My father-in-law is coming home from the hospital today after a severe abdominal virus. Do you have ideas for healing foods? thanks

He is 75 and needs general nutrition ideas and recipes-- he had a fever, chills diarrhea for a week. thanks so much!!

elisabeth ross


KimmyV August 28, 2014
I agree with the broth idea but if you can get some grass fed beef bones that would make a great healing soup. Also make homemade jello. Use Great Lakes kosher gelatin (in the red can) mixed with some real fruit juice. It heals the gut and is anti inflammatory. Turmeric is also anti inflammatory. Look into the gaps diet. It's a diet that allows the stomach to heal. My husband has had to be on it for about 6 months and has done wonders for his tummy! It might be helpful even if only for a week or so. Good luck.
Droplet August 28, 2014
These crackers are very good for abdominal discomforts. They are not a meal, but something to nibble on if he can't digest other foods and to help him transition back to regular meals. Fennel is often recommended for children and babies (in the form of tea) for all kinds of tummy troubles.
Sam1148 August 27, 2014
Ahh...I see he's 75. He might be on protein type 'ensure' things to help provide nutrition.
Do you have a VA near you? The VA has a Canteen shop that's open to the public---it's a great for all type of things like TVs, electronics, shoes..etc. And all Tax Free, no state, fed, or city tax; it's like a duty free shop in your town.
But they also sell Ensure very cheep by the case; close to 15 dollars cheaper for a case there compared to Walgreen.
Sam1148 August 27, 2014
Miso soup...with tofu and mushrooms.
If he's been's time to move back to solid foods. Maybe a comfort food casserole--tuna and rice maybe with homemade mushroom soup.
ATL August 27, 2014
I have some of these problems myself and a general rule is low-fat. Defat that chicken soup. Baked potatoes with no butter or sour cream, applesauce, well-cooked tender chicken , etc. Avoid high fiber. Dairy can produce mucus so avoid it. Well-cooked vegetables that are not gas-producing as tolerated. Good luck!
ChefJune August 27, 2014
Dairy can be hard on the system especially after a serious bout of diarrhea -- which is often caused/exacerbated by the inability of many folks' systems to digest dairy products. I would probably avoid them, even if the dr. doesn't mention that. It's amazing how little about nutrition many doctors know.
Patti I. August 27, 2014
Agree on the Chicken Soup if he likes that. I am a great believer in somewhat bland foods and really whatever tastes good. Sometimes a milk shake is just what the Dr. ordered but sometimes that is hard to digest. Egg custard or Flan, Rice, mashed potatoes, simple mac and cheese, lightly seasoned burgers.
amysarah August 27, 2014
The hospital discharge instructions should address eating for the first few days. But after extreme gastric problems, it's generally best to stick to very easily digestible foods. This past winter, I had a fun (not) day at the ER for what appeared to be appendicitis, but turned out to be a bad infection. I was warned off raw foods, nuts,whole grains, dairy, etc. (plus anything spicy or rich) until everything had settled down considerably. Basically directed to have only clear liquids/broth, well cooked noodles, scrambled egg and such...while whole grains, raw fruit, etc. are normally very healthy, their fiber is hard on a healing, inflamed digestive tract. (Frankly, just the thought of anything beyond chicken noodle soup or an ice pop made me queasy for a while- your FIL may feel similarly.)
Nancy August 27, 2014
Did his doctor give you any guidelines of what-to-include or what-to-avoid, and for how long? this info could help us select best dishes for him (in addition to the universal chicken soup, which Talia Ralph has mentioned).
Talia R. August 27, 2014
I was raised on the wisdom that chicken soup helps everything. This recipe should do the trick:

I'd also take a look at our New Veganism column -- these recipes are super healthy and packed with lots of grains and vegetables, both of which are always good for you, but I'd imagine especially so during a recovery:

I hope he feels better soon!
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