The FODMAP diet is a meal plan for patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), who suffer from stomach pain, indigestion or diarrhea as a result of food intolerance. We work closely with children who suffer from IBS to eliminate foods that cause irritation and help them incorporate a diet that is healthy, manageable and appealing.
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 FODMAPS elimination diet restricts carbohydrates that are fermentable for 2-4 weeks. After symptoms have been reduced and controlled, we counsel patients to slowly reintroduce foods back into their diet in a systematic approach to help the individual identify “trigger” foods and problem food groups. The idea is that fermentable carbohydrates feed the “bad bacteria” in patients’ gut, 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)
Lactose: high lactose dairy
Fructans: wheat, garlic, onion, inulin, and certain vegetables
Galactans: legumes such as beans, lentils, soy
Polyols: sweeteners containing isomalt, mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol, stone fruits such as avocado, apricots, cherries, nectarines, peaches, plums
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 find healthy alternatives that will not irritate the GI system.
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