An important part of managing inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) symptoms is diet and nutrition. Proper nutrition helps children with Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis grow and maintain healthy weights. It also helps children avoid nutrient deficiencies (low levels of nutrients in the body). In many cases, dietary changes help relieve IBD symptoms. They may also help your child reach remission (period of time without symptoms), especially in children with Crohn’s.
Your child’s care team recommends a visit with a registered dietitian (RD) in Pediatric Gastroenterology at Mass General for Children (MGfC). An RD can help you learn general diet guidelines for IBD. They can also help you learn about therapeutic diets that can be used alone or with other treatments (like medication). The care team can help create a diet based on your child’s needs and the most recent research around diet and IBD. Below is a list of possible diets to think about with the care team.
|Diet||How it helps||Foods to eat||Foods to remove||Length of time|
|Exclusive Enteral Nutrition (EEN)||
||Liquid protein shakes, given by mouth or through a feeding tube||All solid foods||8 weeks. Then, solid foods are slowly introduced over a 2-3 week period.|
|Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD)||
||As long as you would like|
|Crohn’s Disease Exclusion Diet (CDED)||
||6 weeks. Then, the care team will help create a long-term nutrition plan for your child|
Rev. 2/2020. Mass General for Children and Massachusetts General Hospital do not endorse any of the brands listed on this handout. This handout is intended to provide health information so that you can be better informed. It is not a substitute for medical advice and should not be used to treatment of any medical conditions.