For many of us, summer is about fun on the move. Outdoor activities, lots of get-togethers, more visits to the pool or beach…summer can hold many warm, carefree moments, but can seem a little unpredictable, too. For people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), that unpredictability can make the day more difficult to plan, and that can make IBS symptoms like constipation, diarrhea, and bloating more likely to happen.
One way to manage unpredictability is to keep trustworthy, low-FODMAP snacks close at hand.
IBS-friendly snacks mean:
- Not as much worry about triggering IBS symptoms
- Little bursts of energy whenever you need them
- Moments of deliciousness that can brighten the day
You’ll want snacks that are healthy, easy to prepare and pack, and gentle to your gut as well. Ingredients like oats, nuts, cut veggies and fruit can help keep you full, can support digestion, and can fill your mouth with flavor, too. You’ll also want to avoid snacks that are overly processed, sugary, high-FODMAP, or full of unhealthy fats. Fortunately, there are many wonderful IBS-friendly snack ideas out there.
The salty, savory treats
We often crave salty foods because salt is essential for many processes the body needs to do (and salt used to be fairly hard to get). Salt is so plentiful now, we have to watch how much of it we consume, though. Go for something better than potato chips with one of these picks:
- IBS-friendly cheddar cheese and gluten-free pretzels for nostalgic nibbling goodness. Ants on a log or variations of it offer another great option
- A custom blend of FODMAP-friendly nuts, such as Low FODMAP Trail Mix, which could include pumpkin seeds, almonds, dark chocolate chips, and more
- Pickles for a snappy burst of flavor, whether homemade or out of a jar. Want more flavor? Try Vietnamese Pickles
- Salsa and baked corn tortilla chips, a traditional favorite…you can add a twist with Pineapple Salsa or stick with good old classic salsa
- Popcorn is a low-fat snack you can dress up with olive oil, nutritional yeast, freshly-ground pepper, turmeric, or a sprinkle of sea salt
The sweet stuff
Granola bars and snack bars are well and good, but when you want to reach for something sweet, yet IBS-appropriate, you have a wide range of other great choices:
- Fruit is both healthy and flavorful — you could go with a container of low FODMAP fruits like blueberries, cantaloupe, kiwi, and strawberries, accompanied by lactose-free yogurt, or could try something elevated yet easy, like frozen grapes
- Energy balls are yummy, no-bake ways to enjoy the natural sweetness of maple syrup along with chia seeds, and other high-energy, natural foods. You could make Lime and Nut Bliss Balls, Oatmeal Cranberry Chocolate ones, or even Carrot Cake Energy Balls
- When you want to make a few instant friends, bring ever-popular peanut butter cookies
- For a comforting pairing, pack Lemon Macadamia Shortbread to have along with your afternoon tea or coffee
- When decadence calls, indulge in chocolate-enrobed raspberries
Special or more substantial snacks
Sometimes you need a few more bites than you get with most snacks. These treats are still packable, but offer some extra substance, too:
- A perpetual pleaser, potato salad can be customized exactly how you like it. Dill, radishes, olives…it’s up to you!
- Rice cakes and rice crackers don’t often grab the spotlight, but they can when you top them with spreads like Basil and Brazil Nut Pesto or Peanut Lime Hummus. Garnish them with cucumber slices or alfalfa sprouts, and add red pepper or carrot sticks on the side for extra crunch
- A salad can be a snack, too, especially when it includes protein like hard boiled eggs or baked chicken. Perhaps you’d like to try Chicken Papaya Salad with Poppyseed Dressing or a Monash-approved Greek Salad? You can also make your own from scratch according to what tastes best to you, which could include quinoa, grilled zucchini, cooked whole grains, and much more. A snack-sized serving can fit in a small glass jar for easy transport
- A good sandwich doesn’t get old. Go classic with a nut butter and blueberry jam sandwich, a Gouda cheese and tomato one, or a Cajun Tuna ‘wich. Or try innovative flavor combinations like Spicy Salmon Salad or Avocado Green Goddess Veggie. To cut down on potential IBS trouble, remember to use gluten-free bread
- For something uncommonly good, bring sushi. Avoid wasabi paste, but load up on low FODMAP foods like brown rice, salmon, cucumber, and nori (seaweed)
For more ideas, search for appealing, low FODMAP recipes, ask a dietitian for low FODMAP snack ideas, or look into what snack options others with IBS recommend. You can also cruise your local grocery store and exercise your snacking creativity.
Get more support from Salvo Health this summer
At Salvo Health, our digital healthcare platform and virtual clinic provides you with continuous text-based support and care for your chronic condition. Imagine being able to text a board-certified Physician or Behavioral Health Coach to avoid flare-ups or manage your pain. Alongside messaging-based communication, members receive a customized Care Plan that can take account of how their symptoms can be managed, no matter what’s going on with your poop.
Get immediate access to a coordinated Salvo Health care team, including a certified gastro specialist and board-certified health coach when you join Salvo Health today.