Bland Diet (Child)

Your child has been prescribed a bland diet (also called a BRAT diet which stands for bananas, rice, applesauce, toast). This diet consists of foods that are soft in texture, mildly seasoned, low in fiber, and easily digested. This diet is for children who have digestive problems. A bland diet reduces irritation of the digestive tract. Have your child eat small frequent meals throughout the day, but stop eating 2 hours before bedtime. Follow any specific instructions from the healthcare provider about foods and beverages your child can and cannot have. The general guidelines below can help get your child started on this diet.

Bland foods including bananas, crackers, rice, and toast.

OK to include:

  • Water, formula, milk, clear liquids, juices, oral rehydration solutions, broth

  • Cereal, oatmeal, pasta, mashed bananas, applesauce, cooked vegetables, mashed potatoes, rice, and soups with rice or noodles

  • Dry toast, crackers, pretzels, bread

Avoid raw fruits and vegetables, beans, spices.

Note: Some children may be sensitive to the lactose in milk or formula. Their symptoms may worsen. If that happens, use oral rehydration solution instead of milk or formula.

Home care

Children should follow the BRAT diet for only a short period of time because it does not provide all the elements of a healthy diet. Following the BRAT diet for too long can cause your child's body to become malnourished. This means he or she is not getting enough of many important nutrients. If your child's body is malnourished, it will be hard for him or her to get better.

Your child should be able to start eating a more regular diet, including fruits and vegetables, within about 24 to 48 hours after vomiting or having diarrhea.

Ask your family doctor if you have any questions about whether your child should follow the BRAT diet.

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© 2000-2020 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.