Nutrition Updates for IBD Patients

What are some strategies to eat well while stuck at home?

  • Keep a schedule for 3 meals and 1-3 snacks per day. Think of snacks as mini meals that include a source of protein (dairy, nuts, beans, eggs) and carbohydrate (grains or fruit).
  • Don’t buy sugar-sweetened beverages (sports drinks, sodas, sweet tea, fruit punch, lemonade), chips and sweets. If those things aren’t in the house, then you and your child won’t be tempted to eat them! Instead buy seltzer, 100% fruit juice, milk or non-dairy milk alternatives, and unsweetened tea to drink (in addition to plain old water). For snacks, stock up on items like fruit (fresh, frozen, dried or canned in juice), nuts and nut butters, cheese and yogurt.

How can I keep track of my child’s weight and growth when we aren’t coming into the doctor’s office?

  • If you can, please measure your child’s weight and height at home prior to your telehealth visit. Your IBD provider uses this information to track your child’s growth and nutrition status over time.
  • Tips for measuring height at home
    • Have your child stand with their head, back and heels against the wall
    • Use a pencil or piece of tape to mark a spot on the wall at the top of your child’s head
    • Use a tape measure or yard stick to measure from the floor to the mark or tape. Record this number.
  • Tips for measuring weight at home
    • Have your child stand on the scale wearing a light layer of clothing. Record this number. It’s best to compare weights that were measured at the same time of day (for example, first thing in the morning).

How can I get help with nutrition?

  • Our registered dietitian, Greta Breskin, is available for telehealth visits. If you or your child have nutrition concerns, reach out to your provider or GI nurse for a referral. Many insurance plans cover this service called medical nutrition therapy. You may want to call your insurance carrier to verify coverage.
  • The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation is a great source of general information on diet, nutrition and IBD.
  • If you need help with expenses like food deliveries, nutrition shakes, a scale, or copays during this crisis, you can apply for a grant from the Healthwell Foundation for up to $250 of expenses.

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