Are your mornings so chaotic that you rely on the same boring bowl of cereal day after day? Or do you skip breakfast altogether because you don’t have time to think about it?
Starting the day with a nourishing meal can be a challenge. If you have gut health issues, figuring out what to eat can just add to the madness. But skipping breakfast can lead to grabbing unhealthy snacks later or overeating at other meals, both of which can trigger uncomfortable gut symptoms.
So, before you run out the door with just a cup of coffee in hand, check out the following suggestions for some quick and easy low FODMAP breakfast ideas.
Eggs are an excellent source of protein and contain many vitamins and minerals. Simple egg dishes take only minutes to prepare and will help keep you full until your next meal or snack.
Here are some ideas to consider:
- Serve fried eggs with low FODMAP toast, potatoes, or on top of polenta (which you can make the night before).
- Scramble a few eggs with low FODMAP vegetables that you prepared in advance. Some good options include red bell pepper, kale or spinach, green onion tops, and a few cherry tomatoes*. Add some cheese and top with 1/8 an avocado*.
- Prepare hard boiled eggs and peel in advance. Store them in your fridge for up to a week for an easy grab-and-go option.
- Boil eggs for a shorter time for warm soft-boiled eggs. They can be ready in as little as two minutes depending on how soft you like your yolk.
- Poach eggs quickly on the stovetop or in the microwave.
Oatmeal is a great source of fiber, which is often lacking with a low FODMAP diet. Prepare with water or a milk alternative if you are sensitive to lactose. If you avoid gluten be sure to look for oats that are certified gluten free.
Consider the following additions to make your oatmeal even more nutritious and flavorful:
- Top with low FODMAP fruit such as unripe banana (or 1/3 ripe banana*), strawberries, raspberries*, or blueberries*.
- Add a sprinkle of dried coconut flakes*.
- Stir in a spoonful of peanut butter for extra protein.
- Give it some crunch with a few almonds*, hazelnuts*, pecans, peanuts, or walnuts.
- Add extra fiber and omega-3 fatty acids with a tablespoon flax seed* or chia seeds.
- Bump up the flavor with a sprinkle of cinnamon, nutmeg, or pumpkin pie spice.
- For a little indulgence, add a few dark chocolate chips or sweeten with a drizzle of maple syrup.
3. Bread or Toast
Many, but not all, gluten free breads are low FODMAP. When choosing a gluten free bread make sure to check for high FODMAP ingredients such as inulin, fructooligosaccharides (FOS), and coconut flour (to name a few).
Traditionally made sourdough is also low FODMAP because the bacteria in the sourdough starter reduces high FODMAP carbohydrates through the process of fermentation.
Here are some suggestions for topping your toast:
- Orange marmalade.
- Peanut butter – pair it with 1/3 ripe banana or strawberry jam.
- Strawberry jam and sharp cheddar cheese.
- 1/8 avocado* and a sprinkle of feta cheese.
- A fried egg with thinly sliced ham and cheese.
- Goat cheese and sliced strawberries.
- Tomato slices, balsamic vinegar, and a grind of sea salt.
- Canned tuna and tomato slices.
- 1/8 mashed avocado* and tomato slices.
Traditional dairy yogurt is considered a high FODMAP food due to the presence of lactose. However, some people with lactose intolerance find that they can tolerate regular yogurt.
Some brands may be tolerated better than others. Strained yogurts and those with live and active cultures are sometimes lower in lactose.
If you find that you do not tolerate regular cow’s milk yogurt, coconut yogurt can be a good low FODMAP substitute. Plain yogurt is best because some yogurts contain high FODMAP fruit, sweeteners, or fiber.
Consider the following additions on top or mixed into your yogurt to turn it up a notch:
- Shredded coconut*.
- Slivered almonds*, pecans or chopped walnuts.
- Strawberry jam (if eating plain, unflavored yogurt).
- Strawberries, raspberries*, blueberries*, or kiwi.
- Chia seeds or ground flax seed*.
- Low FODMAP granola or corn flakes for a little crunch.
5. Quinoa Bowls
Quinoa is a low FODMAP, gluten free grain. Cook some quinoa the night before or use leftover quinoa from a previous meal to make a low FODMAP breakfast bowl.
