Food Storage & Other Adventures in Motherhood

What to Eat When Your Infant Has Reflux

by heather

What can you eat as a breast-feeding mom with a baby with reflux?

When we were in the worst period (for us it was 2 to almost 5 months) of my baby’s reflux, in addition to increasing medications I was very careful about what I ate. (Keep in mind the list of things that can aggravate reflux)  Occasionally I would snap because I was so hungry I was going insane and I would eat a brownie or a bowl of ice cream. I would always regret it because it made my poor baby so miserable. And no, pumping a couple hours after eating said naughty food, didn’t really help much. One day I called my pediatrician  ‘I am malnourished. What can I eat?’ He said that I should eat meat. (Not exactly convenient or appealing [remember-no spices] when you are a vegetarian, not to mention it doesn’t sit so well.) He apologized that he didn’t have many ideas. He also suggested that I call the lactation specialist at the hospital. Surely they would have some good ideas. They didn’t. So I had to figure things out on my own. The biggest problem with the scenario is that when you have an infant with reflux you don’t have a lot of time or energy to spend in the kitchen. And unfortunately almost every convenience food includes an ingredient from the naughty list. Except instant oatmeal. Oh yipee.

Fortunately for me I found that almonds didn’t seem to bother her, so I incorporated those into my diet a lot. Wheat didn’t seem to be a big deal. And as long as she was getting Maalox and Nexium, cooked bell peppers and small amounts of Parmesan and garlic were ok too. It is a trial and error process, you have to figure out what works for you and your baby. If almonds do bother your baby, you can use rice milk. Here are some suggestions that I found worked for me:

berries (except cranberries)
mangos (in small quantities)
green grapes
smoothies- almond milk, frozen ‘safe’ fruits, one banana, a few spinach leaves and a teaspoon of chia seeds
pumpkin apple muffins– apples don’t seem to be a problem as long as they are cooked first
no-bake energy bars– use almond butter instead of peanut butter, no chocolate chips, cashews or almonds for your nuts and blueberries for your dried fruit
granola with almond (or rice) milk
pumpkin bread
zucchini bread
banana bread
dairy-free banana ice cream– this saved me

Hawaiian Haystacks– use pineapple juice thickened with cornstarch instead of gravy, leave out the cheese and green onions
Red Pepper Pesto– I would eat this and feel like I wasn’t being deprived.
Raspberry and Spinach Pasta Salad
Pumpkin Waffles– We ate this once or twice a week.
grilled fish/meat- no onions nor most spices, salt heavily to choke it down
Fresh Pesto with Pasta
Baked Apple Pancake

sweet potatoes
potatoes- roasted, baked or sauteed in olive oil- nothing but salt and pepper
lettuce with some variety of ‘kosher’ dressing (harder to find than you would think, most have soybean oil, cheese and/or onions in them)
squash sauteed in olive oil
roasted carrots

2 Responses to “What to Eat When Your Infant Has Reflux”

  1. Nurse Frugal says:

    Good to know….I will have to bookmark this post in case I ever run into the situation myself! What an awesome blog you have 😉 Enjoy your december blog vacation!!!

  2. heather says:

    Thanks so much for your comment. :) I hope that someday one of your patients is slightly less crazy because you gave her some good advice on dealing with acid reflux.

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