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Gastroenteritis Diet

What Is A Gastroenteritis Diet?

Gastroenteritis, or the stomach flu, is caused by swallowing certain viruses, which travel through your system and inflame the linings of your stomach and intestines.  This inflammation can increase the speed with which food moves through your digestive tract. As a result, you may experience fatigue, diarrhea, cramps, nausea and vomiting. Supportive measures may help you get better sooner.


If You Have Gastroenteritis:

  • Stop eating for a few hours
  • Sip liquids instead of drinking a large amount at once, to prevent dehydration
  • Take note of urination. Dizziness and lightheadedness also are signs of dehydration. If any of these signs and symptoms occur and you can’t drink enough fluids, seek medical attention.
  • Ease back into eating, gradually begin to eat bland, easy-to-digest foods, such as soda crackers, toast, gelatin, bananas, rice and chicken.
  • Get plenty of rest.


Suggested Diet Progression As You Recover

Step 1:

  • Jell-o
  • Clear soups
  • Coconut water, Gatorade or Kool-Aid, diluted apple juice, and decaffeinated/herbal tea*
  • Plain saltines

*It is very important to stay hydrated. Aim for 8-10 glasses of fluids each day including water.

Step 2: Anything From Step 1 Plus:

  • Applesauce
  • Bananas
  • Refined grains (white or potato bread, pasta, white rice, cereals not made from whole grains, oatmeal, pretzels)
  • Mashed potatoes (without skin)

Step 3: Anything From Step 1or 2 Plus:

  • Broiled or boiled lean meat, white poultry or fish
  • Poached or boiled eggs
  • Well-cooked vegetables and fruits without seeds or skins
  • Sorbet
  • Smooth nut butters like almond or peanut

Avoid the following until you are feeling better:

  • Spicy or fried foods
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Raw or dried vegetables or fruits (except bananas and applesauce)
  • Whole grain breads, cereals, or bran (including whole wheat breads and pastas and brown rice)
  • Milk or milk products (cheese, yogurt, ice cream, or creamed soups)
  • Nuts, seeds, coconut, popcorn



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Meet Jennifer Bonheur, MD

Dr. Jennifer Bonheur is a board-certified gastroenterologist who loves her work and values her relationships with her patients. As a female gastroenterologist, she strives to connect and treat the patient and not simply the illness. Dr. Bonheur offers specialized care in gastroenterology and therapeutic endoscopy. Together with her staff, she is committed to providing the highest quality medical care in a comfortable, professional and personalized environment. Learn More »