Food is essential to our overall wellbeing. It is fundamental in staying healthy and keeping illnesses at bay, and it is integral in managing existing conditions. When it comes to children, getting them on a healthy diet is challenging enough. Add juvenile arthritis to the equation, a nutritious meal plan becomes even more difficult.
In a recent blog post, FoodFacts.com shared a creamy pasta recipe with omega-3-rich salmon. Omega-3 contains anti-inflammatory fatty acids, making the dish great for children with the most common and the inflammatory form of arthritis, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA). However, children will need more than just salmon pasta to achieve a balanced diet that will help them cope with their autoimmune disease.
Although foods do not cure JRA, proper nutrition reduces children’s risk of complications. Some of the known complications include, but are not limited to, premature onset of osteoarthritis, joint flexibility loss, cartilage destruction, joint deformity and even permanent disability. A balanced diet provides children the nutrients that prevent and/or reduce arthritic symptoms while supporting their overall wellness.
When it comes to food, the general principle is to keep a variety of whole foods, fresh produce and less processed, “fast” foods. Below are a list of foods that are highly recommended for children with JRA:
- albacore tuna
- lake trout
- canola oil
- brown rice
- bulgur wheat
Good sources of phytonutrients
A heaping serving of fruits and vegetables are always helpful, but keep in mind that those that contain alkaloid solanine such as onions and potatoes should be avoided. Additionally, weight maintenance is important. Therefore, these recommended foods plus regular exercise are imperative in dealing with JRA.
Note: Dietary changes should not be made without doctor’s guidance. Use the All My Food Facts app to help manage your child’s JRA by becoming ingredient-aware. Get it on iTunes, Google Play and Amazon!