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Myth Buster: No Dairy for Diarrhea

What you've heard

If a child has diarrhea, he shouldn't have milk or other dairy foods.

The truth

Children recover faster and lose less weight when they're fed their normal diet, says Kenneth Wible, M.D., chief of general pediatrics at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, MO. What's more, the beneficial bacteria in yogurt and the fat in cheese speed intestinal healing. As long as there's no vomiting, continue with breast milk or formula for babies. Older kids can stick to their usual meals. Diarrhea can last for three or fours days and loose stools for up to a week; call your doctor if you're worried or if there's vomiting, a high fever, lethargy, or signs of dehydration, such as a dry mouth or very little urination.