With Christmas fast approaching I’m sure your calendar is marked off with many social events, celebrations and festive parties. Below are some handy hints to help you enjoy these Christmas celebrations in a FODMAP friendly way.
With the festive events and celebrations offer to bring a plate of food to contribute – this way you can ensure the meal caters to your low FODMAP needs – particularly if you are unaware of the other food that will be offered. Alternatively you could enjoy a healthy meal or snack prior to the event.
Be aware of hidden sources of FODMAPs. Many traditional Christmas desserts are a challenge as wheat and dried fruit are high-FODMAP. For example fruit mince pies are made with dried fruit and can contribute to digestive symptoms. However, you don’t need to feel that you are missing out as there are plenty of FODMAP friendly festive foods that can be enjoyed over the Christmas period while keeping your tummy happy (keep an eye out for the upcoming blog with Christmas recipes)
Opt for Low FODMAP options for the main meal. Traditional Christmas protein choices such as ham, turkey, chicken and seafood are all low FODMAP. However it is important to be aware of hidden FODMAP sources such as packet gravy mixes and meat stuffing as they often contain onion and garlic. To avoid upset stomach or bowels, avoid these or make your own from scratch (eg gravy can be made using the roast meat juices, cornflour and seasonal herbs and spices, garlic infused olive oil (for example Cobram). Accompany your protein choices with tasty salads incorporating lettuce, radiccio, fennel, baby spinach, rocket, capsicum, cucumber, beautiful multi-coloured tomatoes, roasted pumpkin, toasted pecans or walnuts, kale, segmented orange, bean shoots and sprouts and haloumi or fetta cheese.
Download the “FODMAP Friendly” app. Although it can be overwhelming learning and identifying the FODMAP content of foods downloading the app: The Monash University low FODMAP app on to your smart phone can be a quick go – to guide to identify the high and low FODMAP foods. This way you can double-check if a food will affect you and can help guide your food choices over the festive season.
Be aware of your alcohol choices. Sweet whites, rum, sherry and cider can cause a host of digestive symptoms. Lower FODMAP choices include: dry red, dry white, champagne, whisky, vodka and gin with mixes such as lime and soda. Nevertheless it is important to be aware that alcohol can worsen digestive symptoms and is recommended to drink a few alcoholic beverages.
Be aware of high FODMAP drinks. Non-alcoholic drinks can also be high FODMAP. Diet soft drinks and Juices such as apple, pomegranate and orange juice fall into this category. Instead opt for cranberry juice, tonic water or soda water (you can try mixing soda water with cranberry juice and infusing it with lime slices, seasonal berries and sprigs of mint for a refreshing festive beverage).
Canape’s and Summer Fruits
Choose Low FODMAP nibbles and canapés. Swap the wheat crackers for plain rice crackers and add capsicum, carrot sticks, green beans, radish, cucumber to your nibble platter. Also, hard cheeses and ripened cheeses (such as brie, feta and cheddar) are generally well tolerated. However, be aware of dips that may contain onion and garlic and hummus as they are high FODMAP. As an alternative you could try having pesto, tapenade or sundried tomato dip.
Sorry…… summer fruits are off limits. Stone fruit and mangoes are considered high FODMAP fruits and can causes digestive discomfort. To stick to your low FODMAP diet over the Christmas period choose blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and kiwi fruit or a summer citrus salad.
Keep an eye out for my upcoming blog … Festive low FODMAP recipes