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The Common Causes of Food Poisoning in Children 

Food poisoning! The moment we hear this term, it distresses us. It is such a painful experience for anyone, but when it affects little ones, it becomes even more worrying. Unfortunately, young children’s systems are still building immunity so are more vulnerable to food borne illnesses. In this article, we will put forth some common causes and foods that can trigger food poisoning in kids and what you should do in case of a situation.

For you: Enrol your child in India’s leading preschool network.

  1. Improperly Cooked Street Food
  2. Street food is a popular culinary aspect of Indian cuisine, known for its diverse flavours and variety. However, improper cooking techniques and hygiene practices can make certain street foods a potential source of food poisoning. Foods like pani puri, samosas, and bhel puri can carry risks if the ingredients are not adequately cooked, stored, or handled. It is crucial to choose street vendors carefully and opt for freshly prepared food that is cooked thoroughly and served hot.

    What is the reason for food poisoning?

    Salmonella bacteria are the leading cause of food poisoning in the United States. These bacteria usually get into foods when they come into contact with animal faeces. The main causes of salmonella poisoning are eating dairy products, undercooked meat, and fresh produce that hasn’t been washed well.”

    – J.Brogan, writer at KidsHealth

    Did you know that being aware of food poisoning recovery time can help save your child from serious hospitalisation?

  3. Contaminated Dairy Products
  4. We Indians love our dairy products, don’t we? That’s why we use a lot of dairy products, like milk, dahi, paneer (cottage cheese), and ghee (clarified butter). While these dairy products are highly nutritious, they can also become sources of food poisoning if contaminated. Raw milk (that’s not heated) or unpasteurized milk and improperly processed dairy products can contain harmful bacteria like Salmonella or E. coli. Always buy your diary from reputable stores that stock only fresh items, preferably buy fresh paneer instead of pre-packed paneer . Also, always give your child milk that has been heated once. This will kill the bacteria present.

  5. Spices and Condiments
  6. In India, every state’s Indian cuisine uses rich and aromatic spices and condiments. However, you might be surprised to know that spices too can be easily contaminated. What causes food poisoning? Harmful bacteria, moulds, or toxins can build in it leading to food poisoning in kids. Did you know that spices like red chilli powder, cumin powder, and coriander powder can be easily adulterated by adding colours and other unsafe agents. Not just that improperly storing it, like in open drums or canisters drastically increases the risk of contamination. So, always pick up branded or use freshly home ground spices in your food preparation. Ensure you store them in cool, dry places to maintain their quality and safety. Therefore, it is essential to be aware of this common cause of food poisoning in kids.

  7. Inadequately Fermented Foods
  8. Every region of India offers some delectable food that is fermented. Such food offers unique flavours and health benefits. However, inadequate fermentation or improper storage can lead to bacterial growth and food poisoning. Fermented foods like dosa batter, idli, dhokla and pickles can become potential sources of contamination if not prepared and stored correctly. So, always follow proper fermentation techniques, maintain appropriate temperatures, and consume fermented foods within the recommended time frame to minimise the risk of food poisoning in kids. Following the advice food poisoning time frame can help alleviate the onset of the illness in kids. Therefore, it is essential to be aware of this common cause of food poisoning in kids.

    Did you know that food poisoning recovery time varies with type of contaminant of food?

  9. Seafood Preparations
  10. What causes food poisoning? India has a vast coastline. So, seafood is something that’s easily available across many regions with delicacies like fish curry, prawn biryani, crab masala and so much more. Seafood is great for a good dose of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, no doubt but at the same time you should know that seafood can pose a risk of food poisoning – if mishandled or not cooked thoroughly. Contamination can occur during harvesting, transportation, or storage, leading to bacterial growth. So, how do you ensure safe seafood? By ensuring your seafood is sourced only from reputable suppliers, stored at the correct temperature, and cooked to appropriate internal temperatures.

    For you: Enrol your child in India’s leading preschool network.

