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Anti-Inflammatory Diet for kids with JIA

No diet can cure arthritis but adding and avoiding certain foods may help control inflammation.

Although there’s no “miracle diet” that can cure juvenile arthritis, following an anti-inflammatory diet can help. That means loading up on certain foods and avoiding others to manage inflammation - the root cause of arthritis pain. While it’s important to note that most arthritis nutrition studies focus on adults, experts believe following an anti-inflammatory diet is a good idea for kids and teens, too.

Inflammation (inflam-ashun) is the body's response to getting hurt - it can come in the form of swelling redness, pain and heat.

anti-inflammatory (antee-inflamma-toree) foods are foods that reduce your body's response to pain, redness, swelling and heat. 


Give your body the nutrients it needs to fight inflammation from the inside.

Studies show a diet rich in these foods may help reduce inflammation:

  • Dark leafy greens (kale, spinach, etc.)

  • Broccoli

  • Cherries

  • Berries (blueberries, blackberries, strawberries)

  • Healthy fats (extra virgin olive oil, avocados, walnuts, almonds, pistachios)

  • Fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines)

  • Whole grains (100% whole wheat bread, quinoa, brown rice, steel-cut oatmeal, buckwheat)

  • Beans (black beans, chick peas, kidney beans)

  • Lentils

  • Onions 

These foods

help protect




Foods high in saturated fat and sugar and low in fibre trigger inflammation.

These include the highly processed or packaged “junk” foods you usually find in the middle aisles of the grocery store. 

  • Microwaveable meals

  • “Just add water” meals like ramen and easy macaroni and cheese

  • Junk Food / Takeaways

  • Frozen pizza

  • Fried foods (French fries, fish sticks, onion rings, fried mozzarella sticks)

  • White bread or anything else made with white flour like cake, doughnuts, cookies and pastries

  • Red meat

  • Sweets

  • Chips

  • Fizzy (even diet!) and energy drinks

  • Sugary snack foods and cereals

If you’re not sure something is good or bad to eat, check the ingredient list.

Stay away from anything made with:

Partially hydrogenated oils or trans fats
High fructose corn syrup
Food coloring
Ingredients you can’t pronounce












In a nutshell

We are the only body in our country that provides non-medical support for arthritis patients, their families and carers.

To do this we are involved in a wide range of education and support programmes, in providing access to information about  diseases, and by advocating the interests of people with arthritis in government, medical and media circles.

Get in touch

Questions and requests for information from members and non-members are welcome.

Unit 8, Inospace - Island Works, 22 Cumberland Rd, Paarden Eiland, Cape Town, 7405

Available 08:30 – 16:00 Monday–Friday

Tel: +27 21 425 2344

Email: info@arthritis.org.za

Public Benefit Organisation (PBO) Number: 930011128

Non Profit Organisation Registration Number: 002-847-NPO

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HELPLINE: +27 861 30 30 30