10 Breakfast Ideas for People With Acid Reflux

Certain foods may trigger symptoms

Bowl of bran cereal with strawberries and english muffins

Verywell / Zorica Lakonic

What can you have for breakfast that won't trigger your acid reflux? Breakfast doesn't have to be boring or bland when you have acid reflux. While you may need to avoid some traditional favorites—especially fried food, high-fat meat, and whole-milk dairy products—you can still enjoy a wide variety of foods.

Whole grains, sweet fruit, and savory foods that are acid reflux-friendly can all be part of a healthy breakfast. These sample menus offer some ideas.

1) Tropical Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a heart-healthy food and, since oats absorb stomach acid, it's a good choice for reducing symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Liven up your oatmeal with tropical flavors such as papaya, which contains enzymes called papain that has been touted as a natural treatment for heartburn. The research is not conclusive on papaya as a remedy for GERD, but it seems to have possible benefits. Pair it with banana, another acid reflux-friendly food, for more flavor, and balance the meal with toast.

  • 1 cup hot oatmeal cereal
  • 8 ounces skim milk, water, or a dairy-free alternative
  • 1/2 cup papaya slices
  • 1/2 a banana
  • 2 slices whole-wheat bread
  • 1 tablespoon butter or spread of choicegf

2) Crunchy Whole Grains

While many people with acid reflux find the smoothness of oatmeal and similar soft foods soothing, sometimes a crunchy texture is satisfying. Choose a whole-grain English muffin toasted and topped with avocado or a nut butter. Add peaches, a low-acid fruit to round out the breakfast.

  • 1 English muffin (2 halves)
  • 1 tablespoon nut butter or avocado slices
  • 1/2 cup sliced peaches

3) Best Breakfast Cereal for Acid Reflux

One of the keys to managing GERD is eating small meals so you can avoid putting pressure on your lower esophageal sphincter. Thus, a small bowl of cereal is a good choice, but be sure you choose a low-sugar cereal and whole-grain option. Adding almond milk lets you enjoy a nutty flavor without aggravating acid reflux symptoms with dairy. Consider adding half a handful of raisins and a 1/4 cup of your favorite nuts for sweetness and protein.

  • 1 1/2 cups puffed wheat cereal
  • Almond milk
  • Raisins (handful)
  • 1/4 cup nuts

4) Boiled Eggs

There is some conflicting data about whether or not eggs can trigger GERD symptoms. It may depend on the individual. If you do want to try eggs, though, it's best to avoid eggs fried in butter or oil. Hard or soft-boiled eggs accompanied by a cup of ginger tea, which supports healthy digestion, and a low-sugar granola bar can offer a satisfying and filling breakfast.

  • 1 egg boiled as desired
  • 1 cup ginger tea
  • 1 granola bar

5) Smoothies

A breakfast smoothie for acid reflux is the perfect way to ensure you get adequate vitamins.

Start with a banana and add a choice of frozen fruit. Strawberries and other non-citrus fruit are usually well tolerated. A spoonful of natural peanut butter provides protein and using almond or oat milk will provide creaminess

Smoothies also offer the opportunity to increase vitamins by adding some greens.

  • 2 cups frozen strawberries or other fruit
  • 1 banana
  • 2 cups almond or oat milk
  • 1/4 cup fresh baby spinach
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter

6) Yogurt and Fruit

High-fat dairy often triggers heartburn, but many people find they can tolerate low-fat and non-fat yogurt. There are also a number of non-dairy yogurts to choose from such as coconut and almond milk yogurt. Top a serving with low-acid fruit such as peaches or even chunks of apples and granola for a sweet start to your day.

  • 6 ounces yogurt (low-fat milk or non-dairy options)
  • 1/4 cup fruit
  • 2 tablespoons granola

7) Zucchini Bread

Zucchini is a low acid vegetable with plenty of vitamin power. Grate it into a sweet bread using whole wheat flour and light sweetener for a tasty breakfast treat.

In one bowl mix:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a separate bowl mix:

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and mix in:

  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 3/4 cup of raisins

Bake in a loaf pan at 350 degrees for 55 minutes.

8) Crepes

Crepes are light, thin "pancakes" that you can fill with fruit, yogurt, or other delicious favorites. Add ricotta cheese, a low acid cheese, and spinach, and wrap it up for a filling meal.

  • 2 pre-made crepes
  • 6 ounces of ricotta cheese (divided among the crepes)
  • 1/4 cup fresh baby spinach (divided among the crepes

9) Avocado Toast

Avocados are high in fat, but it's the good kind. They're a low-acid fruit, and the smooth texture is appealing to some people with acid reflux. They are also packed with antioxidants.

  • 2 slices whole-wheat toast
  • 1/2 avocado spread onto toast

10) Egg Whites

Some people with GERD find that the yolk of the egg aggravates their symptoms. The good news is that you can easily enjoy just the egg whites.

To avoid butter and oil, eat just the white of a hard boiled egg. A light scramble in a little bit of butter or coconut oil is another option.

Breakfast Foods to Avoid With Acid Reflux

Acid reflux symptoms may be triggered by spicy foods, fatty foods, fried foods, mint, chocolate, tomato-based foods, onion, garlic, coffee, alcohol, and citrus fruits.

To prevent GERD symptoms avoid these common breakfast foods:

  • High-fat breakfast meats such as sausage and bacon
  • Omelets, eggs, and hash browns fried in butter or oil and containing spices
  • Pastries such as doughnuts and Danishes
  • Orange juice, grapefruit juice, and tomato juice
  • Bloody Marys, which contain spicy tomato-based mix and alcohol
  • Coffee and cocoa

It also helps to have smaller meals since meals with large amounts of food and calories can trigger acid reflux.

No matter which GERD-friendly foods you choose, make sure to stay well hydrated throughout the day.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Are eggs good for acid reflux?

    Some research shows that eggs protect against acid reflux. Other studies show that they aggravate symptoms. Cooking methods can help lower your risk. For example, make scrambled eggs without butter or oil.

  • How should I sit if I have acid reflux?

    Avoid slouching while eating, which can block food and make acid flow backward. After eating, stay upright. Wait to lie down until your food is digested.

  • Does drinking water help acid reflux?

    If it's alkaline water, yes. Water that has an alkaline pH (such as a level of 8.8) acts on pepsin, an enzyme that causes acid reflux symptoms. Alkaline water makes it inactive, reducing your symptoms.

7 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  2. Kubo A, Block G, Quesenberry CP Jr, Buffler P, Corley DA. Dietary guideline adherence for gastroesophageal reflux diseaseBMC Gastroenterol. 2014;14:144. doi:10.1186/1471-230X-14-144

  3. Muss C, Mosgoeller W, Endler T. Papaya preparation (Caricol®) in digestive disorders. Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2013;34(1):38-46.

  4. Wu P, Zhao XH, Ai ZS, et al. Dietary intake and risk for reflux esophagitis: a case-control study. Gastroenterology Research and Practice. 2013;2013:e691026. doi:10.1155%2F2013%2F691026

  5. Antunes C, Curtis SA. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2019 Jan-. 

  6. Wu KL, Rayner CK, Chuah SK, et al. Effect of liquid meals with different volumes on gastroesophageal reflux disease. J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2014;29(3):469-73.

  7. Koufman JA, Johnston N. Potential benefits of ph 8. 8 alkaline drinking water as an adjunct in the treatment of reflux disease. Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 2012;121(7):431-434. doi:10.1177/000348941212100702

Additional Reading

By Sharon Gillson
 Sharon Gillson is a writer living with and covering GERD and other digestive issues.