4 Signs to Watch Out!

Recognizing the signs of food poisoning in children is crucial for prompt intervention. If you feel there is even a slight possibility that your kid has eaten something unsafe – be alert and watch out for these common food poisoning symptoms in kids:

  1. Nausea and Vomiting
  2. This is the most common food poisoning symptom in kids – persistent nausea and repeated vomiting. It is one of the common causes of food poisoning in kids.

  3. Diarrhea: A common symptom
  4. Frequent loose or watery bowel movements. Pay attention to any changes in the colour or consistency of their stool.

  5. Abdominal Pain and Cramps
  6. Children with food poisoning often complain of stomach pain or cramps. They may hold or rub their abdomen to alleviate discomfort.

  7. Fever
  8. Food poisoning can at times also cause a low-grade or high-grade fever. A thermometer can come to your rescue to quickly monitor your little one’s body temperature.

  9. Fatigue and Weakness
  10. Food poisoning can leave children feeling tired and weak. They may lack energy and appear lethargic.

7 Easy Immediate Home Care Remedies for Food Poisoning

Treatment for food poisoning in kids should begin immediately when you suspect it. Here’s what you can do:

  1. Hydration
  2. Replenishing lost fluids is crucial to prevent dehydration. Encourage your child to drink plenty of clear liquids such as water, diluted fruit juices, or oral rehydration solutions (ORS). Offer small, frequent sips if your child is vomiting.

  3. Rest
  4. Undisputedly the most needed treatment for food poisoning in kids is rest. Get your kid to sleep and rest. Avoid strenuous activities until their condition improves.

  5. BRAT Diet
  6. The BRAT diet (Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, Toast) can help soothe the stomach and provide easily digestible foods. Offer small portions of these foods to your child as their appetite returns. Even khichdi and dahi chawal help.

  7. Avoid Certain Foods
  8. During the recovery period, avoid spicy, fatty, and greasy foods, as they can further irritate the digestive system. Also, avoid dairy products until the diarrhoea resolves.

  9. Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS)
  10. If your child experiences severe diarrhoea or vomiting, an oral rehydration solution can help replace lost electrolytes. Follow the instructions on the package for appropriate dosage and administration.

  11. Maintain Proper Hygiene
  12. Ensure that your child washes their hands thoroughly before and after using the toilet and before handling food. This helps prevent the spread of any potential pathogens. Along with hygiene it is essential to be aware of food poisoning time frames for kids.

  13. Seek Medical Advice
  14. Most cases of food poisoning in children resolve within a few days with home care. But you need to be vigilant about the symptoms in case they are not showing signs of receding. In such a case, immediately meet your paediatrician. These signs can be of dehydration (dry mouth, sunken eyes, reduced urine output).


While enjoying the diverse and flavorful Indian cuisine, it is important to be mindful of the common causes of food poisoning in children. By being aware of what to avoid and also the symptoms in case of a situation you can help protect your child from the harms of food poisoning. In this article, we have covered essential information on food poisoning. We have also spoken about the food poisoning recovery time.

At EuroKids preschool, we prioritise the health and well-being of our students. We encourage parents to send only freshly cooked food for their child’s tiffin, ensuring optimal nutrition and food safety. Most of our centres also provide a meal planner to help parents create fun and healthy meal options, fostering a positive eating experience for their children.

For more such informative blogs, visit EuroKids website.

 Which of these steps are you going to take to alleviate food poisoning symptoms in your kid?


For informative and accurate articles on all things related to your new born-toddler’s development, growth, health and nutrition, follow EuroKids Blogs and do check out our nationally recognized preschools – EuroKids for the first step in your kid’s educational journey!

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EuroKids is recognized as India’s most respected early childhood education brand, with over 21 years of experience, and has a presence in 350+ cities & 3 countries. The journey began in 2001 with 2 preschools and since then the group has consistently raised the bar for preschool education through its innovative and mindful curriculum – EUNOIA, which helps children grow holistically in a home-like environment.

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