhea
     continues to improve, you can return gradually to the regular
     diet within the next 2 or 3 days. If the diarrhea increases
     then return to the clear fluid diet. If your child has had a
     prolonged course of diarrhea, it is helpful to advance from
     the clear fluid diet to a soy based formula, i.e. Prosobee,
     Nursoy, Soyalac, or Isomil and maintian that formula for 1 -
     2 weeks before returning to their original formula.

(c) 1992 Greater Victoria Hospital Society