Adequate nutrition during and after coronavirus COVID-19 illness is important for recovery. Shortness of breath, coughing, and chest discomfort may make it hard for you to eat. You also may experience loss of appetite and changes or loss of taste, which can make it harder to get the right nutrition. When you are sick, it is important to make sure you are getting enough calories to help your body heal.

  • Aim for at least six meals and snacks each day. Extra meals and snacks can help you get enough calories and protein until you feel better.
  • Choose high-protein foods.  Enjoy milk, eggs, cheese, meat, fish, poultry, beans, yogurt, and smoothies. Choose whole milk instead of low-fat or skim milk. You may also try protein powders and meal replacement shakes or bars. It may be easier to drink calories than eat solid foods when you are short of breath. Examples include: Ensure, Boost, Premier Protein, and Carnation Instant Breakfast or any other generic brand supplements.
  • Have healthy snacks available at all times and keep visual for reminders to eat.
  • Consume at least eight cups of fluid a day. More may be needed if you have a high fever. Water or decaffeinated hot teas are the best choices. Choose liquids with calories like broth, milk, juice, ginger ale, Jell-O, or popsicles may also be helpful.
  • Limit caffeinated drinks as they can cause dehydration.
  • Try easier-to-eat foods when you feel nauseous or have a sore throat:
    • Cold foods such as ice cream, smoothies, popsicles or frozen fruit.
    • Warm foods such as mashed or baked potatoes, rice, oatmeal, soups or toast.
    • Soft foods such as applesauce, cottage cheese, cooked vegetables, fruit cups or yogurt

If you are experiencing severe vomiting or diarrhea and are unable to stay hydrated, call your primary care provider. If you do not have a primary care provider visit our primary care website or call 302-777-0643.