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What to eat with Crohn's Disease


Unfortunately, there is no 'one size fits all' diet to relieve the symptoms of Crohn's disease. If you are newly diagnosed, one of the most helpful things you can do is keep a food and symptom diary (see Diary Inclusions). This should help you to identify problem foods. You can also try an elimination diet to identify problems. If you have ulcers, active inflammation, narrowing, or have recently undergone surgery, you should probably try the low residue diet.

Some of the most common tricky foods are:
  • Anything high fat
  • High fibre foods
  • Dairy or lactose
  • Processed meats
  • Red meats
  • Nuts, skins and seeds
  • Mushrooms
  • Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, Brussel sprouts)
  • Fibrous vegetables
  • Caffeine
  • Fizzy drinks
  • Sugar

This list is not exhaustive, you may find that there are things not included on this list that you cannot eat. Likewise, there are probably things on here that you can eat. But once you have started a food diary, you can begin by looking for a link between these foods and symptoms.

Don't forget that sometimes the cooking style can affect what you can eat as well- the structure of many foods is altered according to how it is cooked. Generally fried foods are more difficult to digest, or any method which causes the food to crisp up, whereas casseroles and boiled foods may be easier to digest.


Parents will understandably be concerned about what to feed their child with IBD. Here is a Pediatric IBD Balanced Diet, as advised by a pediatric nutrition department.

Breads/Starches: 4+ servings daily

Any starches with less than 2g of fiber are okay. No whole grain pasta crackers, breads, cereals or oatmeal. No wild or brown rice, no potato skin. Acceptable foods include white bread, waffles, donuts, pancakes, french toast, bagels, motzoh, soda/saltine/graham crackers, cooked cereals, dry cereals with corn/rice/oat/refined wheat, white/sweet potatos without skin, mashed potatoes, white rice, macaroni, noodles.

Vegetables: 3+ servings daily

Vegetable juices, tomato sauces, canned and well-cooked vegetables are acceptable. No raw vegetables or undercooked, no corn (whole kernal, cobbed, creamed, or popcorn).

Milk: 3+ servings daily

Whole, low-fat, skin milk, buttermilk, cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese is all find unless your child finds discomfort or is on a lactose restricted diet as well.

Meat, Fish, Poultry and Eggs: 2+ servings daily

Beef, veal, pork, ham, poultry, lamb, liver, fish, shellfish, eggs, peanut butter is all fine. Limit fried meats and high fat meats such as sausage and high fat cold cuts. Whole nuts and large seeds, dried peas, beans or lentils are not acceptable foods for this diet.

Fruit: 2+ servings daily

Fresh fruit with no peel and fully ripe such as bananas, melons, ripened pears, peaches, and canned fruits (except pineapple) are all fine. No peels, berries, or pineapple. Limit juice when having loose or frequent bowel movements, as this may aggravate symptoms.


Butter, margarine, oils, mayonnaise, salad dressing, sour cream, cream cheese, gravy, and cream sauce are generally fine. Limit large amounts of fatty foods.


Sugar, jelly, honey, syrups, molasses, vinegar, herbs, salt, ketchup, olives, pickles, relish, hard candies, ice cream and sherbet, pudding, gelatin, fruit ice or popsicle, and baked chips are acceptable. Limit highly peppered or seasoned/spiced foods.

As always, adjust to your child's (and their tummy's) personal needs!

(children's information originally provided by ShannonSankey)

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