Careful Eating: What to feed your infant to teen with acid reflux.
This document has been reviewed by the medical team at

It would be so easy if there was a “reflux diet” (with step by step cookbook and frozen, ready to heat meals in the grocery freezer) for feeding a baby or child with acid reflux. While there are many foods that may trigger reflux, the reality is, children react differently to the foods they eat. Some children have difficulty tolerating certain types of foods (acidic, spicy, etc) while others children have underlying food allergies and intolerances. Some of the common foods that trigger reflux are listed below. Through trial and error, you and your child will develop a “reflux diet”.

High Acid Foods-May cause irritation and heartburn

Tomatoes-tomato sauce, tomato juice, ketchup
Citrus Fruit-oranges, pineapple, grapefruit, orange juice

Spicy Foods-May cause irritation and heartburn.

Mexican Food
Black Pepper
Chili Powder

Gassy Foods-May cause gas, fullness and digestive discomfort

Brussel Sprouts
Soda, carbonated beverages

Slow to Digest Foods-Foods that are slow to digest stay in the stomach too long, causing fullness, gas bloat and reflux symptoms.

Fried food-french fries, fried chicken
Creamy Salad Dressing
Whipped Cream
Cream Pie
Half and Half, heavy cream
Ice Cream

Feeding Guidelines


Breast feeding:
-Encourage on demand feeding.
-don’t overfeed
-burp often
-Eliminate foods from the nursing mother’s diet that are likely to trigger reflux (spicy foods, acidic foods)
-Consider an elimination diet.
-Encourage good latch on and suck to reduce air intake.

Bottle Feeding:
-Some infants need special formula-soy or dairy free, lactose free or hypoallergenic.
- Delaying the introduction of solids may reduce the development of food intolerances and allergies.
-Small, frequent meals are best.
-Burp often.
-Hold upright during and after meals.
-Special bottles and nipples may be needed to reduce air intake during feeding.


-Small, frequent meals.
- chew carefully.
-eat slowly.
-Avoid exercise-running, jumping for 30 minutes after each meal.
-Consult doctor about the need for vitamins or a nutritional drink such as Pediasure.
- Rule out Lactose intolerance.


-Encourage healthy decision making (chose bottle water rather than soda at a fast food restaurant).
-Have healthy foods/snacks in easy to carry/pre packaged packages (small bag of pretzels rather than potato chips).
-Model healthy eating habits-if you eat a donut and coffee in the carpool lane, how can you expect your teen to sit at the kitchen table with a bowl of cereal?!

Copyright 2006 Pediatric/Adolescent Gastroesophageal Reflux Assoc.

The Food and Drug Administration has a web site with the pH values (acidity) of many foods.
Careful Eating9-06 on letterhead.pdf

Check with your
doctor first!