- Add milk or almond milk when reheating and top with some of the same ideas mentioned for oatmeal.
- You can also go savory here with a fried egg, 1/8 avocado* and a sprinkle of cheese. If you tolerate spicy, go ahead and give it some hot sauce.
6. Smoothies or Smoothie Bowls
Smoothies are a classic on-the-go breakfast option. With the right ingredients they can be healthy, filling, and low FODMAP.
Blend ½ cup of yogurt (lactose free if needed), a liquid such as milk, almond milk, rice milk or water, and low FODMAP fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables.
However, be careful not to overdo it on the fruit! Many fruits contain some FODMAPs. When you combine too many low FODMAP fruits, you could end up with a final product that is high in FODMAPs.
Therefore, a good guideline is to use a combination of fruits and no more than one cup total. Consider adding a half a cup of low FODMAP vegetables for additional flavor and nutrients.
Combinations to try:
- Unripe banana (or 1/3 ripe banana*) with peanut butter and coconut flakes*.
- Strawberries, unripe banana, and 1/8 avocado*.
- Strawberries, raspberries* and blueberries* with a handful of leafy greens.
- Kiwi, pineapple, and strawberries.
- Pineapple, spinach, and coconut*.
- Unripe banana, sliced carrots, and pineapple.
- Cucumber, lime juice, and a few mint leaves.
Pro tip: If you do not have a powerful blender, process tough or fibrous vegetables like kale and carrots in a food processor first. Freeze processed vegetables in an ice cube tray and drop a few cubes into your smoothie. This should help create a smoother texture.
For extra fiber and healthy fat add 1-2 tablespoons of flax seed* or chia seeds.
Some people find chewing more satisfying than sipping. For a smoothie you can eat with a spoon, pour your smoothie into a bowl and top with additional low FODMAP fruit, shredded coconut*, and chopped walnuts or pecans.
7. Breakfast Charcuterie
Have you ever found yourself standing in front of the cupboard or fridge just munching on random things, not sure what you want to eat? Well that is where this idea comes from.
Who says charcuterie needs to be saved for entertaining? This quick and easy low FODMAP breakfast idea can be as simple or elaborate as you want it.
Here are some ideas to include:
- Low FODMAP sausage or salami (check the ingredients for garlic and onion).
- Prosciutto or ham.
- Hard boiled eggs.
- Black and green olives.
- Pickled onions.
- Walnuts, almonds*, pecans, or peanuts.
- Sharp cheddar, swiss, Colby, Havarti, brie, feta, or fresh mozzarella cheese.
- Gluten free crackers (check for high FODMAP ingredients).
- Sourdough bread.
- Grapes, strawberries, raspberries*, and blueberries*.
- Carrot sticks, red bell pepper slices, cherry tomatoes*, kohlrabi.
*Foods with an asterisk contain some FODMAPs and might not be tolerated in large portions. The Monash University FODMAP Diet app is an excellent tool for determining portions that are low, medium, or high in FODMAPs.
Final Thoughts on Low FODMAP Breakfast Ideas
Remember, there are no rules saying that you must eat “breakfast food” for breakfast. Leftovers from a previous night’s dinner can also be a quick and easy low FODMAP breakfast idea. Or you can throw together a green salad using vegetables that you prepped earlier in the week.
Some cultures commonly include a warm bowl of soup, rice, or even fish at breakfast. Just be sure you know what is in the food you are eating to start the day off without triggering gut symptoms.
Variety is the spice of life and an important key for good health. Try to vary what you eat for breakfast (and at all meals). Include as large a variety of plant foods as you can tolerate to get adequate vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and fiber.
Although this article focuses on non-cereal low FODMAP breakfast ideas, cereal doesn’t have to be off limits. See my article Low FODMAP Cereal and Label Reading Tips if cereal is more your speed.
If you have completed your FODMAP elimination and re-introduction, it is good to re-challenge your tolerance to FODMAPs occasionally. Add small amounts of higher FODMAP foods to these breakfast ideas on mornings you know you will be staying home. That way you will not risk embarrassing or inconvenient moments when you are out and about.
Need more help with your low FODMAP diet? Click here for a listing of Monash FODMAP trained dietitians.