Student Wellness Services

Health Services


The B.R.A.T. Diet


NAUSEA, or a sick queasy feeling in the stomach maybe accompanied by the desire to vomit or actual VOMITING of foodstuff contents of the gastrointestinal system. They are symptoms of some underlying process frequently related to diseases of the gastrointestinal system, which may be caused by viruses, food poisoning, medications, alcohol, anxiety and pregnancy. In addition, nausea may be a sign of an upper respiratory illness with a post-nasal drip.

DIARRHEA is a symptom of gastrointestinal disease resulting in loose, watery often frequent bowel movements. It may be “acute”, beginning suddenly and resolving over a few days with dietary discretion, or of a “chronic” ongoing process. Causes of this symptom are similar to the ones listed for nausea and vomiting.

BRAT: Is a acronym for bananas, rice, apples and toast.

TREATMENT: A short-term gastrointestinal (stomach or bowel) illness requires a change in your diet to begin the recuperation process.

For Nausea and/or Vomiting:
First six hours: In the immediate six or so hours after vomiting has stopped, it is best to give your stomach a rest. Following a period of one to two hours, suck on a hard candy or popsicle (no chewing). Then progress to ice chips or sips of water if nausea persists.

First 24 hours: (Day One) Gradually add clear liquids if the vomiting has ceased. Beginning with a sip or two every ten minutes is a good way to start. Suggestions include water, apple juice, flat soda, weak tea, jello (in liquid or gelatin form), broth or bouillon (clear based from non-greasy soup). If symptoms of nausea or vomiting return, begin the process again, taking nothing by mouth for an hour or so.

(DAY TWO) - Begin to add bland foods like bananas, rice, applesauce, crackers, cooked cereals (Farina, Cream of Wheat), toast and jelly.

(DAY THREE) - Progress to a “regular” diet by adding such things as soft cooked eggs, sherbert, stewed fruits, cooked vegetables, white meat of chicken or turkey.

Avoid milk and dairy products for three days.
Avoid fried, fatty, greasy and spicy foods.
Avoid pork, veal, salmon and sardines.
Avoid raw vegetables such as parsnips, beets, sauerkraut, corn on the cob, cabbage family, onions.
Avoid citrus fruits: pineapples, oranges, grapefruits, tomatoes.
Other fruits to avoid are cherries, grapes, figs, currants, raisins, rhubarb, seeded berries.
Avoid extremely hot or cold beverages.
Avoid Alcohol.
Avoid coffee and caffeinated sodas.
Drink plenty of water or liquids to avoid dehydration from fluid losses due to your illness.
Rest and avoid exertion to give your body a chance to recover.

Consult the Health Service about taking medication.

Make an appointment if you are not getting better despite dietary compliance after 24 hours, if you have a problem with chronic diarrhea or if you have additional symptoms of fever, weight loss, lightheadedness (feeling of faintness), rectal bleeding or abdominal pain.