Eat This, Not That for Teens with Reflux

by Jan Gambino Patient Expert

Have you seen the book, Eat This, Not That? by David Zinczenko? The book shows the nutritional values of common, name brand foods at home and in restaurants with substitutions to save calories, fat and other hidden ingredients. My teens with acid reflux are hooked on these books and we have been surprised and sickened by the calories and fat content of seemingly healthy looking foods both in the supermarket and fast food restaurants. The book has helped us to make good eating decisions. Plus the easy to read format and photos make the book an easy reference.

Every day we try to make healthy choices at the supermarket and when we eat out to decrease reflux symptoms. I thought it would be fun to create our own version of Eahis, Not That for Teens with Reflux. The fast food restaurants with an A rating from David Zinczenko's book included: Subway, Jamba Juice, Chick Fil A. Here are our favorite picks based on Zinczenko's book and our careful eating to reduce reflux symptoms.

Fast food restaurant menu picks for teens with reflux include:** Subway****

at This:**

Subway Ham, Turkey or Roast Beef Sub, six inch. Put on as many toppings as you can manage. Hold the hot peppers, tomato and onion.
You may need to go lightly on the dressing/sauce as these are often full of spices and vinegar.

Lays Baked Chipateot That:** Meatball Sub, Steak and Cheese Sub or Teriyaki Chicken Sub**

Oh these look so good but they are a sure to trigger heartburn in most teens with reflux. Steer clear of the toppings that may trigger reflux: onions, green peppers, hot peppers, ketchup, mustard and dressing.

Sun Chips: Try to avoid the extra fat and salt content of Sun Chips.

Soda: Soda often triggers burping, bloating and fullness in teens with reflux. It is best to avoid soda altogether.

Jamba Juice

Eat This:** All Juice Smoothies** are the best option at Jamba Juice. Be sure to get the smallest size available.

Not That:

Chocolate Moo'd and Peanut Butter Moo'd are quite delicious but have way too much fat and dairy for someone with reflux.

Chick Fil A

Eat This:

Charbroil Chicken Sandwich

Dasani Wateot That:

Waffle Fries (Ok, the truth is, we just get a small order of these and only eat a few).

Homespun Milkshake: These milkshakes contain way too much fat and dairy for my teens with reflux. Sneak a spoonful from someone else but never order one for yourself.

There are quite a few Eat This, Not That books now so check out the selection at your local book store or online. The author is often on morning talk shows and the information he presents is surprising and alarming. It will certainly make you think before heading out to the supermarket or mall food court. We do enjoy eating out but we are careful about selecting restaurants that have healthy options and few reflux trigger foods on the menu. We often find that serving sizes are way too big, even if you get a small. Split an order or take the rest home. It is much worse to try to finish a large portion and suffer the consequences, especially if you are out at the mall. We seldom order a combination or meal, preferring to pick and choose individual items from the menu. This keeps the serving size reasonable and allows us to make the best choices. Anyway, as you read the calorie count on most fast food meals, even the healthy options, there is often way too much fat, salt and calories so best to just eat a bit.

Happy Careful Eating! See you at the food court!

Jan Gambino
Meet Our Writer
Jan Gambino

Jan wrote for HealthCentral as a patient expert for Acid Reflux.