Monday, 28 November 2016

A Guide to Low FODMAP Meal Planning

By Lyndal McNamara (Dietitian) 

Meal planning is a great skill to have, not only for those with special dietary needs, but anyone who leads a busy lifestyle (let’s be honest, that’s most of us!).

As a dietitian with IBS, planning my meals in advance not only saves precious time during the week but also helps ensure that my low FODMAP diet is nutritionally balanced and well thought out (helping me avoid uncomfortable mistakes!).

Here is an example of what my typical day looks like. I like to use the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating (AGHE) to help plan out my day according to the number of serves I need of different foods from the five food groups. As a 23 year old female, the AGHE recommends that each day I aim for:

-          5 serves vegetables/legumes/beans

-          2 serves of fruit

-          6 serves of grain/cereal foods

-          2 ½ serves meat/alternatives

-          2 ½ serves dairy foods

Check out the AGHE website for more information about the 5 food groups and how much you need each day (this varies depending on your age, gender and activity level)

Sample Meal Plan:


Porridge with yoghurt, cinnamon & banana
  • ½ cup cooked rolled oats (120g)
  • 1 tsp. chia seeds (5g)
  • 1 tbs. low-fat milk (25g)*
  • low-fat natural yoghurt (100g)*
  • 1 medium banana (100g)
  •  Sprinkle of cinnamon

  • Small handful mixed nuts (30g)

Moroccan chicken & roast vegetable salad:
  • chicken tenderloins (40g)
  • ¼ cup roasted sweet potato (35g)
  • ¼ cup roasted red capsicum (26g)
  • ½ cup baby spinach leaves (19g)
  • ¼ cup canned chickpeas (42g)
  • 1 tbs. garlic infused oil (to cook chicken and vegetables)
  • 1 tbs. Moroccan spice mix (cumin, coriander, cinnamon & ginger
  •  ½ cup cooked quinoa
Afternoon Tea

  • 2 x wholemeal crackers (18g) 
  • 2 slices low-fat cheese (40g)

Beef stir-fry
  •  Beef stir-fry strips (65g)
  •  ¼ cup red capsicum (26g)
  • ¼ cup carrot (30g)
  • ¼ cup green beans (43g) 
  •  ¼ cup bok choy (22g)
  • 1 tsp grated ginger (3g)
  •  ½ red chilli (14g)
  • 2 tsp oyster sauce (10g)
  • 2 tsp soy sauce (10g)
  • 1 cup steamed brown rice

  • Tub of low-fat yoghurt (200g)* 
  • 1 cup strawberries (140g)

*I am not lactose intolerant so use regular dairy products. Please substitute for a lactose free alternative if you malabsorb lactose.

-          Sugar
-          Saturated fat
Dietary fibre
Total FODMAPs (excluding lactose)

Meal Planning tips: 
  • Set aside a few hours each weekend to think about the coming week and plan your meals using the Monash App. Decide what you will have for dinner each night (at a bare minimum) and use this plan to write a shopping list. 
  • Busy week ahead? Why not spend a few hours each Sunday afternoon cooking 1-2 healthy low FODMAP meals to set aside or freeze for those hectic weeknights! 
  • Pre-prepare and stock your fridge with healthy low FODMAP snacks such as tubs of low-fat yoghurt (lactose free if needed), small zip-lock bags of low FODMAP nuts, cut up vegetable sticks (carrot, cucumber, capsicum) with Roasted Red Pepper & Pumpkin Hummus or Low FODMAP Tzatziki Dip, low FODMAP fruit, cheese and plain crackers etc. 

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