Supplementing for Children with IBD

  • I mentioned in my post for the Acid Reflux site that today is National Tummy Ache Day.  The day after Halloween can be hard on the stomach, even for people without other issues compounding the problem.  For children with IBD these flare ups can often lead to them not getting enough of the right nutrients.  We will talk about a few ways to add calories when your child can't tolerate many foods.

    Before we start lets get rid of the candy ok?  Halloween Candy Buyback programs are a wonderful way to deal with a house full of unhealthy candy.  These programs, most often found at dentist offices, will exchange the candy for gift certificates, money or other non-food treats.  The candy then gets sent in care packages for our troops.  Win/win.

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    Now that the candy is gone we need to work on getting some good, healthy nutrients into your child.  You know by now which foods tend to be "safe" foods during a IBD flare up.  The problem many parents tell me is that they are afraid the "safe" foods, which are often bland starches, won't provide enough nutrition for a growing child.  This is a very legitimate concern for children dealing with IBD.

    Some of the ways to add calories without triggering more stomach pain can be to pump up the calories in the food they will eat.  If you can add "healthy fats" like olive oil, vegetable oil, fatty fish, seeds or nut butters.  They can be mixed into foods or you can make them part of the diet.  Fish tends to be very easy to digest so if you think your child can handle it during a flare it would be a very good choice.

    If your child has gotten to the point where they will not eat, or won't ingest enough calories there are supplements available that can help for a temporary amount of time.  E028 Splash drinks are "juice boxes" that offer a good calorie count for minimal ingestion.  Each small juice box is 237 calories, 6g of protein and 8g of fat.  These products are designed to be easy to digest and are often used in children with shortened GI tracts which can happen in IBD surgery.

    We have also used a product called DuoCal for one of our girls.  It is a powder that you add to almost anything as long as it is moist.  So, it can be added to milk, yogurt, applesauce, pudding or whatever else you think your child will eat.  We used to add this to our daughter's milk every morning.  We added two scoops or 50 calories.  It doesn't sound like much but those calories do add up.  In fact, we only ended up purchasing three cans before we decided she no longer needed it.

    I hope that some of these tips will help you!  Please discuss these with your physician before trying them out to make sure they are right for your child's needs.  Some insurers will reimburse you for the cost of these nutritional products.  Check with your carrier to find out the rules for your individual policy.

Published On: November 01, 2013