We know that low FODMAP meal planning can be daunting, particularly if you have only recently been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and are new to the FODMAP diet. Here are some of our tips and tricks to get you organised in the kitchen as well as a sample low FODMAP meal plan to help you plan ahead
Tips for low FODMAP meal planning
- Don’t think that you have to change your diet entirely. Instead, think about the meals that you would usually like to eat (e.g. spaghetti bolognaise or Thai green curry) and how it could best be adapted by swapping out foods that trigger your IBS with low FODMAP alternatives. Gluten-free alternatives and garlic-infused olive oils are great swaps for those fearful of losing wheat and garlic-based products!
- Educate yourself on label reading and how to spot FODMAPs in packaged foods so that you feel confident while shopping during step 1 of the FODMAP diet
- Spend some time on the weekend writing out what meals you want for the week (either on paper, in your phone notes, or even a whiteboard), from there you can write your FODMAP grocery list.
- Preparing some healthy low FODMAP meals in advance (Sundays are usually a good day for this) is also a great way to keep organised and avoid the stress of cooking or thinking of ideas throughout the week. So many delicious meals are easily frozen and are a real time-saver later on.
- If you are stuck for low FODMAP recipe inspiration, check out the Monash FODMAP recipe page. This has more recipes than our app (due to storage capacity in the app) and is full of options that will suit the whole family
- Get your grocery staples (see below) sorted early and use the Monash FODMAP app to help you create a low FODMAP food list
Low FODMAP Grocery staples:
- Grains: rice, rice noodles, gluten-free pasta, spelt sourdough/gluten-free bread, quinoa, oats
- Dairy/alternatives: lactose-free yoghurt or milk if required, soy milk made from soy protein, almond milk fortified with calcium, firm cheeses
- Proteins: meat, chicken or fish that is not marinated or crumbed, eggs, firm tofu, canned legumes, seeds, walnuts, brazil nuts
- Vegetables: Aubergine/eggplant, green beans, bok choy, broccoli, carrot, cucumber, lettuce, potato, tomato, zucchini**Check the app for low serve sizes
- Fruits: Cantaloupe, kiwi fruit (green), mandarin, orange, pineapple, firm bananas, blueberries, raspberries**Check the app for low serve sizes
- Oils/fats: olive oil, garlic infused olive oil, butter
- Condiments/sauces: mustard, peanut butter, soy sauce, tahini, tomato sauce, vinegars, Worcestershire sauce, miso paste
Example of a low FODMAP meal plan
- Breakfast: Cheese & tomato on toast
- Lunch: Carrot fritters* served with poached eggs & rocket
- Dinner: Grilled salmon fillet with soy sauce, Asian greens (bok choy, choy sum) & brown rice
Tip: Choose 1 or two lunch options from our meal plan and make a bigger batch at the start of the week, divide out into containers and your low FODMAP lunches are sorted for the whole week!
For more tips on low FODMAP snacking, check out our blog here: https://www.monashfodmap.com/blog/low-fodmap-snacks/
It’s important to remember that the stricter low FODMAP phase of the diet (step 1) is only intended to be short term (2-6 weeks). Once you have completed step 2: reintroduction and found your own version of a personalised low FODMAP diet, you will be eating a wider range of foods. We also know that stress can exacerbate symptoms in individuals with IBS - so if meal planning is something that causes you stress, try to spend some time on the weekend finding meals you might like during the week. If you eat some higher FODMAP meals by accident, don’t let it get you down! It won’t undo all of your hard work and is part of the learning process.
As always, we recommend seeing a low FODMAP trained dietitian who can help ensure your meal planning is nutritionally adequate and minimise any unwanted symptoms from FODMAPs. Click here to find an IBS trained dietitian near you.