Before the low FODMAP diet entered our lives, I heavily depended on easy products. I felt mildly bad, but I generally made decisions on products based on my daughter’s health and well being. I wasn’t buying TV dinners and chips, but I used precooked chicken, packaged sweets, and lots of sauces.
In the beginning stages of my daughter’s digestive issues, her dietician told me to let her help cook. It didn’t happen because most of the food she ate was already cooked. It wasn’t until she was put on the low-FODMAP diet that I was forced to stop relying on convenience items for her.
Here is a list of the items I miss the most and what I’ve replaced it with.
1. Chicken nuggets
Chicken nuggets are most moms’ little secret. No one likes to admit that they feed their kids these precooked and heavily processed pieces of meat, but they are so convenient. When it comes to low FODMAPs, chicken nuggets and most precooked meats include garlic and onion or “natural flavors” (that contain garlic and onion) which are not allowed on the diet.
So what did I replace for chicken nuggets? Chicken. I know shocker. And guess what, it doesn’t take that much longer to cook. And another guess what, you can cook and freeze them then they become as convenient as what you buy in the grocery store. My daughter has never minded her chicken nuggets being sans breading, but there are many options for breading such as panko, rice flour, and coconut flour.
2. Packaged sweets
I had limited my daughter to 24 grams of sugar a day for the last year at the suggestion of her dietician. Because of that, there were a lot of traditional sweets she wasn’t eating. Instead, I was giving her low sugar items, that as it turns out, were loaded with sugar alcohols. Sugar alcohols are sweeteners that replace sugar, but they are not FODMAP friendly and cause many digestive issues such as diarrhea. In fact, you’ve probably heard someone say to eat sugar free candy to combat constipation.
The packaged sweets my daughter ate were mostly fruit gummies that were apple and pear based, cereal bars loaded with sugar alcohols such as inulin and sorbitol, and and applesauce (apples are a no no on the low-FODMAP diet thanks to fructose and polyols).
What did I replace packaged sweets with? Not much. Ive successfully given her dried-banana chip, lactose free and coconut yogurt, and dark chocolate. I did find some paleo cookies and UDIs blueberry muffins recently in the Walmart freezer section. When she’s complaining about wanting a snack, I usually tell her to have fruit, cheese, and popcorn before giving her other things.
BBQ sauce and ketchup on meat and vegetables and pasta sauce and cheese on pasta. These are the things that made my life so much easier at lunch and dinner time. Who doesn’t like these sauces? My daughter’s intestines is who. I can’t think of many people who would blame me for feeding these things to my kids. But all of these sauces we used have garlic and onion and some sugar alcohols.
I’ve replaced these items two ways. First, I started making some of the sauces from scratch. Cheese sauce for macaroni and cheese is a no brained. Cut up some cheddar (naturally lactose free) and melt it over noodles or broccoli. The other way took some research to find some FODMAP friendly companies such as FODY and Casa De Sante.