So, you’re sick in bed and your stomach is grumbling and you don’t know what to eat that won’t make you throw up. Forkly is on a mission to help its followers successfully beat that stomach flu without starving to death! Try eating some of these basic foods while you have the stomach flu and hopefully it will help you recover over the next few days.

1. Bananas

We all know that bananas are packed with potassium, but did you know that potassium is a nutrient that is quickly lost when you have diarrhea or are vomiting?

Eating bananas can help to reduce diarrhea and replace the potassium in your body that you’ve lost through vomiting or diarrhea. The best part is, it’s a very digestible food when you’re sick so your body won’t be stressing out while digesting it. Even if you don’t have an appetite, try taking a few bites of banana to replenish your potassium levels. It may end up making you feel better too!

2. Rice

When you have the stomach flu, your body loses a lot of nutrients at one time when you’re vomiting. Complex carbs are a great way to replace those nutrients as quickly as possible so your body doesn’t get too weak.

Eat your rice plain or with a little bit of basic seasoning that won’t upset your stomach – avoid anything spicy and lean more towards salty. Rice is the perfect basic food that can help fill your stomach and replenish your nutrients without triggering more sickness. Be sure to take it slow and take a few bites at a time.

3. Instant Pot Hack: Cooking Perfect White Rice

When you’re sick, you don’t feel like spending much time in the kitchen, which is part of the reason why this easy Instant Pot rice is perfect for when you’re feeling under the weather! Just dump it in with some water (and salt and oil for taste, if desired) and it’ll cook quickly, hands-off, while you lay on the couch.

As mentioned previously, rice is the perfect complex carb to help replenish your body’s nutrients and help fill up your stomach without triggering sickness. Just take it slow and take a few bites at a time to avoid overwhelming your system.

4. Crackers

You may have memories of your parents bringing you crackers when you were sick to your stomach as a kid. Turns out, there’s actually a great reason behind this. Crackers are an easy snack food that tastes good and helps keep any other food in your stomach down, instead of coming back up!

Crackers have neutral enough ingredients to settle your stomach while also replacing nutrients that have been lost during the time of your stomach flu. Crackers are a basic enough carb that won’t overwhelm your body and are an easy and salty snack to munch on while you rest.

5. Broth

Needing something different than just dry, sugar-free food? Sipping on some chicken or veggie broth is a great way to get some protein and fat without bothering your stomach too much. It brings back some much needed hydration to your body and the warmth of the broth will feel super comforting when you’re feeling sick.

You can even add a slice of toast on the side with a little bit of butter on top to make it a full meal because after all, it’s probably been a while since you ate a proper supper or meal in general, for that matter.

6. Easy 90-Minute Instant Pot Bone Broth

As previously mentioned, bone broth is a great food option when you’re sick. It has gut-healing properties and generally helps reduce inflammation in the body. But it takes way to long to make on the stovetop, so we made it in our Instant Pot!

All you need to do is dump a handful of ingredients in, set it, and forget it. You could even take a nap in between if you’re still feeling sick. When it’s done, store it in the fridge and heat it in the microwave to sip on while you’re sick! It’s so simple and can make a world of difference in how you feel.

7. Toast

Much like rice and crackers, toast is a great way to fill your sick, grumbling stomach without wreaking havoc on your digestive system. Eating whole-grain toast is obviously a better option for your health, but if you feel extremely lousy, listen to your body and eat some white bread.

While toast may seem basic, it can do wonders to settle your stomach and revive your system. If you’re feeling up for it, you could also add some butter or jam to your toast for some added flavor. Be sure to also drink some water on the side for added hydration.

8. Ice Chips

In the worst of cases, sometimes the flu can get really out of hand and you don’t know what to do with yourself when your stomach grumbles. If this is you right now, just know that the main goal is to stay hydrated, even in the most basic of ways.

If drinking water seems unbearable, try sucking on ice chips. The cool taste on your mouth is refreshing and the ice gives your body extra hydration. Suck on some ice chips to slowly give your body the water it needs without overwhelming your stomach with big mouthfuls of water that could make you feel even more sick.

9. Apple Sauce

Applesauce is a typical go-to food for those of us who are feeling sick and even throwing up. But why does it work when we are sick you may wonder? Applesauce actually contains something called pectin which is a soluble fiber that ensures that our bodies say hydrated throughout our illness.

