Cure JM Foundation 2016 Annual Conference Recap

Health and Nutrition for JM Kids and Their Families Workshop

Registered dietitian and JM Mom, Julie Shevlin, presented a very popular session on health and nutrition for JM kids and their families. Julie presented information on the following:

  • Nutrition guidelines
  • Specific nutrition considerations for JM kids
  • Popular diets and confusion in the media
  • Feeding the JM child and family dynamics

Julie talked about how to apply the nutrition recommendations sometimes provided by hospitals and dietitians and make them work for your family in the 'real world.'

Julie's Presentation

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Quick reference guide on snack foods for JM Kids on steroids

“My Child’s Hungry All the Time!”

Tips and foods that can be offered to help deal with an increased appetite from steroids:

  • Drink 8oz water/flavored water before meals and snacks.
  • Chew on sugarless gum between meals and snacks.
  • Have a no-food-in-the-car rule to ‘buy time’ time between snacking.
  • Have low calorie, low sodium foods available (see list)
  • Fill your home with ‘real food.’ Avoid buying many packaged highly processed foods that are easy to over eat.

Low-calorie, Low-sodium Snack Choices

Fruit (any):

Fresh, frozen, canned (in its own juice), dried 2-3 Tbsp

Pre-washed, cut, sliced, ready-to-eat, soaked in water or orange juice to stay fresh

Frozen blueberries or other small fruit

Frozen fruit juice popsicles/ice cubes


Baked apple

Vegetables: (avoid canned or those frozen in sauces)

Clean and sliced jicama, peppers, pea pods, carrots, edamame, etc soaked in water, if needed, to stay fresh.

Salt-free pickles (vegetables with vinegar mix)

Baked kale (baked crisp, sprinkled with herbs or a dash of salt)

Baked squash with Allspice

Baked potato with herbs, unsalted butter and/or parmesan cheese


Fruit-infused water

Sugar-free juice/flavored water
Hot/iced herbal tea (caffeine free)

Herbal tea slushie (turn your favorite tea into a slushie by adding a cup of ice and blending)

Fruit/veg smoothies (avoid regular tomato juice or vegetable juice cocktails)


Air-popped popcorn (plain or flavored with creative no-salt seasonings)

Rice cakes, wheat/rice puffed cereal

Low calorie gelatin

Sugar free popsicles

Pumpkin seeds

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Nutrition Tips for JM Families

Consider asking a friend to set up a care calendar through friends, school, church, etc. Include meals, childcare for grocery shopping or appointments, time away from children, etc.

Consider online grocery shopping and home delivery, if needed, to avoid taking your JM child to the grocery store.

Some kids respond to rewards/job charts. Points can be earned for healthy habits such as stretching, completing 3 physical therapy activities, trying a new food, helping with dinner, doing an act of kindness, etc. Rewards can be given in stickers, screen time, choosing dinner, a board game, extra reading time, or special time with Mom or Dad.

Online Nutrition Resources for JM Families

Nutrition & Physical Activity

General  - USDA website for public-friendly nutrition information including 10-Tips series, food safety, and SuperTracker. - The Family Dinner Project: Tips and ideas to help families start eating meals together; supported by Harvard University.

For Kids: - MyPlate kids' place, USDA. Includes activities for school age kids. - This site has activities for kids (9-12) and information for parents. - Through Center for Disease Control, nutrition and activity information for school age kids.

Food Allergies - Run by Allergy Adapt Inc. and based off of several books about cooking/eating with multiple food allergies. Warning: They try to sell website viewers their book, but there are also plenty of free recipes on the website.

Food Safety - How to protect yourself from foodborne illness.

Nutrient References - USDA’s public-friendly “foodapedia” designed to help people keep track of their nutrient/kcal intake. - Research-based information on fruits and vegetables explaining why each one is healthy.

Vitamin Safety - U.S. Pharmacopeia Convention is a nonprofit organization which tests identity, purity, and strength of drugs, food ingredients, and vitamin supplements. Standards are regulated by FDA. - Look up the safety and side effects of supplements.

Cooking & Recipes - Cynthia Lair (from Bastyr University) walks viewers through recipes and basic cooking sProduce for Better Health Foundation (non-profit partnered with CDC). Recipes are designed to help consumers increase fruit and vegetable consumption - Produce for Better Health Foundation (non-profit partnered with CDC). Recipes are designed to help consumers increase fruit and vegetable consumption Fruits & Vegetables. - Michelle Babb, Seattle-based RD’s website. Whole food, anti-inflammatory; many are gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian. - Includes My Plate examples and gluten-free section. - Low Sodium. - Kid-friendly recipes - Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics public friendly site for child nutrition advice. - What’s cooking: Site has easy recipes with cost/serving, easy ingredients, & key nutrient analysis. Easy to find multiple recipes by typing in ingredient in the search box. - Budget-conscience recipes. - Free PDF download for Good and Cheap cookbook/Eat Well on $4/day. - Spend Smart, Eat Smart Iowa State University Extension recipes page; recipes reflect ISU's focus on feeding people and keeping them healthy. Offers cost/serving information for each recipe. - Healthy recipes Food Hero. Oregon State University Extension: Includes English and Spanish recipes including sections for 5 Ingredients or Less, Cultures, and Low Sodium. - Food $ense: Washington State University Extension. Recipe site meant to help with teaching classes. - Department of Health and Human Services: Recipes in Under 30 minutes based on Dietary Guidelines for Americans. - Kid friendly recipes from Share our Strength organization. - Meal plans and costs, shopping lists and recipes using whole foods, based on SNAP budget for family of 4.