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Nutritional Management of Children with Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis

Written by
Krystel Quadros
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.

Published on Dec 21, 2018 and last reviewed on Jun 08, 2022   -  2 min read


It becomes very challenging to deal with the nutritional needs of children suffering from Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis as the children suffering from these kinds of inflammatory bowel disease experience chronic pain in their abdomen. These children experience chronic inflammation and therefore should not be given very spicy foods as it may trigger the inflammation further.

Nutritional Management of Children with Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis

Following is the nutritional management of children with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Avoid Food Sensitivities

Many times, it is observed that the children suffering from inflammatory bowel diseases develop intolerances towards certain foods. Maintaining a proper food diary helps to eliminate food sensitivities.

Consume Lactose-Free Foods

Many children are unable to tolerate foods rich in lactose like milk and milk products due to the inflammatory bowel disease. Hence, instead of consuming cow’s milk which is rich in lactose, almond milk or soy milk can be consumed.

Consume Gluten-Free Foods

Children with inflammatory bowel disease are unable to consume foods rich in gluten. Hence, these children are advised not to consume wheat flour as wheat flour contains gluten which may further aggravate indigestion like symptoms in children suffering from inflammatory bowel diseases. Rice flour can be used instead of whole wheat flour.

Restrict Fiber Intake When There Is a Flare-Up

When the gut is highly inflamed, the passageway of the gut is narrowed. Hence, do restrict the consumption of fiber during a flare-up which may aggravate the symptoms of diarrhea in these children.

Restrict the Consumption of Sugary Foods

Consumption of sugary foods increases the episodes of intolerance developed in children. Hence, do not give your kid sweets, candies, lollipops, chocolates and foods rich in high-fructose corn syrup and sorbitol which is hazardous for children with inflammatory bowel disease.

Small and Frequent Meals

Make your kid consume small and frequent meals which will help reduce the symptoms of stomach pain in your child due to excess acid production eroding the lining of your child’s gut.

Include Iron-Rich Sources in the Diet

Since there is severe inflammation in the gut of your child, there is a lot of iron loss from your child’s body. Hence it becomes very important to include good sources of iron in your child’s diet like garden cress seeds and flaxseeds.

Include a Lot of Vitamins and Minerals in the Diet

Due to malabsorption issues, there are severe vitamin and mineral deficiencies in your child’s diet. Hence, give them a properly balanced diet loaded with essential vitamins and minerals. Specifically, give your child foods rich in folic acid since, according to various research studies, depletion of folic acid levels are found in children with inflammatory bowel diseases. Vitamins and minerals are obtained from fruits and vegetables which also provide your kid with essential antioxidants that help reduce free radicals produced in your child’s body because of inflammatory bowel disease.

Zinc Supplements

Owing to the inflammation observed in these children, many children do not feel like eating food due to taste issues and poor appetite. Hence, to improve the appetite in these children, it becomes very essential to give zinc supplements.

I hope you liked reading this article on the nutritional management of children with inflammatory bowel diseases.

Last reviewed at:
08 Jun 2022  -  2 min read




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