It can be hard to think of meal ideas that are fun and tasty when you have a reflux baby. There are certain foods you need to avoid but you want to introduce your baby to as many new foods as possible. My baby had severe reflux, a cow’s milk allergy and soy allergy. This is a list of meal ideas that avoid the trigger foods for reflux, but remember to ask a medical professional if you need advice on your baby’s health.
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Diet for a Reflux Baby
A baby’s digestive system needs time to develop so start by introducing foods that are gentle on their tummy. You will need to avoid any foods that are acidic as these are known to make reflux worse. Sometimes a reflux baby may also have a cow’s milk allergy and this can be triggering their reflux. All of these meal ideas for reflux baby avoid common triggers and have milk alternatives, but still introduce all other allergens to your baby’s diet. This is important to prevent them from developing any further intolerances to food.
It can really help you if you keep a food and symptom diary when you are introducing foods to your baby. This helps you to identify any reactions your baby is having to a certain food and how severe those reactions are. You can then share this written record with your GP or paediatrician. As well as helping you to identify trigger foods to cut out of your baby’s diet. I have created this Weaning and Allergy Planner which can help you to plan your meals and keep a food diary for your baby.
Baby porridge can be a good first food for your reflux baby. The best way to introduce it is by mixing it with breastmilk or your baby’s formula. Then you can wean them on to milk alternatives and mix the porridge with this. Be careful if you buy the boxed baby porridge as this can contain cow’s milk.
To make it more interesting I would make a batch of different fruit and vegetable purees in an tray and freeze them at breakfast time I could pop a couple of cubes out of the freezer to defrost while I was making the porridge and put this on the porridge when it was ready. It was a surprise as it could be a different mixture of fruits, to make it savory you can add a vegetable puree or a nut butter.
There are a variety of different pancakes you can try to liven up breakfast time. Using different milk alternatives instead of cow’s milk can change the taste and texture. We really like oat milk pancakes and almond milk pancakes. Try putting some steamed fruit fingers with the pancakes – I found pear was the easiest fruit for my baby to digest without any symptoms. Some babies also react well to bananas so another recipe to try is banana pancakes.
This can be a good way to introduce wheat into their diet. Try making French toast fingers, adding a nut butter, avocado or scrambled egg.
Lunch Ideas for a Reflux Baby
These are great to add to lunches, take out for a snack and to freeze. You can add lots of different vegetables and easily adapt recipes by using dairy alternatives and vegetables that are easier to digest such as parsnips, courgette, pumpkin, squash and carrot. Try these recipes for lots of different savoury muffins.
Boiled Egg and Soldiers
This is an easy way to introduce eggs as baby can pick them up. You can make them with soldiers or just add a savoury muffin. Another way to get them to eat eggs is by making a plain dairy-free omelette.
These can be really fun for kids if you cut use cutters to cut them into fun shapes. You can try so many different fillings such as chicken, cheese alternative, nut butter or egg. Remember to use a dairy free spread. Put small pieces of steamed veg or fruit with them.
Freeze small portions of dinners from previous nights and then defrost, warm up and serve.
Dinner Ideas for a Reflux Baby
I try to make things that the whole family can have or that need slightly adapting so its quicker and easier for me.
An easy one for the whole family. To adapt this for you reflux baby just make them a separate sauce so you can climate anything that triggers their reflux. Common triggers can be acidic foods such as tomato and onions. Make sure the pasta is well-cooked or try couscous. Try some of these pasta recipes.
Fish or Chicken Dinner
Fish is another allergen that you need to introduce to your baby. Serve plain chicken or fish in small pieces. Sweet potato wedges are often a favourite and serve root vegetables that don’t trigger any reactions such as parsnips, courgette, pumpkin, squash and carrot.
This is a great family meal. Use sweet potato mash made with dairy-free butter or oil. You can mix sweet potato and white potato mash if you prefer.
Desserts for a reflux baby
Try giving baby pieces of pear to chew on in a silicone holder. These are easy to clean and for baby to hold.
I like to make my own ice lollies made with breastmilk, milk alternative or fruit puree. Also a great tip for if you are struggling with a teething baby.
This is an easy one. You can buy dairy-free custard or buy custard powder (check if it is dairy-free) and use baby’s formula or milk alternative.
There is a variety of milk alternative yoghurts, add some steamed fruit to make it a bit different.
Trying out new meal ideas on your reflux baby can be stressful. You don’t want to trigger their symptoms and see them in pain. Although there are common triggers each baby is different and can tolerate different amounts of each food. Remember to keep a food diary so you can see which foods and the amount that trigger your baby’s symptoms. As they mature they may be able to tolerate more of their trigger foods so you can try reintroducing them into their diet.