The acid reflux diet for the child diagnosed with GERD does not have to be very restrictive. The key to success with the GERD diet is individuality, meaning some foods that one child cannot tolerate another may be absolutely fine with.
Therefore it is important to make sure your child cannot handle some of these foods before removing them from his diet. This means that the acid reflux diet for any one person can only be determined by trial and error. Yes, this means that you may give your child something that makes his reflux act up, but it also means you may find some things that are often on the “avoid” list that he has no problem with and does not need to avoid.
The article below includes some common questions I am asked when a child with reflux comes for a nutrition consult.
Coming up with a definitive list of foods to avoid is difficult because some kids are able to tolerate things such as chocolate and mint while others find these foods need to be carefully avoided.
So what should a parent do? Tread very carefully and pay attention when giving your child the following foods and if you aren’t sure, keep a food diary and include any symptoms and what time they occur. Although you may not see a reaction immediately after your child eats a certain food, it is very helpful to see if there is a delayed reaction. Although this is difficult to identify, by keeping food records for a while you can usually see a pattern emerge.
Safe foods for the acid reflux diet include all fruit except acidic citrus ones, all vegetables besides raw onion, all lean to medium fat meats, cheese and grains.
Please note these lists are not complete and it is difficult to stress how important individualization is when creating a meal plan for the child following a GERD diet.
The best way to determine what type of acid reflux diet your child should follow is to keep a food diary. Write down exactly what, where and how much your child eats and the time of his behaviors and reactions. This way you can determine which foods your child is able to eat and which need to be avoided. In this instance it is important to keep the food diary for at least 3 days to allow delayed reactions to be recorded and observed.
If you have any questions or need help figuring out the best nutrition plan for your child, make an appointment with us.