What to Eat When You Have the Stomach Flu: 17 Great Options

What to Eat When You Have the Stomach Flu


When you have the stomach flu, also known as viral gastroenteritis, your digestive system is in distress, and eating the wrong foods can worsen your symptoms. However, choosing the right foods can help alleviate discomfort, provide essential nutrients, and aid in your recovery. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore 17 great food options to consider when you have the stomach flu. These foods are gentle on the stomach, easy to digest, and provide hydration and essential nutrients to support your body’s healing process.

Clear Liquids:

At the onset of the stomach flu, it is crucial to focus on clear liquids to prevent dehydration. Clear broths, such as chicken or vegetable broth, are excellent options as they provide hydration and electrolytes. Clear fruit juices without pulp and herbal teas can also be consumed to replenish fluids.

Electrolyte-Rich Beverages:

When dealing with the stomach flu, it’s essential to restore electrolyte balance in your body. Electrolyte-rich beverages like sports drinks or rehydration solutions can help replace the minerals lost through vomiting and diarrhea. Look for options that have minimal added sugars and artificial additives.


Drinking plain water is vital to prevent dehydration during the stomach flu. Sip water throughout the day in small amounts to stay hydrated. If plain water is unappealing, you can try infusing it with a slice of lemon or a sprig of fresh mint for a mild flavor.


Ginger has long been recognized for its soothing properties for the digestive system. Consuming ginger in various forms, such as ginger tea, can help alleviate nausea and calm the stomach. You can also try ginger candies or ginger ale without carbonation in small amounts to prevent overwhelming the stomach.


Bananas are gentle on the stomach and easy to digest, making them an ideal choice when you have the stomach flu. They provide essential nutrients and electrolytes, such as potassium, which are often depleted during illness. Bananas can help alleviate diarrhea symptoms and provide a source of energy.


Plain white rice is a bland and easily digestible carbohydrate that can be included in a stomach flu diet. It provides energy and can help bind loose stools. Cooked rice should be plain without added spices or seasonings to avoid irritation to the digestive system.


Dry toast, especially made from white bread, is another option to consider when experiencing the stomach flu. Toast is bland and easy to digest, providing carbohydrates for energy. Avoid adding butter or spreads to keep it light on the stomach.


Applesauce is a gentle and soothing food option for the stomach flu. It provides easily digestible carbohydrates and can help alleviate symptoms of nausea and vomiting. Opt for unsweetened applesauce to avoid added sugars that may worsen symptoms.


Plain, low-sodium crackers can be beneficial during the stomach flu. They are easy to digest and can help settle an upset stomach. Avoid highly seasoned or flavored crackers, as they may aggravate symptoms.

Chicken or Vegetable Broth:

Chicken or vegetable broth is a nourishing option that provides hydration and electrolytes. It can be consumed on its own or used as a base for other foods like rice or noodles. Opt for low-sodium broths to prevent excessive salt intake.

Boiled Potatoes:

Boiled potatoes are a bland and easily digestible source of carbohydrates. They provide energy and can help alleviate symptoms of the stomach flu. Avoid adding butter or heavy seasonings, and stick to plain boiled potatoes.

Boiled or Baked Chicken:

Boiled or baked chicken breast without skin is a lean protein option that can be included in a stomach flu diet. It provides essential nutrients and is gentle on the digestive system. Avoid using oils or spices while cooking to keep it light and easily digestible.

Steamed Vegetables:

Steamed vegetables, such as carrots, zucchini, and green beans, are gentle on the stomach and provide essential vitamins and minerals. Steaming helps retain the nutrients while making them easier to digest. Avoid adding heavy sauces or seasonings.


Plain, cooked oatmeal is a gentle and nutritious option for the stomach flu. It provides fiber, which can help regulate digestion, and is easily digestible when cooked. Avoid adding sugary toppings and opt for plain or lightly sweetened oatmeal.


Plain yogurt can be included in a stomach flu diet as it provides probiotics that promote a healthy gut. Probiotics can help restore the balance of beneficial bacteria in the digestive system. Choose yogurt without added sugars or flavors.

Herbal Teas:

Certain herbal teas, such as chamomile or peppermint tea, can have soothing effects on the digestive system. They can help alleviate nausea and stomach discomfort. Sip on warm herbal tea slowly to enjoy the calming benefits.

Homemade Soups:

Homemade soups made with simple ingredients like cooked vegetables, lean proteins, and clear broth can provide essential nutrients and hydration. Avoid adding heavy creams or spices that may irritate the digestive system.


When you have the stomach flu, it’s essential to choose foods that are gentle on the stomach, easy to digest, and provide hydration and necessary nutrients. The 17 options mentioned in this comprehensive guide can help alleviate symptoms and support your body’s healing process. Remember to listen to your body, start with small portions, and gradually introduce more foods as you recover. If your symptoms persist or worsen, consult a healthcare professional for further guidance.

Author: Kristina Shafarenko
BSc Psychology, The University of Manchester Kristina Shafarenko is a relationship and health and wellness psychologist and a part-time freelance lifestyle writer covering health and fitness, sex, sexual wellness, and relationships. When she’s not writing, you can find her planning her next getaway, taste-testing every coffee spot in sight, and lounging at home with her cat, Buddy.