Fact sheetDiet specifications

Published on 1 Nov 2012

Rehydration fluids

This document is part of the ACI Diet Specifications for Paediatric Inpatients. It is not to be used for patient education.


To provide a source of clear fluids to replace or maintain the body’s water balance.


Provides diluted clear liquids only. All fat containing liquids are excluded with the exception of breast milk and infant formula for infants. Fluids are offered frequently in small amounts to meet goal of 1mL/kg every 10mins or about 5mL/kg given every hour.


Gastroenteritis or acute diarrhoea/vomiting illness.

Nutritional adequacy

This diet is inadequate in all nutrients and should not be used as the sole source of nutritional support for more than 24 hours.


Infants and children with gastroenteritis require additional fluids to prevent dehydration, or for rehydration. Monitor regularly for signs of dehydration. High fluid losses with diarrhoea or vomiting will require high fluid intake. Careful calculations are required when monitoring fluid intake and intake of solids containing fluids. Children who have diarrhoea and are not dehydrated should continue to be fed age appropriate diets including solids and will not need this diet. Children who required rehydration and commence this diet should resume age appropriate diets within the first 12-24 hours. Patients do not receive a menu.

Specific menu planning guidelines

Allowed Not allowed
Hot main dishesNoneAll
Sauces, graviesNoneAll
Starchy vegetables/pasta/riceNoneAll
SoupsFat-free clear soup and brothsCream soup or with visible food pieces
Salads, dressingsNoneAll
Breads, cerealsNoneAll
Hot breakfast choicesNoneAll
DessertsPlain jelly, sorbetAll others
Milk and cheeseNoneAll

Water, cool, boiled

Breast milk/Infant formula as directed by medical team/dietitian

¼ strength apple juice

¼ strength pulp-free fruit juice

¼ strength cordials ¼ strength soft drink

Oral rehydration solutions

Cows’/goats milk

Soy beverage

Prune juice

Low joule soft drink/cordial

Full strength (undiluted) juice/soft drinks


All others


Plain boiled sweets, gums and jubes

Commercial rehydration fluids

Commercial high energy, fat-free, milk-free nutritional supplements




  1. Agency for Clinical Innovation. Nutrition standards for paediatric inpatients in NSW hospitals. Sydney 2011.
  2. Agency for Clinical Innovation. Nutrition Standards for adult Inpatients in NSW hospitals. Sydney 2011.
  3. Dietitians Association of Australia. 2009. Nutrition Manual 8th ed. Canberra: DAA.
  4. American Dietetic Association. Paediatric Nutrition Care Manual. Chicago: ADA.
  5. Shaw V and Lawson M. 2007. Clinical Paediatric Dietetics. 3rd Edition. Blackwell Publishing.
  6. NSW Health. 2010. Children and Infants with Gastroenteritis – Acute Management.
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