Acid reflux is one of the most common gastric disorders in adults. It usually happens when the acid in the stomach moves back into the esophagus or the food pipe, resulting in the irritation of the lining of the food pipe and heartburn. Acid reflux is commonly known as acidity. It usually occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), the valve at the opening of the stomach opens too much takes time to close. It is usually very common and rarely serious, but if these symptoms occur frequently, then it is advised to pay a visit to the doctor.
Acid reflux is common among infants too, contrary to popular knowledge. It isn’t as dangerous as the name sounds. More often than not, it can be self-diagnosed and can be treated with proper diet and medication. But if the symptoms persist, then it is advisable to go to the doctor, for further inspection.
Proper diet plays a huge role in managing acid reflux. Certain foods are known to aggravate this condition, so it is advisable to avoid them at any cost. In this article, we’ll discuss which foods to avoid, and the scientific logic behind this-
Acid Reflux in Babies: Foods to Avoid
Citrus Fruits and Juices
Citrus fruits contain citric acid, which can worsen this condition in babies. If the baby is a suckling infant, then the breastfeeding mother is advised to avoid having highly acidic fruits like oranges, sweet limes, tangerines and other members of the citrus family. If the baby is older i.e. a toddler, it is advised not to feed these fruits and heir juices to the kid.
Tomatoes are highly acidic and therefore, can trigger the acid reflux symptoms in the infants. Therefore, it is highly advisable for lactating mothers and toddlers to avoid it as much as possible.
Chocolates contain cocoa and theobromine, which are known to increase the acidity in the stomach. Therefore, as much as your kid demands it, it is highly advisable to avoid chocolate, till this condition is stabilized.
Tea and Coffee
Tea and coffee, especially coffee, contain caffeine in huge amounts. Therefore, lactating mothers of infants are advised to avoid the intake of these beverages, or as a matter of fact, any caffeinated beverage. Children shouldn’t be given these beverages at any cost.
Foods with high fat content should be avoided, as they cause the LES to relax, which, in turn, allows more acid to escape to the esophagus from the stomach. Therefore, babies and toddlers suffering from this condition should not have too much of any kind of fatty food.
Spicy foods can trigger the symptoms of acid reflux, so it is highly advisable to keep young children away from spicy food as much as possible.
Red meat is often high in fat content and acidic to an extent, which can trigger the symptoms of acid reflux and cause heartburn. So, it is advised to completely cut off red meat from the diet of the baby and instead, substitute it with lean meat, that too maybe, once a week.
As babies grow older, they may want to have more of carbonated beverages, as they are tasty and look colorful. However, not only are carbonated beverages overloaded with sugar and empty calories, but they also contain high amounts of caffeine, which is detrimental to the condition of your baby. Therefore, it is best to keep your child away from these drinks.
High Fat Dairy Products
High fat dairy products like full cream milk, cheeses with high fat content can cause the increase in acidity in your kid because of the same reason why it is advised to keep your kids away from all kinds of fatty food. Try to substitute these dairy products with skimmed milk, low fat cheese and, in case you are a vegan, with soy milk, tofu and other vegan products.
Mint increases the chances of heartburn, as peppermint relaxes the sphincter muscle, causing acid to flow back into the esophagus in greater quantity. Therefore, babies and small children suffering from acid reflux should be kept away from mint or any product, which contains mint.
Processed Grains and Flour
Processed grains and flour, like refined flour, are known to trigger the symptoms of acid reflux. Most of the food that is classified as ‘junk food’ use refined flour as their chief ingredient. Therefore, toddlers and babies should be kept away from junk food.
To conclude, a healthy diet goes a long way in controlling the symptoms of acid reflux in infants. However, if these symptoms are still not in control, it is highly advisable to consult a doctor, as these might be symptoms of Gastroesophagael Reflux Disease (GERD).