10 Foods To Eat If You Have HFMD (And What To Avoid!)
If you or your child has Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease (HFMD), it can cause painful mouth ulcers and affect the appetite -- so what are the foods to eat or avoid?
If you (yes, adults can get it too!) or your child are down with HFMD, it can cause fever, a sore throat and mouth ulcers inside your mouth or around the sides of the tongue, which will make it quite painful to eat and will also cause a lack of appetite.
So what kinds of food should you eat if you are infected with HFMD, and what exactly should you avoid? Check out our gallery to find out!
When you're feeling poorly, your appetite will usually suffer as well and having a horrid sore throat will probably make eating a literal pain!
But your body needs enough fuel and nutrients to help you get better, so it's good to try and eat some nutritious food such as egg, which is high in protein, iron, vitamins and minerals.
Best way to eat it: Soft-boiled, poached, scrambled, steamed (chawan mushi)
Put down that cup of coffee or tea which could make your mouth and tongue ulcers worse and pour yourself a tall glass of refreshing coconut water that contains electrolytes to help keep you hydrated in this hot and humid weather instead.
According to KK Women's and Children's Hospital, it is important to have enough fluid intake when you are recovering from HFMD to prevent your body from dehydration.
Best way to eat it: Fresh, chilled, ice-blended with watermelon, infused with cucumbers, frozen as popsicles
Soup (with noodles)
There's no need to deprive yourself of a hearty meal just because you are sick and most probably on a liquid diet.
Although it's recommended to stick to room temperature liquids such as milk or barley water, you can also try cold soup that is a more substantial meal to last you the rest of the day.
Best way to eat it: Cold soba noodle soup, chilled pureed vegetables soup (pumpkin, cucumber, pea, avocado, corn)
We're lucky to be living in a tropical country where papaya is easily available all year round, because this sweet and soft fruit is not only delicious to eat, but it is also believed to help to boost your immunity, aid digestion and even reduce stress -- so hopefully you won't feel too down about being sick!
However, you probably have to hold off on ordering your favourite Thai Papaya Salad for now though, because if you have HFMD, then it's best to avoid spicy food.
Best way to eat it: Chilled, as a blended drink, in a fresh salad, in soup
Greek yoghurt with honey
Honey is not only a yummy sweetener, but it is also known to have antibacterial properties which can help heal those pesky mouth ulcers and other lesions in your mouth.
Pair that up with some cool greek yoghurt that's chock-full of nutrients like protein, calcium, potassium, folate and various vitamins, and you'll have a healthy afternoon snack to curb those hunger pangs.
Best way to eat it: Chilled with a drizzle of honey, blended with other fruits as a smoothie, frozen
Foods that are high in vitamin c will help prevent mouth ulcers if you have HFMD -- but before you grab an orange, kiwi or tomato, take note that the natural acidity might actually make things worse!
According to Dr Andrew Weil, M.D, Director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona, he recommends you eat berries and melons such as cantaloupe, honey dew or watermelon instead.
Best way to eat it: Chilled, as a blended drink, as a sorbet, in a salad
Porridge or congee
To most Singaporeans, a nice warm bowl of porridge or congee is probably considered comfort food -- and rightly so, because it not only fills you up, but is also provides a good amount of calories to give you enough energy throughout the day.
Whether you choose sweet oatmeal porridge or savoury congee, feel free to add in a few toppings and other ingredients to jazz it up for additional nutrients and flavours.
Best way to eat it: Lukewarm congee with soft-boiled egg, lukewarm oatmeal porridge with honey and berries
Never before has soft tofu felt so good as when your mouth is full of icky ulcers and your throat feels like it's on fire.
This popular bean curd is a versatile ingredient to add in many recipes and is a good source of protein and carbohydrate, which is also said to decrease the bad cholesterol in your body!
Best way to eat it: Steamed with egg and vegetables, cold tofu salad, in broth or congee, braised
Are you surprised to see this guilty pleasure on the list of foods to eat when you have HFMD?
Blisters in your mouth and on your tongue are no fun, so to help ease the soreness, feel free to indulge in this cold treat which will also hopefully lift your spirits up!
Just try to choose other flavours besides chocolate for now though, as that may trigger more ulcers to appear.
Best way to eat it: With fruit or berries as toppings, soft serve, a scoop on a milkshake, or just as it is!
Skip the oily fried chicken and greasy fries which could aggravate those mouth and tongue ulcers and just chow down on some mashed potatoes instead for dinner.
According to some research, this humble vegetable is "a good source of vitamin c, vitamin b6, manganese, phosphorus, niacin and pantothenic acid."
Best way to eat it: Creamy with milk or butter, whipped with chicken stock for extra nutrients, topped with sour cream for extra flavour