I know firsthand how challenging it is to deal with food sensitivities and allergies, especially in the backcountry. So after researching what pre-packaged, freeze-dried meals were compatible with my various medical restrictions, I built a comprehensive chart for the more commonly sold meal packets. Each product listed indicates the presence of major food allergens at the time that this post was published, including dairy (D), egg (E), nuts (N), seafood/fish (F), soy (S), and wheat (W), while also indicating lower/medium/high levels of FODMAP ingredients and the existence of meat. Each product then links to the manufacturer’s website where the exact ingredients should be verified before ordering while also verifying the physical labels before consuming.
DISCLAIMERS: I make no warranty as to the accuracy of the information presented below. Errors could exist or ingredients could have changed since publishing. The information is presented purely to assist in the selection of potential meal products and should not be used as a substitute for verifying the exact ingredients of each meal packet before consumption.
CROSS CONTAMINATION DISCLAIMER: The information below does not include potential cross-contamination that might occur due to shared equipment utilized in the manufacturing or packaging processes. Some manufacturers list this caveat, if applicable, while others may not. The exact ingredients and other disclosures for a meal packet should be confirmed each time before consuming.
RECOMMENDATION: I always try a new meal product at home, within close proximity to medical care, before adding that product to my list of potential meal options while in the backcountry.
I have Celiac Disease which is an allergy to gluten in foods. I really like you list here in the blog post. Yet, I am a bit concerned that you speak to only Wheat (W) as a food allergy. Being celiac and allergic to gluten mean that I cannot eat any food with Wheat, Rye or Barley. It goes beyond just Wheat. My suggestion to you is to instead of denote wheat (W) that you denote Gluten and use (G). Just a thought.
Thanks for the comment, Todd. Given the severity of food allergies and complexities of various food intolerances, I have purposefully kept things a bit high level so that people have a starting point for what foods to easily eliminate before carefully reading the specific ingredients of each meal packet considered. I hope that the Wheat (W) indicator at least helps folks like you with a starting point.
ALERT: The Low Fodmap selections all include garlic and/or onion (thus, they’re not low-fodmap). The exception is freeze-dried chicken breast…
Like you said, all of these packets include some FODMAP ingredients, so compromises have to be made for those with IBS. Per the disclaimer at the top of the post, I’m trying to highlight what is on the lower side and what is on the higher side while also encouraging each person to use this as a starting point before verifying each ingredient for each meal to determine what is acceptable to them.
I found this as well. Anything containing any amount of garlic or onion cannot be called low fodmap. Please remove this category as they’re almost all completely incorrect.
I think the info is accurate given the overview/disclaimer. I know many backpackers who try to avoid FODMAP foods but need to at least diversify their diet beyond the single food packet that is truly no/low FODMAP and instead go for the lower FODMAP packets as a mitigation strategy without totally eliminating.
It’s pretty rad that you put this chart together, man. Just what I needed. Sadly, it is still really hard to find low FODMAP meals for the back country, and I don’t have the dehydration equipment to do it myself just yet. Anyways, thanks again!
Thankfully several of the “Lower” FODMAP items identified in this chart have a very small amount of FODMAP ingredients that will hopefully provide some bikepackers/backpackers/etc with relieve, at least when compared to the Med/Higher packets.
Thank you so much for putting this together! When you have multiple allergies, it is so overwhelming to search through all of the foods by yourself, and then you end up only eating crackers and cheese the whole trip to avoid any triggers. Like you said, this is a great starting point to start one’s search. Thank you!
Thank you, Scott. As you know, you kind of have to experience it to appreciate how difficult putting a camping menu together is when you’ve got restrictions. My camp menu is so repetitive it makes me crazy, and I’m going to spend some time trying meals this summer to expand the menu. One quick note to all, however – even a meal that is a solid “yes!” for you can give you problems if you are not fully hydrated yourself and/or if your meal is not fully hydrated.
This is an awesome list! Very overwhelming to look through everything. Thanks so much for putting it together!
I’m giving the FODMAP diet a go and this was epic to read! thank you so much 🙂
Keep in mind that even the “Low” FODMAP indicated foods may have FODMAP ingredients…but at least they are not the primary ingredients (ie. you may find a bit of garlic added).