What to Feed Baby When Sick With Cold

What to Feed Baby When Sick With a Cold

When your baby is sick with a cold, it can be a challenging time for both you and your little one. One of the most important things to consider during this time is their nutrition. Proper feeding can help boost their immune system and aid in their recovery. Here is a guide on what to feed your baby when they are sick with a cold.

1. Breast milk or formula: Continue breastfeeding or giving formula as usual. Both breast milk and formula provide essential nutrients that are vital for your baby’s growth and development.

2. Offer more fluids: Ensure your baby stays hydrated by offering additional fluids. You can give small sips of water if your baby is over six months old. If they are younger, offer extra breast milk or formula.

3. Warm fluids: Warm fluids like warm water or clear chicken broth can help soothe a sore throat and provide comfort. Make sure the liquid is not too hot before giving it to your baby.

4. Fruit purees: Soft and mashed fruits like applesauce, pears, or bananas can provide essential vitamins and minerals. They are also gentle on a sore throat.

5. Vegetable purees: Pureed vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, or butternut squash are packed with nutrients and can be easily digested. They can also help boost your baby’s immune system.

6. Yogurt: Yogurt is a great source of probiotics, which can support your baby’s immune system. Opt for plain, unsweetened yogurt or those specifically made for babies.

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7. Chicken soup: A warm bowl of chicken soup can help alleviate congestion and provide nourishment. Ensure the soup is low in sodium and does not contain any ingredients your baby may be allergic to.

8. Whole grains: Incorporate whole grains like oatmeal, rice, or quinoa into your baby’s diet. These grains are easy to digest and can provide much-needed energy.

9. Protein-rich foods: Offer protein-rich foods like eggs, lean meats, or beans. Protein is essential for your baby’s growth and development, especially during times of illness.

10. Avoid sugary foods: Sugary foods can suppress the immune system and worsen symptoms. Try to limit or avoid sugary snacks, juices, and desserts.

11. Small, frequent meals: If your baby has a reduced appetite due to their cold, offer small meals throughout the day instead of large portions. This can be less overwhelming and ensure they are still getting the necessary nutrients.

12. Follow your baby’s cues: Pay attention to your baby’s appetite and preferences. Offer a variety of foods and observe what they are willing to eat. Trust your instincts as a parent and adjust their diet accordingly.


1. Can I give my baby cold foods, like ice cream, when they have a cold?
It is best to avoid cold foods when your baby has a cold, as they can aggravate congestion and throat discomfort.

2. Can I give my baby honey to soothe their cough?
Honey should not be given to infants under one year old due to the risk of infant botulism.

3. Can I give my baby over-the-counter cough and cold medicine?
No, over-the-counter cough and cold medicine should not be given to babies under two years old without a doctor’s recommendation.

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4. Should I force my baby to eat if they have a reduced appetite?
No, forcing your baby to eat can lead to aversions. Offer small, frequent meals and trust that they will eat when they are ready.

5. Can I give my baby herbal teas to soothe their cold symptoms?
It is best to consult with a pediatrician before giving your baby herbal teas, as some herbs may not be safe for infants.

6. Can I give my baby citrus fruits to boost their vitamin C intake?
While citrus fruits are a good source of vitamin C, they can be acidic and may cause discomfort. Opt for other vitamin C-rich foods like strawberries or kiwi.

7. Should I dilute my baby’s formula or breast milk during a cold?
There is no need to dilute formula or breast milk unless advised by a healthcare professional.

8. Can I give my baby spicy foods to clear their sinuses?
Spicy foods may be too strong for your baby’s delicate palate. Stick to mild and gentle flavors.

9. How can I encourage my baby to drink more fluids?
Offer fluids in different ways, such as using a straw cup or a sippy cup. You can also try adding a slice of lemon or a splash of fruit juice to make it more appealing.

10. Can I give my baby a warm bath to help relieve congestion?
A warm bath can help relax your baby, but it may not directly relieve congestion. Use a humidifier in their room to create a moist environment instead.

11. Should I worry if my baby’s appetite decreases during a cold?
It is normal for a baby’s appetite to decrease during an illness. Focus on offering small, nutrient-dense meals until their appetite returns.

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12. When should I contact a doctor if my baby’s cold symptoms worsen?
Contact a doctor if your baby has difficulty breathing, high fever, or if their symptoms worsen or last longer than usual.

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