What to eat after stomach virus?
March 1, 2019 7:10 AM   Subscribe

Most of my family has had a stomach virus this week. We're mostly better, but not quite ready for full on regular food yet. What can we eat besides applesauce, bananas, crackers, eggs, and toast?

Not much more to add. Pretty ready to move on past toast and pasta with butter, but not ready for our usual round of winter veggie and cheese heavy meals. What do you eat when you're recovering from a stomach bug? Stuff that's gentle but nutritious and caloric? Nothing sounds very appealing that we can think of so I'm just looking for some new ideas. We're mostly but not entirely vegetarian. The relevant family members are two adults (one who's breastfeeding) and a preschooler.

no chicken, sweet potatoes, or spinach please, that was my last meal before the illness hit and I may never eat them again, sob
posted by john_snow to Health & Fitness (20 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I currently have dysentery, so I'll be watching the answers here like a hawk. One small thing that's been slightly tolerable for me (and a welcome change of taste) is packets of miso soup. I might try a packet of purée pea soup tomorrow if I can stomach it. So basically, I recommend blended soups that can be diluted based on how each person is feeling.
posted by hasna at 7:32 AM on March 1, 2019 [3 favorites]

Anything low-fiber should be more gentle on your system right now. Stay away from whole grains for a few days. I have GI issues, and when I get flare-ups, I eat all kinds of low-fiber crackers, Rice Krispies, plain bagels, etc. After a couple days, I add things like Cheerios and Triscuits. I also eat a lot of brothy soups. During my last bout I made a big batch of miso soup with ramen noodles and shitakes, and that kept me happy for a few days. I've also done a batch of something like a butternut squash/carrot/lentil/coconut milk soup that I pureed at the end - the veggies were fully cooked so they were gentle on the system.

Also drink as much water as you can - it will help flush things out and prevent dehydration.
posted by writermcwriterson at 7:45 AM on March 1, 2019

Put some white rice in the miso soup for something a little more filling.
posted by supermedusa at 7:58 AM on March 1, 2019 [1 favorite]

One of my favorite things to eat after a stomach virus are a nice vegetable soup (homemade, preferably) heavy on carrots and cubed potatoes (simmered for a really long time so they're nice and soft).
posted by cooker girl at 8:05 AM on March 1, 2019

I would say gelatin made with fruit juice, not the artificially flavored jello-s. I know that it's not vegetarian, but it's filling and appetizing. You should be able to find unflavored gelatin at the store, and then just get a bottle of good real fruit juice prepare it with. Yay dessert! Or perhaps a little pudding made with coconut milk rather than dairy milk.

Maybe coconut water to drink? It has calories and electrolytes.

Carrots Vichy, just cook some baby carrots (or slices) in simmering water, add a little butter and lemon juice and brown sugar and salt.

I think perhaps some non-dairy smoothies might be good too. Here are some recipes for ideas--but I would leave out any chia seeds or flax seeds, you don't need the extra fiber.
posted by Hypatia at 8:12 AM on March 1, 2019 [1 favorite]

In order to choke down more water, those Propel packets have vitamins and electrolytes. That's usually what I need the most when I've been losing lunch.
posted by notsnot at 8:18 AM on March 1, 2019

Oatmeal is profoundly comforting.
posted by sockermom at 8:26 AM on March 1, 2019

Congee (without heavy additions).
posted by praemunire at 8:32 AM on March 1, 2019 [3 favorites]

I had the romaine lettuce food poisoning in November and afterwards became very well acquainted with all the variations on rice, rice pudding, rice and meat (I won't suggest chicken- perhaps pork or beef shreds?), rice pudding with coconut milk, congee, jasmine rice, Thai sticky rice, basmati rice, glorious bland goopy rice.
posted by twoplussix at 9:08 AM on March 1, 2019

also it took me about 10 days to get an appetite back (and I think that can be similar for these illnesses regardless of whether theyr'e caused by bad food or a contagious bug). It wasn't that I had symptoms or had food aversions, but nothing sounded appealing in advance of putting it in my mouth.
posted by twoplussix at 9:11 AM on March 1, 2019

