Your child has been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome and your doctor or paediatric dietitian has recommended a trial of the low fodmap diet.
You have questions like, is broccoli low fodmap because you are new to the world of IBS?
This article will help you answer your questions on whether broccoli is a low fodmap food for children. It will also describe how a low fodmap diet can help manage your child’s symptoms such as:
or loose poo.
If you are feeling overwhelmed by the low fodmap diet, then keep reading to learn more and where to go for personalised help and advice for your child.
Is broccoli low FODMAP?
The good news (or the bad news girls and boys) is that for children, broccoli is most definitely a low fodmap food.
This means that you don’t need to restrict broccoli when starting the exclusion phase of the low fodmap diet.
Unless your child eats large quantities of broccoli, it won’t trigger any bloating, tummy pain or loose poo and constipation for your child.
This includes broccoli heads, broccoli florets and broccoli stalks.
What are low FODMAPs vegetables?
FODMAPs are a group of carbohydrates that can trigger bloating, diarrhoea or constipation in children and adults.
They are found in some types of fruit, vegetables, grains and foods prepared with high fodmap foods.
A low fodmap diet will contain lower amounts of FODMAPs.
FODMAPs are an acronym for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols.
Low FODMAPs vegetables are types of vegetables that are considered fodmap friendly due to their low fodmap content.
A low FODMAPs diet will therefore only include low fodmap vegetables and fruit.
A simplified and personalised version of the low fodmap diet may be recommended for a short time to help your child’s paediatric dietitian understand whether FODMAPs could be the triggers for your child’s bloating, constipation or diarrhoea.
Your child should never remain on the low fodmap diet long-term as FODMAPs are also prebiotics.
Prebiotic foods are essential to maintain and nurture the growth of beneficial bacteria in your child’s gut.
Limit these prebiotic foods long-term and there will be a detrimental knock-on effect on your child’s gut and poo pattern over time.
To learn more about IBS see, Kid Poop Chart & IBS Explained.
What part of broccoli is low fodmap?
Luckily, your child can enjoy all of the various parts of broccoli as it is a low fodmap vegetable.
Broccoli heads in particular are low fodmap with children being able to enjoy up to a serving size of 270g in one sitting if they wish.
Broccoli stalks are however slightly different.
It does contain a higher proportion of excess fructose.
If your child experiences discomfort after meals, encourage them to eat a mix of broccoli florets and stalks.
This way, they can enjoy up to 2 servings of broccoli per meal.
An average serving of broccoli or vegetables is 40g for children.
When using broccoli in dinner recipes, make sure that you use the whole broccoli versus specific parts like only the broccoli stalks.
Is broccolini low fodmap?
Broccolini is different from regular broccoli.
As per the Monash University analysis, in broccolini, the main FODMAP present is excess fructose which is mostly concentrated in the heads.
The stalks are therefore the low fodmap part of the vegetable.
However, because the overall serving size is important, your child can still enjoy one serving of broccolini heads or a mix of the florets and stalks with their meal.
If they love broccolini they can enjoy an extra portion but offer only the stalks.
Is Chinese broccoli low fodmap?
Good news – Chinese broccoli or Gai Ian has been analysed and confirmed as low fodmap.
Portion sizes are important so if your teenage child eats 4 ¼ cups of broccoli in one sitting, this will be a high fodmap serving size.
As with most foods, when planning family meals, try to offer a variety of vegetables.
Is purple sprouting broccoli low fodmap?
Unfortunately, there is no fodmap analysis available for purple sprouting broccoli.
If your child has been recommended to follow a low fodmap diet trial, then speak to your dietitian for personalised advice.
How much broccoli is low fodmap?
As the article has alluded to, as with most fruit and vegetables, broccoli does contain some FODMAPs but only in large serving sizes.
Most children will be able to enjoy at least one serving of broccoli with their meal.
Broccoli is a nutritious food.
It’s a brilliant source of fibre which is especially important for children suffering from constipation.
It also contains B vitamins, vitamin C, folate and calcium.
What are other low FODMAP vegetables?
If your paediatric dietitian has recommended a trial of the low fodmap diet, please don’t worry. There are plenty of foods that are low fodmap.
Other low fodmap vegetables include asparagus, aubergine, green beans and carrots to list a few.
If you suspect IBS is at play for your child who is experiencing bloating, tummy pain with constipation or diarrhoea, then my IBS Kids Programme may be right for you.
Who should follow a low fodmap diet?
A trial of the low fodmap diet has been shown to help improve IBS-related symptoms in adults. Children diagnosed with IBS may find it helpful to try the diet but this should be under the supervision of a paediatric dietitian specialising in children’s gut health.
IBS can be diagnosed in children as young as 4 years of age (and younger) using the Rome III criteria. However, your gastroenterologist will guide you through the diagnostic process.
Broccoli is a nutritious food that shouldn’t be unnecessarily restricted in children even if they experience frequent loose poo with abdominal pain. Like lots of vegetables, you need to treat each part of the broccoli differently. Some parts of the broccoli are high in excess fructose so pay attention to portion sizes.
Despite this, broccoli shouldn’t be avoided unnecessarily. Most children can still enjoy a portion of all of the different parts of broccoli with their meals (even on the trial). If you suspect that your child may have IBS then do speak with a paediatric gastroenterologist or enquire about my IBS Kids Programme for personalised help and advice.
Let Me Help
Would you like to meet a children’s dietitian who has successfully helped families solve their nutrition problems from around the world?
No matter what you are worried about, I’ll help you manage these with confidence.