The BRAT Diet

Have you heard of the BRAT Diet? We’ll tell you what it is and when it can be useful.

What is the BRAT Diet?

BRAT stands for the main foods in the BRAT Diet:

  • bananas
  • rice
  • applesauce
  • toast

If that sounds like it’s not a balanced diet, you’re right. The BRAT Diet is not for long-term use, and it is not particularly nutritious. It is low in fiber, which is supposed to make it easy to digest, and it is also low in protein and fat. 

You should never use it for long periods of time. 24 hours is long enough.

What is the BRAT Diet for?

People who are experiencing nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting may find that eating BRAT foods settles their stomachs. These are bland foods with little fiber that are easily digested. They’re foods that children can eat, and which most people can handle when their stomachs are upset.

You could also include crackers, oatmeal, baked potatoes, or noodles. Broth and apple juice are options, too.

Avoid fried foods, spicy foods, meat, and vegetables. Citrus fruits, sweets, alcohol, and caffeine are also on the NO list when you’re eating a bland diet.

Stick with the BRAT Diet for a day or two if you have a stomach bug or if you ate something that disagreed with you. Get back to a balanced diet as soon as possible.

The BRAT Diet is not a weight-loss diet, and should not be used for more than a day or two.

Stay hydrated

While the BRAT Diet might help you or your child get back to normal eating, the biggest concern when you’re dealing with vomiting and diarrhea is dehydration.

Make sure you drink plenty of water when you’re feeling sick. Broth and apple juice are also good choices. You should go with liquids that are clear enough to read through. Avoid sugary drinks and alcohol.

If it’s hard to keep water on your stomach, try ice chips or even Popsicles. If your baby has diarrhea or vomiting for more than one day, call your doctor. Dehydration can be a serious concern for infants.

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