BRAT Diet for Babies

The stomach bug cast a plague on our house Tuesday night. It was the first time I had to watch my toddler battle through it, while we huddled together in a bath tub quarantine. As his appetite returned, I found ways to modify my own BRAT menu for his palate.


Here are some of the things that worked well for breakfast, lunch and dinner:

The good news is he recovered quickly, and knock on wood, mom and dad didn’t get it!

Broth-Braised Crock Pot Pork and Noodles

New year, new kitchen quandaries! Rather than freezing four separate containers of homemade crab stock, I used it to make a healthy Ramen/Pho-like pulled pork and soba noodles dish. We even had leftover pulled pork at the end of it.


Pulled Pork: place all ingredients in a crock pot on low for 6 hours.

3 cups broth or stock
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sake
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 pork tenderloin

Noodles: once pork is ready, cook noodles of choice separately in their own pot using additional broth. Add kale or other greens once noodles are near al dente.

Serve pork on top of noodles and add condiments of choice. David had his with a little Sriracha sauce.

Ramen for a Modern Woman

Us modern girls like to have our cake and eat it too. Why not squeeze in a workout while making dinner?

Lately I’ve been putting this theory to the test, courtesy of our makeshift home gym. Here’s how to make ramen inspired by Everyday Food‘s Asian-Style Chicken Soup, while doing four sets of three exercises.

It may sound crazy, but if you’re a multi-tasker like me, you’ll eat it up (pun intended). And if all that juggling makes it hard for you to remember to defrost the chicken ahead of time, no worries – this version uses straight-from-the-freezer tenders.


1. Preheat oven to 350

2. Put 5 frozen chicken tenders in pan; cover with foil. Fill large pot with water.

Do a set

3. Put chicken in oven and set timer for 20 min. Turn stove on high; put pot of water on.

Do 2 sets

4. Put Chinese-style ramen noodles in the boiling water for 3 minutes; stir to separate.

Do a set

5. Check on chicken; set timer for 15 more minutes, if needed. Remove noodles from stove; drain and leave in colander.

Do 2 sets

6. Put drained noodles in bowl with 1 tbsp of oil to avoid sticking.

Do 2 sets

7. Remove chicken from oven to cool. To make the soup base, combine 10 cups of chicken broth, 3 tbsp fish sauce, 4 tbsp soy sauce, and a dash of ground ginger in the same large pot you used for noodles; bring to boil.

Do 2 sets

8. Shred chicken with forks

Do 2 sets

9. Add noodles, chicken, and any veggies you like (I used spinach and radish slices) to the broth. Bring back to boil. Simmer for a couple of minutes. Season as needed.

Enjoy your ramen with a side of endorphins.

Porcini Couscous

Start by soaking dried porcini mushrooms in a small bowl of water. I used Wine Forest Dried Porcini #1, soaked for 1.5 hours but 30 minutes to an hour should do the trick.

Next, transfer mushrooms and its liquid to a sauce pan. Bring to a boil.

Add 1 cup of couscous and remove from burner. Let soak for 5 minutes, then fluff and serve with topping of your choice. I used truffle olive oil, but you could serve with Parmesan, salt and pepper.

Rethinking Pomodoro

I’m a huge fan of Capellini Pomodoro (as witnessed here and here). But tonight I needed to get to the point. So I improvised by cooking angel hair in chicken broth instead of water, and served it with olive oil. It had the same rich quality as a good Pomodoro, in half the time. And it still paired nicely with a glass of Zin!

Simple Pulled Pork

Sometimes you feel like playing with ingredients and seasoning, and sometimes you don’t. Here’s a pulled pork recipe that’s stripped down, but just as tender.

Bring a pan full of salted water to a boil, add a drizzle of maple syrup if you like. Add pork tenderloin and cook covered until it falls apart with a fork. Then shred meat with two forks and cook on low until you’re ready to eat it. I served mine with rice, and it was simply delicious.

Beyond the BRAT Diet

This post might make you squeamish, but if you’re like me you passed that point a long time ago. There’s nothing worse than sticking to the BRAT diet when you love food (bananas, rice, applesauce, toast), and there’s a limited amount of “safe” eating guides out there. So I thought my pain could be your gain, by sharing what I’ve eaten on the road to recovery from stomach troubles.

Traditionally, the BRAT diet doesn’t include many of the following items. But I chose to take a few liberties in the name of enjoying myself, not getting bored, and getting back to normal. So proceed with caution, stay away from veggies, and eat at your own risk…


  • If coffee is too much, I recommend Penguin Caffeinated Wintergreen Mints. (Tea was much too acidic for me.)
  • Oatmeal is a good choice and Malt-O-Meal with a drop of maple syrup is delicious (no milk, sorry).
  • Plain bagels are safe and the chewiness distracts you from the lack of filling (or have eggs, but no cheese!)
  • Bananas are the first letter in the BRAT acronym, but make sure they are nice and ripe to cut down on acid.
  • When you’re ready, scrambled eggs with salt and pepper (avoid butter).


  • TriscuitsEdit are satisfying and the texture is a little more exciting than saltines.
  • Tortilla chips (without salsa) are a safe bet, especially for dining out.
  • Toast with olive oil or honey (no butter).
  • Raw, whole almonds.


  • Brown rice or white rice: I purchased the microwave-ready kind for convenience at work, but cooked the rice in a ceramic bowl with a little water instead of the packaging (personal preference). Add canned tuna or chicken if you have the appetite – or stick to salt, pepper and soy sauce.
  • Plain pasta with olive oil. Cook a large batch for several meals, including dinner. (Or cooked in chicken broth, as I did here.)
  • Ramen with mild (not spicy!) broth; you can purchase Annie Chun’s Soup Bowl, but only use a small drop of sauce.
  • Canned tuna with olive oil instead of mayonnaise, on bread, crackers or rolled up in a tortilla and sliced into pinwheels.
  • When you’re ready, ease into sandwiches that don’t have mayonnaise or veggies (i.e. turkey, chicken and cheese worked okay for me in the later stages).


  • At home, I made either rice or pasta and ate it plain or with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • When I was ready to add meat, the safest bets are white meat: chicken, turkey and pork. For me, beef is too hard to digest.
  • Taco shells filled with ground turkey (cooked in its own juices, seasoned with salt and pepper), plus rice.
  • At restaurants, menus can be intimidating. I found that roasted chicken was usually the best choice for me – not perfect – but better than other options and usually served with mashed potatoes.
  • Skipping the salad or appetizer course is hard, but ask for a second bread basket to keep you from making a desperate move.
  • See more BRAT-friendly dinner ideas here.


  • I drank water with most meals and in between. (Smartwater and coconut water have electrolytes!) For me, juice and soda are too acidic.
  • I eased back into adult beverages with beer, but made sure to combine it with food and lots of water. Don’t rush it until you feel ready though.

Godspeed my friends – and please share your own stomach safety tips in the comments section below.