‘Tis the season of festivities! Brunch catch-ups are a great way to celebrate with friends and family alike, but navigating a cafe menu for low FODMAP options can prove challenging. Knowing some tips on what to order and how to alter the menu to suit your dietary needs can help. Overall, preparation is key! Try to get a hold of the menu ahead of time to see what options are available. You can even call the cafe to ask about any questions or concerns you might have. Dietary requests are common these days and it doesn’t hurt to ask! Here are five tips for low FODMAP brunch options:
1. Eggs on toast
This is a good go-to option because more often than not you can build your breakfast by choosing your bread, eggs, and extras.
- Opt for gluten-free bread, available at most cafes. Keep in mind that not all gluten-free bread is low FODMAP, as many contain soy flour. Check with staff whether the bread contains soy flour to be on the safe side. You can also choose a spelt or traditional sourdough bread or alternatively bring your own.
- When choosing eggs go for poached or fried, but be cautious of of scrambled. Scrambled eggs often contain milk and/or cream. If scrambled is calling your name find out how they are prepared and if it’s possible to make them without milk or cream.
2. Big Breakfast
A brunch classic with all the trimmings! Eggs, mushrooms, bacon, tomatoes, toast, spinach, hash browns you name it!
- Swap the mushrooms and bacon for smoked salmon
- Choose low FODMAP bread such as gluten-free (ensure no soy flour) or spelt/traditional sourdough
- Pick poached eggs
- Keep the tomatoes and spinach
- Hash browns are low FODMAP if they contain no flour but keep in mind they can be high in fat which can trigger IBS symptoms for some people
- Some cafes will let you build your big breakfast so just ask!
Oats are an easy, nutritious option. However, knowing how they’re prepared and what they’re topped with is key.
- Check which milk they use to prepare the oats and if it can be substituted for an almond, lactose-free or soy milk (made from soy protein, not soy beans)
- What fruit is it served with, if any? Avoid high FODMAP varieties such as apple, pear, mango, and dried fruit
- Request to top it with banana and/or berries.
4. Acai bowls
This can be a tricky one! Acai bowls can be low FODMAP, however, it depends on the acai they use, how it is prepared and the accompanying/quantity of fruits.
- Some of the acai products contain inulin; a sweetener and polysaccharide often used in frozen desserts. Ask the friendly staff if they can check if the acai they use contains inulin.
- Choose almond milk if prepared with milk
- Check what other fruit is blended with it and how much. Often Acai bowls contain a lot of fruit so, even if low FODMAP varieties, may trigger symptoms due to excessive fructose intake. For example, if they use a whole banana blended in with the acai blend plus the addition of fruit on top, this will be a large fructose intake. Request for just the acai blend with the almond milk to avoid an excessive fructose intake.
- Request to top with banana, kiwi fruit, and strawberries/raspberries
- Ask for no honey, swap for peanut butter instead
5. Boozy brunch
For many people, alcohol itself causes worsening of IBS symptoms due to alcohol being a gut irritant. When it comes to indulging in a boozy brunch, stick to 1-2 standard drinks and choose these low FODMAP options.
Wine: Red, white wine (dry) or sparkling
Spirits: Vodka, gin, tequila, or whiskey
Beer: If coeliac choose a gluten-free beer
Wine: Sticky, sweet and fortified wines
Spirits: Rum, and liqueurs (including when in cocktails)
Cider: Apple, pear and other fruit-based drinks
Start feeling better now! By signing up to The FODMAP Challenge you will receive meal plans, recipe ideas, and regular support with other resources, to make this as easy for you as possible.