Applesauce can also help make your diarrhea slow down, which is never a bad thing. Apple sauce is soothing and easy to digest, making it the perfect snack to stock up on when you’re feeling sick. It won’t overwhelm your system and is easy to eat without much effort.

10. Chicken

During the worst of your sickness, it’s totally understable if you want to stick to simple foods such as toast, crackers and ice chips. If you’re starting to feel a little bit better, however, chicken could be a good option to incorporate into your diet.

Chicken is a neutral-tasting food that can really help your body quite literally get back up on its feet. It will provide your body with some excellent protein while avoiding triggering your gag reflex with any strong flavors. You can eat it with some pasta or rice to add nutritional value, depending on how hungry you are.

11. Instant Pot Hack: Cooking Chicken From Frozen

If you’re in the mood for a chicken dinner but aren’t feeling up to cooking just yet, we totally understand your struggle. Luckily the Instant Pot can come in handy to help you cook a savory meal without exerting too much effort while you’re still in recovery.

The Instant Pot can actually cook chicken from frozen in around 25 minutes, including the time it takes to reach pressure, which is seriously impressive. This is perfect for when you’re sick and need something bland (though you can add a dry rub!) without having to put in much time in the kitchen.

12. Jell-O

While you may have been told as a kid to lay off the Jell-O, it may actually be a good option for when you’re sick. Jell-O, as we all know, goes down extremely easily without any chewing required. It is a sugar-packed food that is actually good for your body when you have the stomach flu.

Eating a bowl of Jell-O can help maintain your blood sugar levels while providing your body with a little kick of energy to fight your flu virus. While it may not be the most nutritious snack. it does help to get food in your stomach.

13. Fruit

Fruit is an all-natural way to fill your body up with a lot of delicious nutrients without irritating your stomach too much. It’s sweet, delicious and packed with nutrients that your body needs to fight off your sickness.

If you need to ensure your blood sugar levels are at a healthy level, while also making sure you have enough energy to fight off your flu, fruit is your best friend. Try adding some to your sugar-free cereal or eating it all on its own! You could also blend fruit into a smoothie if you want something easy to sip on.

14. Sugar-Free Cereals

Similar to crackers and toast, sugar-free cereals taste neutral enough to keep your gag reflex at bay, while still filling up your belly with some useful nutrients. Healthy cereals are fortified with essential vitamins and minerals, which is perfect for helping to replenish your system.

Cereal is a simple carb, meaning it is easily digestible and gentle on your tummy. You could try adding some milk or almond milk to your cereal if you’re feeling up for it, but if milk is too irritating for you, try eating the cereal dry so that your body can slowly digest it without getting overwhelmed.

15. Ginger

Ginger and lemon tea is something that is often suggested to those who are sick with the stomach flu. It turns out that it’s not just because Grandma said it was good for you, but there’s actual scientific research showing it is good for you!

Ginger is an anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial food which means it not only helps your digestive system relax, but it also helps prevent your illness from getting worse. Ginger is also commonly used to alleviate nausea, which tends to be a major symptom of the stomach flu. Ginger is available in the form of tea, spices, ginger ale, and candies.

16. Pasta

By the end of being sick, it’s totally understandable if you’re getting fed up with basic foods like toast, cereal and applesauce. If you’re feeling up for it and have your appetite back, why not boil up a bowl of pasta?

Pasta is a fantastic alternative food for filling up on some good fiber while ensuring that your stomach stays settled. It will help you stay feeling full without triggering more nausea with any strong flavors or textures. We’d suggest skip the harsh high dairy and tomato sauces though as they may end up making you feel even more sick.

17. Butternut Squash

You may not have heard that butternut squash is a good food to eat while you are sick, but it’s true! To further our point, we can even say that butternut squash is a superfood for cases of flu! You could even have it in soup form so its easy to digest.

It contains more potassium than an average banana while providing your body with vitamins A and C, along with folate. Vitamin A is lost through vomiting and diarrhea and the squash gives you about quadruple your daily serving so when you throw up, you aren’t losing too much of that vitamin.

18. Instant Pot Hack: How to Cook Butternut Squash

Once again, the Instant Pot comes in handy to help you make a flu-friendly meal in the shortest amount of time. The Instant Pot is the perfect hack to making a nutritious, filling meal without exerting too much energy while your body heals.

