Quick and Easy Breakfast Ideas While Following the Low FODMAP Diet
There’s nothing like a nourishing breakfast to start your day off on the right foot. That morning meal is a great opportunity to provide your body with a hefty dose of nutrition before your day has even started. Not only does eating breakfast provide you with energy to fuel your daily activities, but it also helps to promote stable blood sugar levels and it may make you more likely to make food choices that best serve you throughout the day.
First, let’s break down the key components that we look for when it comes to breakfast (or really any meal!)
Ideally, breakfast should contain a carbohydrate source, which is our body’s preferred fuel source. We like to opt for carbohydrates that are rich in fiber to help slow the absorption of sugar (which is what carbs are broken down into) into the bloodstream. These fiber-rich “complex carbs” will provide us with steady energy throughout the morning rather than a blood sugar spike and crash shortly after eating. This can help to keep you fuller and more satisfied for longer! Some examples include whole grains like oats and low FODMAP fruits like pineapple and unripe banana. Second, breakfast should contain a protein source to help you feel full and further aid in blood sugar stabilization. Protein also provides us with the essential amino acids that our bodies need for tissue repair, the synthesis of necessary enzymes, and more. Protein can be found in low FODMAP breakfast foods such as eggs, many types of nuts/seeds and nut/seed butters, as well as in lactose-free dairy products. Lastly, breakfast should contain a fat source. Fat further promotes satiety, plus, it increases the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and minerals present in our food. We also need dietary fats to produce many of our body’s hormones. Breakfast fat sources include olive oil (can be used in the cooking process), aged, low-lactose cheese or other fat-containing lactose-free dairy products (such as milk, yogurt, and cottage cheese), nuts/seeds, and nut/seed butters.
All of that being said, despite its clear merits, breakfast can be a challenging meal for many, regardless of whether or not you have dietary restrictions. What’s quick and easy to make but still tasty and checks all of boxes for complex carbs, protein, and fat? Following the low FODMAP diet can exacerbate this breakfast quandary, as it temporarily restricts a number of common breakfast food items - but not to worry! Below, we compiled a list of some of our favorite low FODMAP breakfast ideas that are not only delicious and nutrient-dense, but also convenient and easy to make! In fact, many of these options can be prepared the night before so that all you need to do in the morning is grab-and-go (and enjoy)! Additionally, you can get creative by mixing and matching with different ingredients based on your food preferences and what is available to you.
1. Overnight Oats
Oatmeal can be delicious, filling, and also provides beneficial soluble fiber. Soluble fiber holds onto water, forming a gel in the GI tract which can help with bowel regularity and promote more formed, complete bowel movements. Further, it is beneficial for heart health, aids in blood sugar stabilization, and promotes a healthy gut microbiome by serving as a fuel source for our good gut bacteria. Overnight oats are a great way to enjoy oatmeal without the hassle (or time) associated with cooking oatmeal over the stove. Overnight oats can be prepared the night before, or you can make a big batch in the beginning of the week for easy breakfasts all week long! In the morning, you can eat them cold or heat them up if you prefer. Try our popular Easy Cinnamon Maple Overnight Oats With Pumpkin Seeds recipe (complete with swaps to make this suitable for the low FODMAP diet) or make your own version by simply adding ½ a cup of dry rolled oats to a jar along with ½ a cup of lactose-free plain Greek yogurt, ½ a cup of lactose-free milk or unsweetened almond milk, and any other additions of your choosing! Examples include 2 tablespoons of nuts/seeds or a nut/seed butter, cinnamon or pumpkin spice, a teaspoon of maple syrup, vanilla extract, or low FODMAP fruit such as sliced strawberries or unripe banana. Mix it up, seal the jar, and throw it in the fridge—you’ll thank yourself in the morning!
2. Egg Muffins
Egg muffins are a quick and convenient way to get protein and veggies in at breakfast. Similar to overnight oats, these can be prepped in advance so that all you have to do in the morning is grab, reheat, and go! Try our Protein-Packed Easy Egg Muffin recipe, or make your own version by adding aged cheese, your low FODMAP veggies of choice, and a pinch of salt and pepper to beaten eggs, then bake in muffin tins at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until they set (~25 minutes). To add variety, you can even make different egg muffin combinations in the same batch such as: feta cheese and spinach, cheddar cheese and broccoli florets, or roasted red bell pepper and mozzarella cheese—yum!
