If you are heading to the park this weekend, you may be considering a picnic lunch. For those on the low FODMAP regimen, its not as easy as packing some sandwiches and heading on you way. Read below for some tips on how to pack a picnic meal while staying safe on the low FODMAP diet.
Build your sandwiches
- Use a gluten-free wrap that is free from additives like honey, high fructose corn syrup, cow’s milk, buttermilk, or agave. You can also use a lettuce leaf as a sandwich wrap for certain sandwich recipes.
- Build your sandwich with proteins such as tuna fish, turkey breast, or baked chicken without any additives or marinades like garlic powder, onion, or honey. It’s best to cook fresh, unseasoned meat and slice yourself to avoid such additives.
- Pair your protein with cheddar or swiss cheese and top with safe condiments such as mustard or mayonnaise.
- Top your sandwich with veggies like lettuce, tomato, peppers, cucumber, and pickles.
You can also choose peanut butter as your protein and pair with natural jams sweetened with cane sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup. Other low FODMAP meatless sandwich toppings may include:
- sweet potato
- brown rice
- bean sprouts
- baked and sliced eggplant
In a sealed container, pack your cooler with some of these low FODMAP safe salad options:
- Garden salad with lettuce, tomato, carrots, and cucumbers.
- Greek-style salad with Romaine lettuce, feta cheese, olives, diced tomato, and cucumbers.
- Cole slaw with shredded cabbage, carrots, mayonnaise, salt, ground black pepper, and vinegar.
- Cobb-style salad with chopped salad greens, tomato, diced chicken breast, sliced hard-boiled egg, chives, and topped with a low FODMAP safe vinaigrette like a homemade oil-vinegar mix.
You can also be creative with your salads and top with sliced strawberries, clementine slices, chopped walnuts (10 halves max), chia seeds (2 tablespoons max), sunflower seeds (2 tablespoons hulled max), and/or blueberries. Low FODMAP dressings like this one or this Caesar dressing from Casa de Sante are safe ways to add a splash of flavor to your salad creation. Low FODMAP salad dressings are tasty, healthy, and you’ll feel great after eating them!
Stay simple with your snacks and avoid any packaged goods that are covered in wheat, milk, and high fructose corn syrup-based flavorings. Pair your sandwich or salad with some safe low FODMAP crunchy snacks such as the following:
- Tortilla corn chips (stick to one ounce serving or 10-12 chips); pair with low FODMAP salsa or homemade creations such as a blended mix diced tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell peppers with a sprinkle of salt to flavor.
- Safe granola with no added honey, agave, cashews, pistachios, or large amounts of dried fruit like this one by Casa de Sante.
- Sliced carrots and cucumbers
- Sliced bell pepper
- Lightly salted popcorn with no added cheeses or high fructose corn syrup or honey-based flavorings. A low FODMAP safe serving is up to 7 cups.
- Peanuts or mixed nuts. Stick to a serving size of 32 peanuts to stay low FODMAP safe.
You can also enjoy fruits as snacks, not to be confused with high fructose corn syrup-containing fruit snacks. Choose fresh options such as:
- unripe bananas (1 medium or 7-inch fruit)
- blueberries (stick to a 20-berry serving)
- diced pineapple (limit to one cup)
- honeydew or cantaloupe (no more than ½ cup)
You can consume the following fruits liberally as no FODMAPs have been detected in them:
- grapes (dried grapes, or raisins, should be limited to one tablespoon)
Stick to simple refreshing beverages such as plain water, infused water with slices of cucumber, lemon, lime, or oranges, as well as unsweetened green tea. LemonAID is also good to have on hand to keep your digestive system happy before, during, and after your picnic outing.
Written by Staci Gulbin, MS, RD a Board-certified dietitian.