Miso soup can be as simple as a container of pre-purchased broth with a spoonful of miso mushed/dissolved in each bowl. A few cubes of tofu can add some bland substance, a few slices of green onion if you want a bit of veggie, etc. you barely have to actually prepare anything if you want to make a simple bland version.
posted by twoplussix at 9:14 AM on March 1, 2019 [2 favorites]

If you're willing to eat a mild white fish or salmon, that with rice and broth can be a good restarter meal. Make it extra salty, maybe even use soy sauce if you feel ready.

I am also a big electrolyte evangelist. Pedialyte is a good first solution, for a day or two when a bit of sugar is probably best, but after that you can switch to Propel, Powerade, one of the tablet types for runners (Nuun, zipfizz, etc), or one of the more hardcore athlete-oriented water additives (I use Lyteshow, which I order on Amazon, but there are several brands that are basically the same thing, and you might be able to get them at a brick and mortar sporting goods or camping/hiking store).

When I feel up to cooking again, I like something a little fried, especially something like salmon croquettes (the pan-fried kind), zucchini or potato (or both) fritters, potato patties from mash. Pancakes or waffles (I also make veg waffles from mashed cauliflower and a bit of egg and flour, you could do the same with zucchini), which are also real good when you reach the point that tomato soup sounds good but you're not ready for grilled cheese.

Also on the soup front: carrot-ginger, butternut, lentil. Hefty enough to make you feel full but not a serious digestive challenge, can be made vegan/dairy free but still fatted up a little with coconut milk, avocado, nut butters.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:18 AM on March 1, 2019

Ramen or other noodles with good broth, peas, any other easy vegetable you might have. I like the broth packets, but Better Than Bouillon or canned broth is good.
Bread pudding.
Rice noodles with peanut sauce, omitting red pepper flakes.
posted by theora55 at 9:32 AM on March 1, 2019

And I recently made gelatine with OJ, as opposed to orange jello, and it was delicious. Add mandarin oranges, pears or peaches.
posted by theora55 at 9:44 AM on March 1, 2019

Seconding congee with some poached chicken breast. You can poach the chicken in chicken broth and drizzle a little bit of low sodium soy sauce or sesame oil for flavour. Or a poached egg. Maybe some scallions. Flaked poached salmon. Mmmm congee.
posted by like_neon at 12:11 PM on March 1, 2019

When I'm sick or recovering, I find McDonald's plain hamburgers are really easy on my stomach.

Please don't hate.
posted by Sauce Trough at 12:43 PM on March 1, 2019 [1 favorite]

When my stomach is acting up I eat copious amounts of white rice with grated cheddar cheese stirred in, or egg noodles cooked in chicken broth (often with a ton of minced garlic sautéd in the pan first).
posted by skycrashesdown at 4:29 PM on March 1, 2019

YMMV but my favorite get back on track food is lightly fried rice with protein of choice. It sounds heavy but I’m small doses, it’s a nice reintro to veggies and the bit of oil costs raw from illness insides nicely.
posted by Pretty Good Talker at 4:53 PM on March 1, 2019

Thanks all! Miso soup and rice was perfect tonight and a simple veggie soup sounds good for tomorrow.

Hasna, I hope you get well soon!
posted by john_snow at 6:01 PM on March 1, 2019

BRATE -- bananas, rice, apples, toast, eggs -- is the go-to for tummy troubles.
Eat things that go down easy. Even chewing is too much trouble. Standing in the kitchen preparing things just isn't going to happen.
Pudding, Jello, applesauce, oatmeal. Mashed potatoes from a pouch. Cheese works for me, but dairy is not my friend at the best of times. Nope to fried or acidic foods.
Crackers -- Saltines, Ritz, Cheese-Its. Dry cereal as a snack.
And lots of water, maybe weak tea or apple juice. Clear sodas.
posted by TrishaU at 8:25 PM on March 1, 2019

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