Updated June 2022 by Serena Bansal Registered Dietitian BSc Hons
Christmas is around the corner, it can be a busy time with lots of food and along with this can come stress, especially for IBS sufferers.
Even though it’s Christmas we can’t ignore the fact that IBS symptoms are likely to be worse in this period, and you may still have to stick to your low FODMAP diet, so that you can have the best time possible.
The Christmas dinner may be daunting on a low FODMAP diet but we’ve come up with some simple ideas and changes in order to make it as enjoyable as ever!
A Christmas menu that will be suitable and delicious for all!
Table of Contents
Pâté with gluten free bread and side salad
- Suitable pâté products include*:
Tesco Smooth Smoked Scottish Salmon Pate 100G
Waitrose Duck Pâté with St Clements Glaze
Tesco Orkney Crab pâté 100G
*Note, try not to have more than 3 tablespoons of pâté so that you stay within the limits for lactose.
Shrimp cocktail with gluten free bread and side salad
Shrimp cocktail may seem innocent but it is high FODMAP. This is due to the onion and garlic found within the sauce. But you have alternatives to use;
- Many mayonnaise brands are low FODMAP including popular brands; Heinz, Sainsbury’s and Hellmann’s.
- For ketchup, try Fody’s low FODMAP ketchup.
- Always check for the following: glucose-fructose syrup, fructose, honey, apple, onion and garlic.
Homemade vegetable soup with gluten free bread
- To make the base of a soup, onions and leeks can be replaced with safe options such as the green part of a spring onion or 1 stick of celery.
- Suitable vegetables which would make a nice soup include: carrots, potatoes, broccoli (heads only), parsnips, swede, peppers or tomatoes.
- Examples of spices and herbs which could be used include: coriander, thyme, rosemary or chilli.
- Knorr also make a range of suitable stock type products (check ingredients for FODMAPs).
- See website for low FODMAP chicken stock and also recipe for a low FODMAP vegetable soup for more ideas.
- Gluten free bread. Margarines, low fat spreads and butter are all fine in small amounts even if you are lactose intolerant.
- Suitable salad includes lettuce, rocket, tomatoes and cucumber.
Traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings
- All plain meat is low FODMAP (e.g turkey, gammon, beef, chicken).
- Shop bought pigs in blankets will more than likely not be suitable, but can easily be homemade just make sure to buy plain pork sausages (make sure they are gluten free and do not contain garlic or onion) and wrap with bacon and bake with herbs for more flavour.
- Shop bought stuffing will unfortunately contain wheat, onion and garlic. It can be made using gluten free bread crumbs, plain sausage meat (GF) and herbs. Check out this recipe.
- Gluten free Yorkshire puddings are available to buy for example from the Tesco free from range. They do contain milk but just a small amount which should not affect you, even if you do have a lactose intolerance. You can still use your Grandma’s Yorkshire pudding recipe by simply swapping the flour for gluten free flour. Recipes are available online – Gluten free Yorkshire puddings.
- Suitable vegetables include; carrots, parsnips, red cabbage (please check Sauerkraut for FODMAPs as it is usually made alongside apple which means it will be high FODMAP), sprouts (no more than 2), broccoli (heads only), swede, turnip or potatoes. Please check the Kings College Low FODMAP app for portion sizes.
- If making mash potatoes, then a small amount of butter and cream is suitable even for those that are lactose intolerant.
- Cauliflower cheese is off the menu! (too much oligosaccharide here!)
- Sauces can be tricky as they often have hidden ingredients such as onion and garlic so you need to be careful with these. Make sure to check the label for onion, garlic, apple, and fructose!
- Cranberry sauce is suitable if all of the above has been checked.
- Heinz mint and horseradish sauce is fine, as is many others just check the label.
- Bread sauce would have to be made from scratch with gluten free bread, switching onions to the green part of a spring onion and using lactose free milk.
- Homemade gravy is absolutely is your best bet to ensuring a low FODMAP option. A simple recipe is as follows:
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- 3-4tbsp water
- 1/2tsp Compton’s gravy salt
- Roast meat juices
Salmon with all the trimmings
If you are pescatarian then salmon (or other fish) may be a nice alternative with many of the trimmings as above!
Nut roast with all the trimmings
Many shop bought nut roasts contain problem foods but you could make a homemade alternative. Many recipes can be manipulated to be suitable – Nut roast recipe. Make sure to be aware of the following:
- Replace pistachios and cashews with chestnuts, almonds (<10/portion), walnuts, brazil nuts or pine nuts.
- Replace onion and garlic with herbs and spices. Thyme, rosemary, ginger or parsley.
- Make sure that only suitable fruit and vegetables are used (no mushrooms, squash, apricots or apples).
- If the recipes call for breadcrumbs then just use a gluten free alternative.
Unfortunately, Christmas pudding, Christmas cake and mince pies are all off the menu due to the high amounts of dried fruits and rum used in the recipes. However that does not mean you can’t indulge in a delicious sweet alternative. We’ve come up with some ideas which you could have instead on Christmas day!
- Either a homemade pavlova or shop bought meringue nests are okay!
- Whipped cream.
- You could use raspberries, blueberries, oranges/clementines, strawberries, cranberries (2 tablespoons of dried) to decorate.
- Simply mix together and top with cinnamon and sugar!
If you are craving or missing a Christmas snack then gingerbread (gluten free) is also a great ‘safe’ choice.
Happy Christmas and Enjoy!
Olivia and Beth (Student Dietitians)
Edited and updated by Dietitian Kirsten Jackson
Kirsten Jackson is a UK registered Consultant Gastroenterology Dietitian and founder of The Food Treatment Clinic. She has undergone many qualifications to get where she is today, including a UK BSc Honours Degree in Dietetics and Post-Graduate Certificate in Advanced Dietetics. In addition to this, she has FODMAP Training from Kings College London University. Kirsten set up The Food Treatment Clinic in 2015 after first experiencing digestive problems herself. She felt that the NHS was unable to provide the support individuals needed and went on to specialise in this area before opening a bespoke IBS service. Kirsten also participates in charity work as an Expert Advisor for the IBS Network. In addition, she can be seen in publications such as Cosmopolitan and The Telegraph discussing IBS as an Official Media Spokesperson to the IBS Network.