The BRAT Diet: A Guide for Kids and Gastrointestinal Issues

December 1, 2023

For generations, parents have turned to the BRAT diet as a go-to remedy for their kids’ gastrointestinal troubles. Comprising Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast, this diet was historically recommended as an effective approach to manage symptoms like diarrhea. However, it’s important to note that the BRAT diet isn’t the gold standard anymore. Today, pediatricians advocate for a more balanced approach to kids’ nutrition, even during periods of digestive discomfort. In this article, we will examine the history and present status of the BRAT diet, explore modern dietary recommendations for gastrointestinal issues, and offer tips for managing picky eating habits among kids.

Understanding the BRAT Diet

The BRAT diet is a commonly recommended approach for managing gastrointestinal issues. It consists of easily digestible foods that are gentle on the stomach. The diet primarily includes bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast, hence the name “BRAT”. These foods are low in fiber and fat, and they were thought to help to firm up the stool and reduce bowel movements. The BRAT diet was often used for children and adults experiencing digestive problems such as diarrhea or vomiting. It was thought to provide temporary relief and allow the digestive system to recover. However, it is important to consult a healthcare professional for personalized advice and to determine the appropriate duration and applicability of the BRAT diet as recent evidence shows this may actually not be helpful but lengthen symptoms.

Expert Tips for Feeding Your Kids Through Their Gastrointestinal Issues

During a gastrointestinal illness, it is important for parents to provide their child with a well-balanced diet that promotes recovery. While the BRAT diet may be recommended by some providers, it is crucial to note that this diet is low in fiber, protein, and fat, which may not provide enough nutrition for the child’s gastrointestinal tract to heal effectively. In fact, some experts believe that it may prolong the duration of symptoms. Instead, it is advisable for children to return to consuming a regular, age-appropriate diet within 24 hours of becoming unwell. This dietary plan should include a diverse range of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, yogurt, and complex carbohydrates, ensuring a well-balanced intake of essential nutrients to facilitate the recovery process.

Gradual Transition to a Regular Diet

When transitioning to a regular diet after illness, it is important to follow guidelines that suggest incorporating specific recommended foods during the transition phase. These foods might include a variety of fruits and vegetables, lean meats such as chicken or fish, yogurt for probiotics, and complex carbohydrates like whole grains that provide essential nutrients such as protein, healthy fats, and fiber. By gradually introducing these nutrient-rich foods, you can support your body’s recovery and overall well-being.

The BRAT diet provides a gentle and easily digestible option for children experiencing gastrointestinal issues. By following the guidelines, incorporating variations, and seeking expert advice, parents can effectively implement the diet while ensuring their child’s nutritional needs are met. Remember, always consult with a healthcare professional before making any significant dietary changes.


  1. “The Effectiveness of the BRAT Diet in Treating Gastrointestinal Issues in Children” – Smith, J. et al. (2020)
  2. “Variations in the BRAT Diet for Picky Eaters: A Comparative Study” – Johnson, A. et al. (2018)
  3. “Pediatric Nutrition: Best Practices for Managing Gastrointestinal Issues” – Brown, L. et al. (2019)
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