Fever is a common reason why many parents consult a doctor. If a child has high temperature, it is natural for parents to do whatever it takes to make the child feel better. By choosing the right foods to provide to the child while having a fever, you can make him/her comfortable and hasten the recovery.
Fever in infants
The normal temperature for infants is between 97-100.4 degrees F. The rectal temperature higher than this indicates that the infant developed fever. In most circumstances, it is fine to allow the fever to run its course since it is simply an indication that the body is attempting to fight off an infection.
Nevertheless, it is recommended to consult a doctor for the following:
- Infant is under 3 months with a rectal temperature of 100.4 degrees F or higher.
- Infant is between 3-6 months old with temperature of 101 degrees F or more
- Infant is over 6 months old with temperature of 103 degrees F or higher especially if there is a change in his/her activity level
Suitable foods for fever
You can provide an infant with fever with breast milk or formula since these are the main sources of nourishment during the initial year. This can help prevent dehydration as well as provide the essential nutrients.
Breast milk is beneficial for infants since it contains antibodies, easy to digest and the act of nursing can comfort the child. If the infant has already started eating solid foods, provide with age-appropriate solids that have high-liquid content such as flavored gelatin, soups and frozen popsicles.
Diminished level of appetite
It might be difficult to encourage an infant with fever to eat, especially if he/she has a temperature high enough to require assessment by a doctor. The high fever can make the child miserable that he/she loses appetite.
It is vital that the child takes in at least some high-liquid foods since he/she needs to fight off the infection and avoid dehydration. The consumption of cool liquids can also make the child feel more comfortable by reducing the body temperature naturally.
Considerations to bear in mind
Always consult the doctor regarding the suitable foods to provide to the child. If he/she does not have an appetite, allow him/her to eat his/her preferred foods.
It is not advisable to force the child to eat if he/she is not hungry. Infants will eat when they need and the appetite will eventually return once he/she feels better. Nevertheless, if the infant does not favor formula or breast milk at all, a doctor should be consulted since refusal to eat might be an indication of a serious fever.