Turkey with all the trimmings Mince pies. Leftover-sandwiches. These are some of the most anticipated Christmas traditions.

For millions of people with digestive issues, festive favorites can be a disaster. FODMAPs refers to foods high in fermentable sugars. These include root vegetables, Brussels sprouts and dried fruits.

The sugars can interact with the healthy bacteria of the stomach, which triggers the release gas, which may cause that horrible feeling of bloating. Irritable bowel syndrome affects one Briton out of five. It causes diarrhoea, painful and embarrassing flatulence, along with agonising symptoms.

An eating plan that aims to pinpoint patients’ unique triggers, by eliminating high-FODMAP foods, then reintroducing them one at a time, is the main treatment for the condition.

Experts have also found that diets low in these foods can also ease inflammation associated with bowel diseases such as Crohn’s and colitis, while those with dairy intolerance are advised to avoid lactose – a commonly consumed FODMAP.

Many will wonder: Christmas is the best time to eat?

Here, in collaboration with nutritionist and YOU magazine recipe writer Annie Bell, we’ve created variations on the festive staples that are suitable for the most sensitive stomach.

From scrumptious vegetable sides to indulgent festive desserts, these dishes are just as tasty as the traditional versions, but won’t leave you clutching your stomach.

Bake with root vegetable and cheddar 

Garlic and onions are two vegetables high in FODMAPs. These veggies often feature in many recipe to increase flavour. The green portion of leeks can be used to create a similar flavor without any negative side effects.

The thin slices of parsnip, which contain a low level of FODMAPs, mean you get a very small amount per portion – unlikely to spark symptoms.

Serves 6.

  • Peeled carrots, 450g
  • Parsnips peeled, thinly sliced to 450g
  • Sliced leeks of 450g (green portions only).
  • 250ml vegetable stock
  • 30g unsalted butter diced
  • 1½ tsp caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 100g grated cheddar
  • 50g Fresh Breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Optional: 6 Tbsp flat leaf chopped parsley

Pre-heat oven to 220C/gas Mark 8. In a large saucepan, combine the butter, stock, carrots, and leeks with a pinch salt. Heat the liquid over medium heat until it boils. Cover and let the liquid simmer for 5 minutes. Cover the pot and cook for 15 more minutes.

Whisk the eggs together with salt, pepper and cheese in another bowl. Finally, stir in the remaining two-thirds. In a bowl, combine the oil with the breadcrumbs. Then add the rest of cheese to the mixture.

Combine the vegetables with the egg-cheese mixture. Add the parsley to the bowl and mix well. Place the mixture in a shallow, oven-proof casserole measuring 30 cm by 30 cm. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top.

Put the dish into a baking tin. Add boiling water to a tray and cover it with the tray. Bake the breadcrumbs for 30 to 35 minutes, or until they are golden.

With celery, spring onions and sundried tomatoes green beans 

Bacon and sprouts are commonly fried in shallots. These have an equal amount of fermentable sweeteners to onions. Celery is a better choice than bacon.

If you have a sweet tooth, replace sundried tomatoes with dried cranberries – as they are one of few dried fruits that are very low in FODMAPs.

Serves 6.

  • 150ml White Wine
  • Celery sticks, chopped finely
  • 30g unsalted butter diced
  • 60g chopped sundried tomatoes, (from a can).
  • 400g of fine green beans. The stalk ends are trimmed and the halves halved.
  • Three spring onions, green parts only. Sliced

Place the celery and white wine in a saucepan. Bring to boil, then simmer for several minutes. Add butter to the mixture and mix in the sun-dried tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper.

Boil a large pot of water and boil the beans. Cook for approximately 4-5 minutes, or until they are tender. Use a colander to drain the beans. Once the beans are drained, return the saucepan to boil and add the sauce. Toss the mixture. Add spring onions to the sauce before you serve.

Roast turkey with stuffing made of chestnut, leek and sage

Most recipes for home-made stuffing use sausage meat and bread – not great for those prone to bloating.

The high levels of fructans (fermentable fruit sugars) in wheat make it a popular ingredient for sausage meat. You can find wheat-free bread in many supermarkets. This vegetarian recipe uses it. Also, gluten-free bread is possible. 

Serves 6-8

  • Free-range 5kg turkey
  • Torn into smaller pieces, 225g wheat-free or gluten bread
  • 450ml vegetable stock
  • 85g unsalted butter
  • 2 chopped finely (green portions only)
  • 2 stalks of celery chopped
  • A small bunch of chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried sauerkraut or fresh sauerkraut
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • 1 egg whisked
  • 50g of cooked chestnuts.

Cook a turkey, seasoned with salt and pepper, as normal – at 220C/gas mark 8 for roughly 15 minutes per 500g for a bird under 5kg, and 13 minutes per 500g for a bird 500g or over.

After thirty minutes of cooking, reduce the oven temperature to 200C/gasmark 6. To cover the oven, use foil. Remove foil about 45 minutes prior to the end.

