We have a checklist for you to help you get organized: It’s that time again! Time to get new sneakers, stock up on school supplies and enter a new grade at school. Whether you are a teenager or young adult who monitors his or her own diet or the parent of a younger FODMAPer, you will have the best chance of success if you are prepared from Day 1.
We have a checklist for you to help you get your low FODMAP diet for children ready for the first day of school:
1. Download the Monash University Low FODMAP Diet Smartphone App or order their equivalent booklet. This is your best bet for on-the-fly FODMAP information. If someone offers to share a snack on the playground, trade lunch or suggests a new place to hit after school for snacks and hanging out, you can look up ingredients in seconds.
2. We call this “routine” for a reason! Come up with a few low FODMAP breakfasts and lunches that you can make quickly, easily and repeat every week. This way you won’t have to reinvent the wheel and you will know ahead of time that your gut won’t be triggered.
3. And speaking of routine, this extends to exercise and sleep, as well. Stress reduction is key and getting regular exercise and adequate sleep will help keep your IBS symptoms at bay or at least reduced.
4. Another routine oriented concept is snacks! Never be without a Low FODMAP snack. Our Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Energy Balls or our snack bars or trail mixes are perfect examples of portion controlled snacks that will help you stick to your diet - and not go crazy in-between meals with the goodies beckoning from the vending machine.
5. Connect with the school nurse or medical professional. Either you or your Mom or Dad can provide them with an appropriate handout and verbal explanation so that at least they are aware of your health issues. This way, if you do have an attack, you don’t have to start from square one when you are in the midst of painful or embarrassing symptoms.
6. Speaking of which, map out the bathrooms! If you are entering a new school, cruise around and make sure you know where the bathrooms are, so that you are not caught off-guard.
7.The cafeteria doesn’t have to be a battleground. In larger schools and certainly at the college level, it should be easy to speak with a dining hall manager or even a dietitian on hand to acquaint yourself with the school’s food offerings. Ask questions; don’t be shy! Be your own best advocate and arm yourself with knowledge.
8. Enlist a friend. Your best friend is a best friend for a reason! As embarrassing as it might seem, consider confiding in them about your IBS so that you don’t feel alone.
9. And/or confide in a teacher or coach. Adults who gravitate towards teaching and coaching love kids and want to see you succeed. Maybe you have a favorite and would feel comfortable talking with them. You could bounce the idea off of the school nurse, if you aren’t sure.
10. This is our best tip of all. YOU CAN DO IT! Use our tips and tricks to help you stay on course with a Low FODMAP diet for children.
Now You Are Ready for School!