Diet in Fever

Fever is an elevation in body temperature above the normal of 98.4o F, which may occur in response to infection, inflammation or unknown causes. The duration of fever may be

1) Short as in acute fevers of colds, influenza

2) Chronic as in tuberculosis or

3) intermittent as in malaria

With this changing season of rain one day and sun the other, fever is in the air. Water has accumulated at places, becoming breeding grounds for disease-causing vectors.

So do take proper care of your children to prevent fever, and if one has already got it, here are a few simple dietary measures that you can take to cure fever of your little sweethearts.


1. Fluids: 

With high temperature in fever conditions accompanied by excessive sweating and other water loss, fluid requirements increase double the normal amounts for children. Around 4-5l of fluids should be reaching their body in the form of water, juices, soups, purees, dals or meals.

Meals can be made of semi-solid consistency (eg. khichdi, dal rice, mashed bananas, mashed potatoes, grinded rotis with gravy, etc.) for ease of swallowing as well as increasing fluid content, as taste buds become numb in fever, causing tastelessness and reduced appetite.

Flavoured water (eg. glucose water, coconut water, fruit juices) can also help to increase water intake, along with making it look attractive for children to drink, even when their body is sluggish. Moreover, high sugar content of these energy drink help  further to provide instant energy to the body to cope up with the stress in fever.

2. Energy: 

In fever, the body’s metabolism increases thereby increasing the energy requirements as well. On a contrary, children do not generally eat food properly during this time as their taste is gone down or they do not want to get up.

Therefore, what can be done to meet this contradiction is give small and frequent meals to your child, as he/she may not be able to eat as per regular appetite. Give food which are easily digestible and give instant energy, so that no extra energy is used by the body in digestion.

You can also add sugar or fats to food to increase calories and meet the requirements at this time.

However, avoid junk foods as they can further deplete hunger and also increase stress on digestive system.


3. Proteins:
There is excessive muscle breakage happening in the body too, especially in typhoid fever and malaria, placing an additional burden upon the kidneys. Therefore, a high protein diet is required to regenerate the serum albumin levels which are low.

This can be achieved by liberal intake of milk, paneer, cheese, dal water/soups, egg poach, chicken soups and meat broths. Sprouts may not be eaten normally, so you can make flour of the sprouts and cook halwa/ thick shake with it.

Although most myths are against curd, but curd (brought to room temperature) can be extremely beneficial in fever as it is an excellent source of proteins, fluid and probiotic (which builds immunity to fight against the disease causing vector). Besides, vitamin B12, which is already depleted in fever due to antibiotic courses, can also be replenished by curd, being its only source in vegetarian diet.

4. Minerals:

Along with water, sodium and potassium are also lost rapidly from the body during fever, requiring replenishment. Zinc requirement also increases as it helps in fighting against the disease-causing microbes and building immunity. Thus, sufficient quantity of fruit juices and mashed fruits can prove to be beneficial for your child.

5. Vitamins:

B complex vitamins are needed at increased levels proportionate to the increase in calorie requirements. Further there is increase in the requirement for vitamin A and ascorbic acid for immuno-building. Therefore, fruits should not be neglected even in fever.

Papaya can be added in the soups, banana can be mashed and mixed with rice, pomegranate can be given as juices, apple can be stewed and give; in this way 1-2 servings of fruits is essential even in fever.

Foods to be GivenFoods to be Avoided
Dal Rice
Idli dipped in Sambhar
Grinded Roti with Gravy
Mashed Potatoes with Cheese
Dal Water
Dal Soup
Mashed Bananas
Tomato Papaya Soups
Mixed Vegetable Soup
Apple Stew
Homemade Fruit Juices
Coconut Water
Glucose Water
Egg Poach
Chicken Soup
Meat Broth
Cold Drinks/ Carbonated Beverages
Pizza/ Burger/ Fries/ Heavy Meals
Chocolates/ Candies/ Ice Creams
Chilled Curd
Vendor Juices Street Foods
Chilled water

If you require any further assistance for your child’s nutrition, write to us in the comment section, and we can give you personalised nutrition help for your child’s healthy growth and development. Regards!


Bringing you a healthier tomorrow!