Our Instant Pot method for cooking butternut squash will allow you to make the squash super quickly, as well as cook it in a way that separates the squash from the skin with minimal effort. Eat it on its own or turn it into a soup! Regardless, it’ll be easy on your sensitive stomach and make you feel much better.

19. Lemon

While it may not be a food that you initially think of, lemons will be your new best friend next time you have the stomach flu. They are an amazing fruit that can even make you feel better instantly just by tasting its tangy flavor.

Lemons actually help prevent vomiting and diarrhea by killing some of the bad pathogens in your body that cause diarrhea. Add slices of lemon to your next glass of water, or squeeze over your pasta or rice. The burst of citrus flavor will have you feeling refreshed and your body will love you for it!

20. Plain Yogurt

Yogurt would be another excellent food to eat while battling the flu. It’s full of live and active cultures that can help support the health and normal performance of the digestive system.

Some studies have shown that eating yogurt when you have the stomach flu could help shorten the length as well as the severity of your symptoms. However, not all yogurt is helpful for the stomach flu. Make sure to avoid sugary or sweetened yogurts and opt for a low-fat, plain yogurt for optimal benefits. If you’re sensitive to dairy, however, this may not be the right option, so just keep this in mind.

21. Chamomile Tea

Tea is always a great option when your stomach is upset for its ability to soothe and heal. Chamomile tea is often recommended if you need a warm drink to help you relax and sleep, however, it is also highly recommended while battling the stomach flu.

Chamomile tea is known for its anti-inflammatory properties as well as its capabilities to help relax the muscles. Both of these qualities help to combat common flu symptoms such as vomiting, stomach cramping, and diarrhea. Sip on a chamomile tea throughout the day while you rest or right before you go to bed for added relaxation benefits.

22. Oatmeal

Oatmeal doesn’t contain any fancy nutrients that help the stomach flu per se, however, it’s a bland food that is easily tolerated when nothing else is appealing. It’s also a low-fat food that is easy to digest! Oatmeal is a simple carb, meaning it’s easy to digest and won’t trigger any additional nausea or sickness.

Further, if you’re experiencing diarrhea, oatmeal can help add bulk to your stool. Be sure when preparing your oatmeal you make it plain without any added sugar. If you’re up for it, however, you could add some fruit to absorb some nutritional benefits at the same time.

23. Mint

Along with ginger, mint has also been known to be an excellent ingredient when trying to fight an upset stomach! Some studies have shown that peppermint can help ease the symptoms of indigestion as well as irritable bowel syndrome.

You could try chewing on a piece of peppermint gum, however, it is most effective when used as a tea. Once again ensure you’re drinking plain tea without any added sugars.

24. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is known to help promote a healthy gut. It can be used as a preventative measure but it can help if you’ve come down with the flu too!

Some of the unfortunate flu symptoms are abdominal pain and apple cider vinegar is known to help fight gas and cramps. It is important to note it’s best to consume ACV in a diluted form otherwise it could actually wreak havoc in your body. It’s recommended that you drink a mixture of 1 tablespoon of honey with 1 tablespoon of ACV in 1 cup of warm water.

25. Homemade Ginger Candies

Previously we talked about how ginger can help curb nausea, specifically with the stomach flu. If you’re tired of drinking ginger tea then give these homemade ginger candies a try!

This recipe will help you make both ginger chews and hard ginger candies. They’re quite simple to make and can store for several weeks. Ensure you have these prepared before the stomach flu hits your household!

Shutterstock/Elena Veselova

26. Charcoal Gummies

Activated charcoal could be an excellent remedy for the stomach flu. When you consume activated charcoal it can pull out toxins and flush them out of the body. Along with activated charcoal, grape juice has been known to help ease the flu too. While the grape juice remedy may just be an old wives’ tale, many parents claim it’s the only thing their child can keep down when battling the flu.

These charcoal gummies contain both activated charcoal and grape juice. Keep in mind when searching for a grape juice you purchase one that is 100% grape juice that doesn’t contain any added sugars. Form the gummies in fun shapes so your kids will feel encouraged to eat their remedy candies!


27. Instant Pot Healing Chicken Soup

Next time you or your family are feeling under the weather, whip up this Instant Pot Healing Chicken Soup, full of hearty ingredients and anti-inflammatory turmeric, sickness-fighting fresh garlic, and nutrient-dense bone broth.

