Going to College with Acid Reflux: Some Assembly May Be Required
This time of year, many college teens with acid reflux need to recreate the healthy meals they were used to at home. Going from carefully prepared reflux friendly meals made at home to the smorgasbord of choices available at a college cafeteria can be challenging at best and sickening at worst. Below are some helpful strategies to keep you feeling well this semester.
1)Take along some of your favs. No sense in going cold turkey on the comforts of home. While you are packing up your comforter and matching sheets, also put together a plastic container of your favorite reflux friendly foods. Items like instant rice noodles, individually wrapped rice crispy bars and banana chips will travel nicely.
2) Some assembly may be required. College cafeterias need to feed a lot of people several times a day. This is no easy task. One way they accomplish their goal is by serving bulk quantities of pre-prepared and processed foods. However, these days most college cafes also have a-la-carte options to choose from. For the most part, these options will be better for you because not only can you see exactly what you are getting, but you will also be able to pick only the ingredients that work for you. Try choosing individual items from the salad bar (fresh tuna and lettuce), stir fry bar (rice and chicken) and sandwich station (turkey and avocado) to build your own meals.
3) Talk to the dining staff. These days, college dining staff are extremely well-versed in digestive issues. They have to be. With more and more food allergies in children, many of the dining staff have spent hours of training and brainstorming on how to be competitive in the higher education market. If you are not comfortable talking to the dining staff during meal hours, send them an email or call the director during the off-meal times. You will probably be surprised what they know about digestive issues.
4) Find out where the good grocery stores are nearby. When your friends or roommates are looking to go somewhere for an off-campus adventure, have them take you to a nearby natural food store or good grocery store. Bring back some healthy snacks so if you do end up eating later at night than you should, at least you are eating healthy.