If your child has diarrhea tell your health care provider the color, amount and number of times in a day that it occurred. Some ways to help decrease diarrhea include:
  • Eat a soft, bland diet (crackers, soup, rice).
  • Eat small amounts of food more often, instead of large meals.
  • Avoid spicy, fried or fatty foods.
  • Avoid food high in fiber (fruits, vegetables, salad).
  • Limit high-sugar foods (juice, candy).
  • Discuss with you healthcare provider whether milk or milk products should be limited.

If diarrhea occurs, encourage the child to drink plenty of liquids.

Offer bland foods like rice, noodles with broth, cream of wheat, or canned fruit.

Milk and milk products can sometimes worsen problems if a child cannot digest milk sugar (lactose), known as lactose intolerance, which can occur after certain types of treatment. It can help to eliminate dairy products or purchase reduced-lactose milk and other products (available at most grocery stores). There are also drops sold at pharmacies that reduce the lactose in milk. A registered dietitian can discuss products that are available to help your child.

Decrease the fibercontent in the child’s diet. Offer only cooked vegetables and canned fruits. Omit foods with seeds and tough skins, beans, broccoli, corn, onions, and garlic. Avoid whole grain breads and cereals; instead, offer white bread and refined cereals.

If the child has abdominal cramps, stay away from foods that could cause gas or cramps, such as carbonated drinks, beans, cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower.

Avoid fatty foods or foods that are highly spiced if they cause problems.

Offer smaller amounts of food more often.

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The information and content provided on this website is made available for informational purposes only for children and their families affected by cancer. While the Children's Oncology Group strives to provide accurate and up-to-date information, the information may be out of date or incomplete in certain respects. Please do not rely on this information and seek the care of a qualified medical professional if you have questions regarding a specific medical condition, disease, diagnosis or symptom. The information and content presented herein is not intended to replace the independent clinical judgement, medical advice, screening, health counseling, or other intervention performed by your (or your child's) health care provider. Please contact "911" or your emergency services if this is a health emergency. No endorsement of any specific tests, products, or procedures is made herein.