What are FODMAPS?

“FODMAP” is the acronym for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols, a group of short-chain carbohydrates and sugar alcohols (polyols). These nutrients are ubiquitous in the diet.


The key FODMAPs are:

  • Oligosaccharides – such as fructans/ fructo-oligosaccharides (found in grains and vegetables) and galactans/galacto-oligosaccharides (found in legumes).
  • Disaccharides – such as lactose (found in milk).
  • Monosaccharides – such as fructose (found in fruit).
  • Polyols – such as sorbitol (found in sweetened products).



Susceptible children can experience intestinal symptoms from ingestion of FODMAPs for a number of reasons:

  • ✅ The carbohydrates are not well absorbed into the body and remain in the digestive tract for longer periods.
  • ✅ FODMAPs draw water into the intestines, which can increase bowel motions and promote diarrhoea.
  • ✅ These carbohydrates can be metabolised by the bacteria that normally reside in the bowel, producing gas, bloating and wind.


To determine if FODMAPs might be contributing to your child’s symptoms, the most effective strategy is to eliminate all FODMAP-containing foods and observe their symptoms. To help with this process, download my free Food & Symptom Diary.


Following the elimination of all FODMAPs, the next step is to complete a systematic re-challenge one-by-one of each FODMAP to help determine the tolerable doses and types of FODMAPs for your child may be reacting to..


It is not generally recommended that your child should follow a low FODMAP diet for life; restricting dietary intake of a wide array of foods should generally be avoided if possible, to reduce the risk of nutrient deficiencies. FODMAPs are a normal part of the diet and have benefits for health, such as providing fibre and prebiotics for gastrointestinal health.


Foods to Avoid for a Low FODMAP Diet


Fruits: apples, boysenberries, cherries (>3), figs, pears, nashi pears, peaches, mango, watermelon, tamarillo, tinned fruit, dried fruit, large serves of fruit.

Vegetables: asparagus, artichokes, sugar snap peas. Sweeteners: honey, fructose (>5.0 g daily*), high fructose corn syrup, agave.

Drinks: fruit juice, soft drinks sweetened with fructose, sparkling wine, dessert wine, ciders, rum





Fruits: custard apples, nectarines, peaches, persimmon, rambutan, tamarillo, watermelon.

Vegetables: artichokes, asparagus, beetroot, brussel sprouts (>½ cup), broccoli (>½ cup), cabbage – savoy (>1 cup), chicory root, corn (>½ cob), fennel (>½ cup), garlic, leeks, okra, onions, peas (>1 ∕3 cup), radicchio lettuce, snow peas (>10), spring onion (white part).

Cereals: wheat, rye, barley products (bread, pasta, couscous, crackers, biscuits), inulin.

Nuts: cashews, pistachios, almonds 





Legumes: all (chickpeas, lentils, dried/canned beans, baked beans, whole soy beans).

Drinks: soy milk.





Milk: cow, goat and sheep.

Cheese: fresh (cottage, ricotta, cream cheese, mascarpone).

Other dairy products: yoghurt, ice cream, custard.



Fruits: apples, apricots, avocado (>¼), blackberries, cherries (>3), longan (>10), lychees (>5), nashi pears, nectarines, pears, peaches, plums, prunes, watermelon.

Vegetables: cauliflower, celery (>1 stick), mushrooms, snow peas, sweet potato (>½ cup).

Sweeteners: sorbitol (420), mannitol (421), xylitol (967), maltitol (965), isomalt (953).


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