If you’re feeling under the weather, an Instant Pot is the perfect tool to make cooking as simple as possible. It doesn’t require much effort and it’ll be the perfect thing to sip on on your road to recovery. Plus, as a bonus, it’s Whole30 compliant!

28. Flu Fighter Chicken Noodle Soup

Don’t have an Instant Pot? Try this recipe! This chicken noodle soup is more than your traditional grandmother’s recipe. It contains a few upgrades that make it an excellent meal when combating the flu.

Firstly, the broth will help add protein and fat into your body without upsetting your stomach. Further, this soup is infused with lemon juice which both helps enhance the flavor of the soup but also provides your body with vitamin C which in turn makes your immune system strong. Lastly, it’s also chock full of other healthy ingredients such as chopped carrot and sliced chicken breasts.

Shutterstock/Marie C Fields

29. Turmeric Flu Buster Smoothie

Whether you’re trying to ward off the flu or you are trying to restore your body while experiencing the flu this smoothie would be a great option for you. This immune-boosting smoothie is thriving in healthy ingredients!

Firstly, it contains plain yogurt which is full of probiotics. Secondly, it contains loads of vitamin C from orange juice, frozen pineapple, and mango. Further lemon juice keeps the immune system strong and helps neutralize any free radicals in the body. Lastly, turmeric is full of antioxidants which also helps to build a strong and healthy immune system.

Shutterstock/Kristen Prahl

30. Flu-Fighting Kale And Mint Soup

This flu-fighting kale and mint soup is another excellent soup option. Fuel your body with wholesome ingredients to try and restore your body back to normal as soon as possible!

The base of this soup is chicken stock and the only fresh ingredients you’ll need are baby kale and fresh mint leaves. It has a subtle flavor that makes it extremely delicious but without wreaking havoc on your stomach. Before serving, top the soup with a dollop of Greek yogurt! For more recipes that can help battle a cold or the flu read HERE.

Shutterstock/Gaus Alex

31. Garlic

Garlic is commonly used as a food-flavoring agent but it can do so much more than that! Believe it or not, garlic has been used as an alternative medicine o treat a variety of ailments for centuries.

To reap the benefits of garlic you could try taking a garlic supplement in pill form or you can try eating raw garlic too. It may be best to eat garlic at the first signs of the flu to help reduce the symptoms.

Source: Shutterstock

32. Leafy Greens

It may be hard to stomach a leafy green salad while experiencing the flu but leafy greens could do your body some good. Leafy greens such as spinach and kale are full of vitamin C and vitamin E both of which are immune-enhancing nutrients.

So instead of forcing yourself to eat a bowl of salad try adding the greens to a smoothie with other fruits for added vitamin C. You could even add a dollop of plain Greek yogurt too.

Source: Shutterstock

33. Broccoli

Chomping on broccoli florets when the flu has just begun does not sound appetizing — eating any food for that matter is just out of the question. That said you should consider eating broccoli once your appetite returns which usually happens around the middle or end of the flu.

The reason for this is because broccoli is a powerhouse when it comes to nutrients. It’s full of immune-boosting vitamin C and vitamin E and is a great source of fiber and calcium. All of these nutrients can benefit your body when you’re fighting the flu.

Source: Shutterstock

34. Horseradish And Pepper

You’ll want to stay away from spicy foods while you’re sick, especially if you’re experiencing a sore throat. That said, horseradish and pepper are recommended towards the end of the flu.

Sinus pain and chest congestion often increase towards the end of the flu and both horseradish and pepper may help disperse the congestion which in turn, will help you breathe better. This might not be for everyone, but it’s definitely worth a try if you’re trying to kick your congestion.

Source: Shutterstock

35. Popsicles

Popicples are a great snack to have while battling the flu, however, it’s important to note we’re not talking about the sugary kind. Be sure to look for popsicles that are made from 100% fruit juice.

If you’re having trouble finding these in store you could make your own by picking up a jug of 100% fruit juice and freeze the juice in a popsicle mold. Although, you probably won’t have any extra energy while fighting the flu so you may want to ask a family member to makes these for you!

Source: Shutterstock

Rhiannon Ball

Rhiannon loves to cook and bake but has also never said "no" to a takeout burrito (see, she's just like you!). Despite slowly running out of room in her cabinets, she continues to expand her collections of cookbooks and kitchen gadgets and is deeply jealous of people who can just "whip something up" without a recipe. When she's not in the kitchen, you can find her camping and hiking with her husband and rescue dog, Waffles.

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