New research has found that, if young children with a mild "stomach bug" drink diluted apple juice, it may be just as effective as more expensive electrolyte drinks for preventing dehydration.
More about this study
The study involved nearly 650 children in Toronto (aged 6 months to 5 years) who attended the ER with diarrhea and vomiting but were only mildly dehydrated and who were randomly assigned to receive either diluted apple juice or an apple-flavored drink with electrolytes while being cared for in the ER.
On being discharged, the children in the diluted apple juice group continued to receive diluted apple juice along with other beverages to replace lost fluids. Those in the electrolyte group received only the electrolyte drink to replace lost fluids.
And the conclusion was...
The study was carried out by researchers from the University of Calgary
, the University of Toronto
and the Hospital for Sick Children and Child Health Evaluative Services
in Toronto, all in Canada. It was funded by the Physician Services Incorporated Foundation
. The diluted apple juice was tested as a treatment to prevent dehydration when a child has a bug, not to prevent stomach aches or infections.
The study found that children given diluted apple juice were less likely to need additional treatments – possibly because they were happier with the taste and more willing to drink the juice.
Obviously, severe dehydration can be life-threatening and can happen quickly in young children. To prevent this, doctors often recommend giving children specially made rehydration drinks which contain a mixture of salts and sugars designed to keep fluid levels stable. But these drinks are expensive and some children don't like the taste. It might even be that when your child becomes ill, you are far away from any sources of such rehydration drinks making the diluted apple juice more important than ever!
We have written about B.R.A.T.
BRAT is another acronym that helps you to decide what you can safely eat when you have been ill when symptoms include vomiting and/or diarrhea. This bland-food diet is suitable for both adults and children, helping you to recover from an upset stomach.
And the A in B.R.A.T.
stands for "Apple". (B.R.A.T - bananas, rice, apples, toast)
The key anti-diarrhea component of apple sauce is pectin, a thickening agent that works just as well on stool as it does on food. Here is a quick and easy recipe for instant raw apple sauce which will take just 8 minutes to make.
You will need:
Please note T stands for tablespoon and t stands for teaspoon.
Add all ingredients to the bowl of a blender or food processor and blend until smooth before spooning into glass jars. Refrigerate and use within a week.