Here’s What to Eat and What to Avoid When You Have Chickenpox

Updated on October 29th, 2020
Chickenpox Diet

There is no particular diet for chickenpox, so once you have been contracted with chickenpox, all you can do is treat the itches topically and ride it out. However, there are specific foods you might want to skip and a few comfort foods that may help you get through it.

Basic Facts About Chickenpox

The VZV causes chickenpox or varicella-zoster virus. Before developing a vaccine, it was rare for an individual to reach adulthood without having contracted chickenpox. The initial visible sign of chickenpox is the clusters of little red blisters that manifest on your arms, torso, legs, and face.

While they generally appear in children fifteen years old and younger, adults can also get them [1].

Chicken Pox usually starts with a stomachache, headache, and sore throat, all of which can be accompanied by a low fever in the 38.3 to 38.8 degree C or 101 to 102 degree F range. These symptoms can occur one at a time or all at once and last for many days. The rash of blisters can appear at any time, with or without other symptoms [2].

The fluid-filled blisters are often itchy, and since they can appear inside of your mouth, putting together a chickenpox diet, particularly for a young kid, can be a challenge. Here’s everything you need to know about Chickenpox Diet [3].

[Also Read: Home Remedies to Treat Chickenpox]

Best Foods to eat During Chickenpox

The best foods for chickenpox are comforting, bland foods. Mashed potatoes are easy to eat and give carbohydrates for energy [4]. Chicken noodle soup is soothing and easy to chew if you either mince the chicken meat or leave it out altogether. Ice cream is cooling to an itchy mouth, as is yogurt.

It is also crucial to take plenty of liquids. Broth, juices, and water are better than diet soda or sugary drinks. Herbal tisanes and teas are ideal for adults, and it is fine to include milk in chickenpox meal plans for both children and adults.

If your kid has an upset stomach, you can keep him/her on the BRAT diet for a day or two. This comprises bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast, all of which have a kind of binding fiber amazingly comfortable on the digestive system.

Chickenpox Diet: Foods to eat

Here are a few foods that are tolerable and safe to consume with chickenpox.

1. Soft foods

  • avocado
  • sweet potatoes
  • tofu
  • mashed potatoes
  • scrambled eggs
  • lentils and beans 
  • poached fish
  • boiled chicken
  • yogurt

2. Cool foods

  • ice cream
  • kefir
  • milkshakes
  • cottage cheese

3. Bland foods

  • smoothies
  • toast
  • rice
  • oatmeal
  • pasta

4. Non-acidic vegetables and fruits 

  • bananas
  • applesauce
  • berries
  • melon
  • broccoli
  • peaches
  • cucumbers
  • spinach
  • kale

Staying Hydrated

Staying nourished and eating a range of tolerable healthy foods is critical to helping your body combat the chickenpox virus and recover fastly.

But staying hydrated is an equally critical part of the treatment.

Given that chickenpox can remarkably impact the throat and mouth area consuming beverages and foods might be painful. This can consequently put individuals infected with the virus at an even greater risk of dehydration.

Some hydrating beverages include:

  • coconut water
  • plain water
  • low-sugar sports drinks
  • electrolyte-infused drinks
  • herbal tea

Some liquids that might contribute to dehydration include:

  • coffee
  • sugary fruit juices
  • alcohol
  • soda
  • energy drinks

The table below contains recommendations for Adequate daily Intake (AI) amounts of total water — from both foods and beverages:

Foods to Avoid With Chickenpox

The main apprehension about food to consume during chickenpox is the blisters that may form inside the mouth. These can be extremely sensitive, so it is best to avoid salty foods, dry and crunchy, such as chips and pretzels, very acidic foods, and spicy foods, such as citrus or pineapple juices.

According to the caregivers at ACC Adult Home Care, it may also help skip foods rich in L-arginine, an amino acid that viruses like to feed on. While there is no concrete evidence that L-arginine makes chickenpox worsens its effects or lasts longer, avoiding foods that contain high levels of it will not harm you.

Foods rich in L-arginine include most types of shellfish, along with seeds, spinach, and nuts — most of which will probably not appeal to a kid who is not feeling well and so will be fairly easy to avoid.

Foods to avoid

Here’s a list of foods that might worsen or irritate chickenpox symptoms among individuals experiencing blisters in or around their mouth.

1. Spicy foods

  • salsa
  • hot sauce
  • chili peppers

2. Acidic foods

  • pineapple
  • garlic
  • tomatoes
  • grapes
  • foods pickled in vinegar
  • coffee

3. Salty foods

  • citrus fruits and juices
  • soup broths
  • vegetable juices

4. Hard, crunchy foods

  • popcorn
  • chips
  • nuts
  • fried foods
  • seeds

Bottom Line

Chickenpox is an uncomfortable and highly contagious disease. While vaccines do prevent the virus, there are not many treatment choices once it has been diagnosed. Therefore, making yourself as comfortable as possible and managing its symptoms are some of the finest things you can do.

Taking a diet filled with tolerable but healthy foods, such as bland and soft, will keep you nourished. Drinking hydrating beverages and water throughout the day might also help your body fight off the infection quickly. A chickenpox diet doesn’t have to be restricted, and a large variety of foods can be incorporated.

Still, it’s best to skip foods that are hot, crunchy, salty, spicy, or acidic if you’re experiencing sores on the mouth, lips, or tongue. If you’re bothered about your or someone else’s nutrient intake during a bout of chickenpox, ask your medical practitioner for guidance.

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