The FODMAP diet is a meal plan for patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), who suffer from stomach pain, indigestion or diarrhea from a variety of foods. We work closely with children with IBS to eliminate foods that cause irritation and incorporate a diet that is healthy, manageable and appealing to each child.
Developed by researchers in Australia only about a decade ago, the FODMAPs diet is still somewhat underused among dietitians because it can seem so restrictive. The diet eliminates a number of foods, from dairy to gluten, for a period of about two weeks. Then, patients slowly reintroduce foods back into their diet in order to see what does or does not irritate their stomach. The idea is that some carbohydrates feed the “bad bacteria” in patients’ guts, causing pain and irritation. The goal is to identify those fermenting foods.
FODMAPs stands for Fermentable Oligo-Di-Monosaccharides and Polyols, which basically includes some kinds of carbohydrates:
Fructose: fruits, honey, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
Fructans: wheat, garlic, onion, inulin
Galactans: legumes such as beans, lentils, soy beans
Polyols: sweeteners containing isomalt, mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol, stone fruits such as avocado, apricots, cherries, nectarines, peaches, plums
Our patients to try the FODMAPs diet find a solution that is be both effective and necessary. By eliminating so many foods at the start of the diet, we identify the source of a patient’s stomach problem. By eliminating foods, we also eliminate the guesswork. The whole diet takes a few weeks and about three visits.
We also provide meal plans to make the diet more manageable. Plus, since the diet is food restrictive but not calorie restrictive, there is no reason a child on the FODMAPs diet should be hungry. The key is to finding healthy alternatives that will not irritate the stomach.
And then, at the end of the treatment, patients leave knowing exactly what foods they can tolerate.
Here’s a sample daily menu for a child during the restrictive period of a FODMAPs diet:
Breakfast: Plain Cheerios with lactose free milk, half banana and a hard-boiled egg
Lunch: Skippy Peanut Butter on gluten free bread with natural fruit preserves, carrot sticks, potato chips and lactose free milk
Dinner: Oven roasted chicken, baked potato with butter, green salad with homemade vinaigrette, ½ cup strawberries and lactose free milk
Snacks: Popcorn and lactose free yogurt
Contact us to find out more about the FODMAP diet for IBS