Watching portions on the low FODMAP diet.

One night my daughter was counting her strawberries for her snack and said, "there are only seven." My husband told her that if she cut them in half, she'd have 14. We couldn't contain our laughter when she annoyingly replied that she wasn't allowed to have 14 strawberries.

Not many kids can tell you how much fruit they're *allowed* to have. What kind of parents limit fruit? The parents of kids with digestive issues. The terrible thing is that weeks later I figured out that ten strawberries is the adult portion and afterward she had to be limited to five strawberries a day.

Examples of Portions I have memorized out of duty are 1/2 a medium carrot, 5 strawberries, 10 blueberries, 5 raspberries, 1/2 a cup of rice, 1 slice of gluten free bread, 1/2 cup of rice cereal, 1/2 cup lactose free milk, 1/4 cup of lactose free ice cream.

The foods above are foods my daughter eats on a regular basis. To check other foods, I look them up on the Monash University Low FODMAP Diet app. It was an $8 app recommended by my daughter's nutritionist. I'm pretty sure that since I use it everyday, it was a pretty good purchase. The only downfall is that since it's from an Australian university, it doesn't have some American items.

So why do the portion sizes matter? The easy answer is that a product that is low FODMAP multiplied a certain amount becomes high FODMAP. In the picture below, see how 1/4 of butternut squash is low FODMAP, but 1/2 cup is too high in Oligos and polyols and could make a person with digestive issues sick(er). It's most important to stick to the portion sizes in the elimination period of the diet whereas there's more room for experimenting filling a successful reintroduction.

We are still in the elimination phase, so what does that mean for my little one? It means that her school lunch will lovingly be measured to contain one piece of gluten free bread, turkey, 20 grams of hard cheddar cheese, 1/4 cup of pretzels, 1/2 medium carrot, and one paleo chocolate chip cookie. Measure, measure, measure. Observe, observe, observe – that's our life right now.


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