eating low FODMAP on an airplane

Eating low FODMAP on an airplane

If you have a long journey ahead, you don’t want to be worrying about getting stomach problems. Many people get problems with their gut during a flight and especially when you have IBS it is important to be extra careful.

Therefore, I usually prep some food when I have a long flight. In this blog, I will share my tips for eating low FODMAP on an airplane and during a travel day.  

The food in the plane

Most airlines offer several kinds of meals for people with allergies nowadays, such as gluten-free and lactose-free meals. Some airlines also offer a “bland meal”.

This is a meal without spices and it normally doesn’t contain any onion or garlic. This is often the safest option for eating low FODMAP on an airplane because a gluten- or lactose-free meal can still contain onion and garlic.

You cannot be completely sure that a bland meal will be low FODMAP because they can still add for example bread or grains that are not low FODMAP. I often order a bland meal and then pick out the things in the meal that I can eat. 

Next to that, I always make sure that I bring enough food with me. Just in case I cannot eat the meal that is offered in the plane. 

One of my last long flights was a flight to Armenia. We had a travel day of over 20 hours. The flights were relatively short, but I had a lot of waiting time on the airport during a layover.

The airline that I flew with, Belavia, only offered sticky bread buns as a meal and I had no option to choose anything else (they probably had never heard of intolerances).

I did expect that I would be able to buy something on the airport, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. On Minsk airport there was literally nothing to buy, except from some chocolate and chips.

I never saw such a limited offer on an airport before and I was very happy that I brought my own food.  

People sitting on an airplane

Eating low FODMAP on an airplane: bringing your own food

  • Make sure that next to not bringing any drinks you also avoid bringing liquid foods. I accidentally brought lactose-free quark once, because I, very stupidly, didn’t realise this was also a liquid and I had to hand it in. 
  • Bring an empty bottle and fill your bottle with water after the security check. 
  • Pick foods that you can keep outside of the fridge for a long time (so no meats that get bad quickly) and choose food that doesn’t smell too strongly when you take it out of the bag (to be nice for your fellow passengers).
  • Prepare meals that taste good when they are cold, for example (pasta)salad, boiled rice with vegetables, sandwiches, (banana-egg) pancakes or some baked goodies, such as banana bread or healthy muffins. 
  • Make sure that you finish your food before you enter your destination country. You can usually bring food during the flight, but you often cannot bring it into the country. 

When I was preparing my low FODMAP meal prep for in the plane, I simply counted the meals that I would ‘miss’ during the travelling and next to that I brought some snacks.

I left home at 9 in the morning and I arrived in Yerevan at 4 am the next day. Therefore, I took two snacks, lunch and dinner and some extra snacks for if I would get hungry in between. 

A bowl of Greek pasta salad

Ideas for low FODMAP food in the airplane

  • 100% spelt bread (max. 2 slices per serving) or sourdough spelt bread (max. 3 slices per serving) with low FODMAP sandwich toppings
  • Low FODMAP nuts
  • Low FODMAP veggies, such as cucumber or carrots. Great with a nice dip, such as homemade hummus (this is probably seen as a liquid, so you should pack it separately and not bring more than 100 ml)
  • Low FODMAP fruit, that is easy to eat on the go, such as an unripe banana, mandarines or grapes. 
  • Low FODMAP snack bars, such as the FODY chocolate sea salt bars or FODY almond & coconut bars or TREK bars (the flavours cocoa oat, cocoa coconut (and some others too) are low FODMAP)
  • Packaged low FODMAP cookies, such as Schär digestives
  • Packaged low FODMAP crackers
  • Boiled eggs
  • Rice cakes with topping (max. 2 rice cakes per serving)
  • Plain potato chips or tortilla chips
A plane flying in the air

Recipes that you can prepare to bring as a snack or meal

Below you find some sweet and savoury recipes that you can make beforehand and bring with you during your trip. 

Sweet

Savoury

Try to pick things that you know you react well on and also watch out for large amounts of fat or sugar. That can also be an IBS trigger.

By choosing safe meals, you minimise the chance that you will get stomach problems during the trip. 

I am curious if you have some tips for eating low FODMAP on an airplane! Let me know in the comments 🙂 

Sweet potato muffins - Karlijnskitchen.com

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7 Comments

  • Gina Freed says:

    Flying recently from San Diego to Chicago, security pulled me over to inspect my carry-on bags. They pulled out a new round piece of Gouda cheese never opened as they suspected it was a bomb from the looks of it on the x-Ray. The security agent turned it around and around examining the wrapper from Trader Joe’s, a popular American food store, and finally let me go through the security line. I thanked him several times and then said, “have a Gooda day”. He had a chuckle and corrected my pronunciation with, it’s pronounced Gowda, not Gooda. I enjoyed eating the cheese, however it is pronounced, on the 4 hour trip back home.

  • J says:

    This is an amazing post, thank you Karlijn. I will be using this for an upcoming 20 hour all up flight. 😛

    I am loving your recipes and information – and the website is so lovely, and easy to use.

  • Helen says:

    I’d love to hear more about your trip to Armenia – how did you manage for food whilst you were there? Did you travel alone?

  • Maureen M says:

    Hello. A trip from Australia to Europe for us includes a 13 hr flight from Singapore. When we last did a trip, pre-covid, I selected the Jain vegetarian menu as I knew onions and garlic would not be included. Most meals were delicious. Another option if it is available on a long flight. Cheers

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