Prepare the stuffing about an hour before your turkey cooks. Set aside the torn bread.

Bring the stock to boil in a large saucepan. Heat the butter in another saucepan. Once the butter has melted, add the leek, celery and stir to combine. The butter mixture should be added to the bread. Next, add the parsley, rosemary, sage, and salt. Mix in the egg, then add the stock one at a.

Place the stuffing in an ovenproof casserole and bake for 50 minutes.

Citrus roasted Tomatoes and peppers

Because they don’t contain fermentable sugars, peppers are the most friendly vegetable for those with digestive problems.

Some people find that large quantities of tomatoes – usually tins of chopped tomatoes, or tomato ketchup – can trigger acid reflux, which often co-exists with IBS. This is because there are only small amounts of tomatoes per serving, so symptoms will not be triggered.

Serves 6.

  • 6 orange, red or yellow peppers
  • Orange zest in 3 strips
  • Optional: 1 cinnamon stick
  • 18 cherry tomatoes
  • 8-10 thyme stems or 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • Extra virgin olive oil 5 Tbsp
  • 2 tablespoons lemon/lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp orange or clementine juice

Turn the oven on to 210C/gas Mark 7. Remove the seeds from each pepper and cut it into pieces. Place in a roasting or baking pan.

Toss in tomatoes, lemon zest, and cinnamon sticks. Drizzle 3 Tbsp oil over the mixture and season it with salt and pepper. To ensure that peppers become tender, roast for about 50-60 minutes. Continue stirring after 20 minutes.

Make the dressing while the peppers cook. In a large bowl combine the lemon, lime and clementine juices with some salt. Finally add the 2 tbsp oil.

Sprinkle the oil over the bell peppers and tomatoes. Toss gently, then transfer to your serving platter.

Turkey Aubergine curry and roasted nuts

IBS is often triggered by leftovers. This recipe does not contain starchy vegetables and is great for those who don’t like garlic and onions.

Serves 4.

  • 5 tbsp groundnut (or vegetable) oil
  • 2 medium aubergines, diced
  • 1 Celery Stick, chopped
  • 2 tsp garam masala spice
  • 2 diced tomatoes.
  • 300g of cold turkey
  • 275ml Coconut Milk (or any milk-free option)
  • 1 Tbsp of lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons caster sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves.
  • Chopped peanuts, almonds, pecans 

In a large saucepan heat 2 Tbsp oil over medium heat. Once the oil has melted, add half of the aubergine. Fry until translucent and golden.

Put in a bowl and then heat the rest. Turn the remaining oil heat to medium and cook celery until golden.

Add garam masala and tomatoes to the mixture. Season with salt. Let the tomatoes cool on a low heat until they begin to collapse.

First batch of aubergine should be returned to the pan. Add turkey, and cook until heated through. Mix in the remaining milk and lemon juice. Salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle the nuts and extra coriander over.

Raspberry Christmas Sundae 

Christmas trifles may be delicious, but the overload of cream and custard can spark symptoms if you’re sensitive to milk sugars.

Pear and apple desserts are high in fermentable sugars, which can cause bloating. An alternative is to use sorbet.

Serves 4.

  • 150g raspberry or strawberry jam
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Strawberry sorbet in 500ml containers
  • Two small handfuls Raspberry jam

In a large saucepan, heat the jam with the lemon juice to loosen.

Spread a handful of raspberry sorbet into 4 dessert glasses. Add a tablespoon of jam to each glass.

Festive berry pavlova 

Pavlovas made with cream contain a lot of FODMAPs due to the milk sugars. But in Greek yogurt, the sugars that IBS sufferers struggle to digest – lactose – are largely strained out during processing, giving a rich, creamy texture.

For low-FODMAP fruits, such as grapes and oranges or passionfruit, you can substitute berries.

Serves 6-8

  • 6 large eggs whites
  • 350g of white caster sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Cornflour
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 800g berries (raspberries, strawberries, blueberries)
  • 40g icing sugar
  • Optional: 2 Tbsp Orange or any other fruit liqueur
  • Lemon juice: squeeze some
  • 300ml Greek yogurt, or dairy-free yogurt

Pre-heat the oven at 210C/gas 7. Mix the egg whites until stiff, in a bowl. Then, add the caster sugar, a little at a time. Whisk well.

Whisk in the cornflour and vinegar, one at a time, until you get a stiff meringue. Place the parchment on a baking sheet and spread the spoon-soup mixture in an even layer. Then, use the spoon to swirl the meringue onto the cookie sheet.

Bake the meringue for about 90 minutes in an oven at 120C/gas Mark 1.

Put a third of your meringue, the icing Sugar, lemon juice and any liqueur in a blender while it is still cooking. Put the meringue through a sieve and into a bowl.

Take large, ripe strawberries in half and combine the remaining fruits with the sauce.

Spread the meringue onto a large platter. Next, pour the yogurt in the middle. Finally, add the sauce and berries.