3. Chia Pudding
Chia seeds are a fiber-rich, nutrient-packed seed that swells up when immersed in liquid, forming a gel consistency that is similar to rice pudding. For this reason, they can serve as a filling, prepare-ahead breakfast option—simply add 3 tablespoons of chia seeds to ¾ of a cup of lactose-free milk or unsweetened almond milk, 2 teaspoons of pure maple syrup for sweetness, and any additional low FODMAP ingredients of your choosing such as strawberries, cinnamon, pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice, unripe banana, or lactose-free Greek yogurt to a jar, mix it up, and allow it to chill in the fridge for at least 3-4 hours (or overnight). Since chia pudding stays good for about 3 days when stored in the fridge, you can make a few servings in advance--particularly convenient for busy weeks. Try our Pumpkin Pie Chia Pudding for an easy and delicious option!
4. Lactose-Free Yogurt or Cottage Cheese Bowl
Although the low FODMAP diet is lactose-free, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to eliminate dairy entirely from your diet! While lactose-containing dairy is off the table, lactose-free varieties that are free from other high FODMAP ingredients are suitable for the low FODMAP diet—you likely won’t even be able to tell the difference in taste. If you tolerate lactose-free dairy products, a lactose-free yogurt bowl is a great quick breakfast option. To make your yogurt into a substantial meal, add low FODMAP nuts/seeds or nut/seed butter and low FODMAP fruit of choice such as 1/3 cup of raspberries. For extra flavor and sweetness, try adding some cinnamon or vanilla extract and a teaspoon of pure maple syrup! Pro tip: opt for plain lactose-free yogurt varieties to serve as your yogurt bowl base in order to avoid unwanted FODMAPs that may be added to yogurts (such as honey or fruit juice concentrate). This way, you can flavor the yogurt however you like and sweeten it to your preference.
Similar to yogurt, cottage cheese is a great source of protein, calcium, and probiotics, which may help to populate the gut with beneficial bacteria. Lactose-free cottage cheese can be swapped in for yogurt to create yet another tasty and convenient breakfast. It goes well with many low FODMAP fruit varieties like chopped pineapple or papaya, and for some extra staying power, add a sprinkle of seeds such as pumpkin, sunflower, or chia. They’ll add more fiber, healthy fats, and protein along with a satisfying crunch.
5. Potato or Sweet Potato Toast
Potatoes aren’t only for roasting and mashing, they can also be sliced into “toasts” once cooked (and cooled then stored in the fridge), then pop the potato toast slices in the toaster for a few minutes until browned, and top with sweet or savory toppings of your choice! Try some sunflower seed butter, hemp seeds, and cinnamon, or peanut butter and sliced unripe banana for a sweet variety. For a savory version, top your potato toast with sliced hard boiled eggs and a sprinkle of feta cheese. You can even spread the potato toasts with some plain lactose-free Greek yogurt and add sliced strawberries for another variation. If using sweet potato, just make sure to stick to the low FODMAP portion.
6. Low FODMAP Smoothie
Smoothies are an easy way to pack some fruits and veggies in early on in your day in a way that’s easy to digest, since blending may make these foods easier to tolerate. Smoothies can also be a great option for those who aren’t big breakfast eaters and find it easier to get something in their stomach in the morning when it’s in liquid form. Although it can be tempting to pour a day’s worth of fruit servings into a smoothie, it’s important to be mindful of the portion sizes of fruits that you add, particularly while following the low FODMAP diet. This is because many fruits are only considered low FODMAP in specific portion sizes, so when you add multiple servings of low-moderate FODMAP fruits into a smoothie, the fruit servings can quickly add up to turn that smoothie into a high FODMAP meal. Additionally, loading up a smoothie with fruit and neglecting to add any protein or fat sources can cause the smoothie to spike blood sugar, leaving you feeling hungry shortly after drinking it.
To build a satisfying, balanced smoothie, we recommend adding no more than 2 servings of low FODMAP fruit such ¾ C strawberries and ½ a green banana (using frozen banana will give your smoothie a nice and thick texture). Then add a protein source such as plain lactose-free Greek yogurt, nut/seed butter (or nut powder), spirulina, or lactose-free cow’s milk. Add in a fat source such as a nut/seed butter and lastly, add a liquid such as unsweetened almond milk, water, or lactose-free cow’s milk. If you’re using a fat-containing lactose-free yogurt or milk, then these can double as your protein and fat source -how handy! To pack in an extra nutritional punch, try throwing in a handful of spinach—it may lend a green hue to your smoothie, but we promise you won’t taste it! If you want to get really fancy, add some flavorings such as a few spoonfuls of pumpkin puree or a sprinkle of cinnamon, pumpkin spice, or cocoa powder.
Which easy low FODMAP breakfast would you choose first? Tell us in the comments below!