The Low FODMAP Diet for Children


Written by: CDHF

Updated: July 3rd, 2024

The low FODMAP Diet has seen substantial evidence that it effectively treats IBS symptoms in adults, but can the same be said for children? A 2023 publication by the Monash team explored the application of the low FODMAP diet in children. Here’s a summary of their findings:

If you suspect your child may have IBS, you should seek advice from your healthcare provider to receive a proper diagnosis prior to starting the low FODMAP diet. If the diet is recommended, it should be done under the guidance of a healthcare professional, such as a registered dietitian, to ensure it is safe and nutritionally adequate.

What is a Low FODMAP Diet?

A low FODMAP diet is designed to reduce the intake of certain types of carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed in the small intestine and can cause digestive symptoms such as bloating, gas, and abdominal pain. FODMAP stands for:

Considerations for Children:

  1. Nutritional Balance: Children have different nutritional needs than adults, and it’s crucial to ensure that they get adequate nutrients for growth and development. A registered dietitian can help tailor the diet to meet these needs.
  2. Growth and Development: Monitoring a child’s growth and development is essential while on a low FODMAP diet. Any significant changes in weight, height, or overall health should be closely observed.
  3. Food Variety: Ensuring a varied diet is important to prevent nutritional deficiencies. The restrictive nature of a low FODMAP diet can make this challenging, so professional guidance is critical.
  4. Symptoms Monitoring: The diet should be used to address specific symptoms. Keeping a food and symptom diary can help identify which FODMAPs are causing problems; try CDHF’s myIBS app!
  5. Reintroduction Phase: The low FODMAP diet is not meant to be followed long-term. After a period of strict adherence (usually 4-6 weeks), FODMAPs are gradually reintroduced to identify which specific types are problematic.

Implementing a Low FODMAP Diet for Kids

  1. Consult a Professional: Before starting, consult a healthcare professional to ensure the diet is appropriate for the child’s specific health needs.
  2. Education: Educate both the child and the family about the diet, including which foods to avoid/limit and which can be included on a low FODMAP diet.
  3. Meal Planning: Plan meals and snacks that are balanced and suitable for a child’s palate. Ensure that the child still enjoys mealtimes and has a positive relationship with food.

Below are two recipes from George Brown – Lactose free yogurt popsicles and crispy seaweed chips!

4. Monitoring: Regular follow-ups with a dietitian or healthcare provider to monitor the child’s health and make necessary adjustments to the diet.

Suitable Low FODMAP Foods for Kids

Remember, certain foods may be considered low, medium, or high in FODMAPs depending on serving size. With the guidance of a registered dietitian, use the Monash University FODMAP app to help you determine low FODMAP serving sizes for your child.

low fodmap for children infographic

About George Brown’s Culinary Management Nutrition Program

Students from the Culinary Management Nutrition Program at George Brown College Chef School participated in an academic writing content to create a FODMAP article or video for CDHF. The course, Nutrition Issues, is taught by nutrition professor, Dr. Linda Gillis. Students highlighted the nutrients of concern when a vegetarian is attempting the FODMAP diet. Leah Tamblyn was the winner for the article submission and Naureen Bai Nawaz was the winner for the video submission. George Brown College provides students with real world applications and opportunities for learning.

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