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Foods to eat when you have gastroenteritis

Updated: Apr 25

Diarrhea, abdominal cramps and vomiting are the main symptoms of gastroenteritis.

Caused in most cases by a virus, this disease can also be caused by germs such as bacteria or parasites. These pathogens will multiply in the intestine and cause inflammation. Digestion is then disturbed and the bacterial flora completely unbalanced.

Eating properly during gastroenteritis is not easy because of constant diarrhea and vomiting. To rebuild intestinal flora and reduce the duration and intensity of symptoms, an appropriate nutrition is strongly recommended. In this article, My French Dietitian's team lists the recommended foods to consume and to avoid.

woman with gastroenteritis


The first recommendation is to drink plenty of water.

Diarrhea and vomiting cause relatively high losses of water and mineral salts.

To compensate, consume at least 2 liters of plain water a day, to alternate with salted broths.


Coffee and alcohol are to be avoided because they will cause the opposite effect, i.e. increase dehydration. Also avoid milk and tea. Ban soft drinks that cause bloating and fruit juice (too acidic).


Even if you are not hungry, you must force yourself to eat in small amounts, several times a day.

The first days of the gastroenteritis take only small meals such as white rice, well-cooked carrot, steamed fish. Here is what you can eat: Well cooked white rice Potatoes with water Pasta Steamed or grilled chicken Grilled meats Lean fish Boiled peeled vegetables Dry grilled white bread Carrot purees Ripe bananas or apple compote/puree.


You should avoid all fatty foods as well as those containing fiber at the risk of amplifying symptoms and delay healing. Here is a list of foods you should avoid:

Vegetables and green vegetables Fruits (except ripe banana) Whole starchy foods Legumes (lentils, chickpeas, ...) Fries Spicy dishes Condiments such as mustard, ketchup, pickles and pickles Charcuterie Chocolate, milk, butter, cheese

How to cook a meal with 3 ingredients

Two to three days after the end of the symptoms, you should be able to gradually return to a normal diet.

For even more details, and if you liked "Foods to eat when you have gastroenteritis", you can read our article on how to deal with diarrhea.

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