Diet: Clear Liquid (Preparation for Procedures)

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Your child has been placed on a clear liquid diet. The diet includes foods that are liquid at room temperature, contain no visible residue and are clear. This means he or she can have "watery" liquids you can see through. Do not give milk or formula. Your child should not stay on a liquid diet for longer than 24 hours unless your doctor instructs you otherwise.

You may give your child the liquids below:

  • For Children Younger than One Year: Use Pedialyte®.
  • For Breast-Fed Infants: Use Pedialyte® for up to 12 hours. Then go back to breast-feeding.
  • For Children Older than One Year: Use the choices checked below: 

    child drinking clear liquids

    • Clear broth
    • Gatorade® and fruit ices or sorbets
    • Hi-C® drinks, Kool-Aid®
    • Fruit juices - cranberry, cranapple, apple, strained fruit juices or strained lemonade, powdered fruit beverage mixes. For children younger than 2 years, dilute the juice to half juice and half water.
    • Popsicles (flavored ice type) made without cream, pudding, yogurt or fruit slices.
    • Flavored gelatin such as Jello® or Jello mixed with water (mix 1 teaspoon of dry Jello powder in 4 ounces of water.)
    • Carbonated beverages (give when the soda is flat).

Note: If your child will have anesthesia, the surgical nursing staff or anesthesiologist will give you special instructions.)

Other Instructions

Your child may be NPO after being on the clear liquid diet before his or her procedure. NPO means absolutely no food or drink by mouth. Your nurse will update you if your child will be switching from a clear liquid diet to NPO.

If you have any questions, be sure to ask your doctor or nurse.

Diet: Clear Liquid (Preparation for Procedures) (PDF)

HH-IV-27 11/78, Revised 11/14 Copyright 1978, Nationwide Children’s Hospital