The smell of barbecue wafts through the air as summer is in full swing. We understand that having a stoma can sometimes make you feel anxious about social events like a barbecue, but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out. With a little care and guidance, you can navigate through the barbecue food spread with confidence.
This blog post aims to help those living with a stoma enjoy summer BBQs fully, highlighting the foods you can savour and advising on what you might want to avoid.
Foods to Enjoy
Firstly, remember that everyone is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. However, some foods are generally well-tolerated by people with stomas.
Lean meats like grilled chicken or turkey are an excellent choice. They are not only low in fat but also provide a substantial source of protein.
Fish like salmon and cod are usually stoma-friendly as well. They are rich in essential nutrients and are easy to digest. Try cooking in a foil parcel with fresh herbs – delicious!
Soft Cooked Vegetables
Vegetables like peppers, courgettes and aubergines, when grilled until soft, can be a good choice. The cooking process helps to break down the fibre, making it easier for your stoma to handle. Seasoned and served with fresh herbs, they are a tasty accompaniment to grilled chicken or fish.
Bread rolls, flatbread, or other soft bread can be enjoyed. They can also be a base for other stoma-friendly foods, like grilled chicken or soft cheese.
Certain fruits like bananas, melon, and cooked apple slices are typically well-tolerated. A fresh fruit salad can provide you with a burst of flavours, vitamins, and hydration. But watch out for berries and other fruit with lots of seeds which can be difficult to digest.
Foods to Avoid
Here are some foods you might want to limit or avoid to prevent potential stoma-related complications.
Corn and Other High-Fibre Foods
Corn, whether it’s on the cob or in a salad, can be hard to digest and can lead to blockages for people with a stoma. The same goes for other high-fibre foods like raw fruits with skin, raw vegetables, and whole-grain bread.
Spicy BBQ marinades might taste fantastic, but they can potentially irritate your digestive system. If you’re sensitive to spicy foods, consider choosing mildly seasoned options instead. You will get to know how much spice you can tolerate.
Avoid meats that are hard to chew or seem tough, as they can also lead to blockages. Always remember to chew your food thoroughly to help with digestion.
It’s tempting to have a beer or two during summer BBQs, but remember that alcohol can cause dehydration, especially if you have an ileostomy. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, and consider limiting your alcohol intake.
Tips for a Stoma-Friendly BBQ
- Speak Up: If you’re attending a BBQ, don’t hesitate to talk about your dietary needs. Most hosts are more than willing to accommodate.
- Bring a Dish: To ensure you have something to eat, consider bringing a stoma-friendly dish. This can take the stress out of wondering what you can eat.
- Stay Hydrated: Dehydration can be a common issue in the summer, especially if you have a stoma. Keep a water bottle handy and sip regularly throughout the day.
- Portion Control: Enjoy a variety of foods, but be mindful of your portion sizes. Eating too much at once can make it harder for your body to digest the food.
- Chew Thoroughly: Always remember to chew your food well. This helps with digestion and can prevent blockages.
Remember, you know your body best. What works for one person might not work for you. Pay attention to your body’s responses, and over time, you’ll come to understand what foods are best for you.
Summer is all about enjoying the outdoors, the sun, and of course, the barbecue! Having a stoma doesn’t have to stop you from taking part in the fun. With the right approach and knowledge, you can enjoy the BBQ season just like everyone else. Happy grilling!
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