Healthy Eating

Healthy Eating

Drug therapy is only one part of the management of children with arthritis. General measures include a healthy diet making sure that the amount and type of food eaten will give enough calories and protein for growth, and calcium to keep the bones as strong as possible. Children with JIA can have trouble with their appetite, so it’s important to make sure they are eating enough to maintain a healthy weight and energy levels. Carrying extra body weight puts additional stress through weight bearing joints.

A dietitian may be able to assist if your child is having issues associated with diet and nutrition. A balanced diet is important. 

Vitamin Supplements

If your child is eating well there is no need to give vitamins. If the appetite is poor, there is no harm in giving a multivitamin preparation. Similarly, a single dose of cod liver oil (Omega-3) each day may reassure parents that the child is getting enough vitamin D.

An extra supplement of calcium as well as vitamin D may be necessary to minimise thinning of the bones in children on corticosteroids. Taking calcium and vitamin D can help build strong bones.

The vitamin B9 (Folic acid) is usually prescribed when taking Methotrexate, it helps to reduce side effects. It is normally prescribed to be taken on a different day to Methotrexate.

Some supplements that adults take may help children too. These include curcumin, a substance found in turmeric, and omega-3 fish oil supplements, which may help with joint pain and stiffness.

Keeping a child’s gut bacteria healthy is also important. Kid friendly probiotic foods include plain yogurt, kefir, kombucha drink – it contains probiotics, which are healthy bacteria for the gut and fermented vegetables like raw sauerkraut.

Always discuss supplements and vitamins with the child’s doctor. Some may cause side effects and interact with other medications. 

For more information clink on the link below

Arthritis Australia – Heathy eating