Eating With An Ileostomy

Good morning! Today I am really excited to be collaborating with Amy from #StomaBags blog. We both have stomas and decided to work together on a post about eating with an ostomy, as so many worry about what they can and can’t eat following surgery. The list you get from your stoma nurse is not exhaustive and it differs for every person – hopefully as me and Amy will show!


Firstly – a little bit about Amy from the lady herself –

Hey readers! I’m Amy aka IBD Warrior Princess. I’m 28 and I’ve had my permanent ileostomy, Stacey Stoma, since August 2011. My stoma saved my life & I am a big believer in making the most of life with a stoma but knowing when to practice self care too. Life with a stoma isn’t without it’s problems but it is a walk in the park compared to the no quality of life I had pre-surgery. I don’t remember much about my childhood or the majority of my teenage years that wasn’t to do with my Crohn’s Disease as I was diagnosed aged 7. I work full time in accounts and also am a part-time blogger for a few ostomy companies, as well as running my own blog over at: I blog about all things in the ostomy world but particularly love writing about mental health & ostomy fashion. My motto is “you own your bag, it doesn’t own you!” 🙂

We decided to show a snippet of what we eat by selecting some meals over a week in the form of a food diary. I hope you find this really useful and please feel free to message or drop a comment below if you have any questions.

Monday – What To Do With Leftovers?

So yesterday we had a roast chicken dinner and there was plenty of chicken leftover. The best comfort food in this miserable cold weather is a casserole I believe – so that is what I made!

Chicken Casserole

Vegetables can be a huge worry for ostomates. I don’t know about you but after being on a terrible diet post surgery (between trying to stay low residue and pile on the weight I had lost) I was dying for something more nutritious! The great thing about casseroles and stews is that you can cook it for ages so all the vegetables are really soft and as long as you chew well, shouldn’t cause too many issues. I didn’t have any potatoes in there so I had some bread on the side to go with ii. The carbohydrate rich foods tend to be the ones that can thicken output, which is really useful if you tend to have watery output.

Tuesday – Night Time Snacks Needed!

Tonight I treated myself to some sweet popcorn while I watched Netflix in bed. Popcorn is one of the things on ‘the list’ – you know the one we are all given after ostomy surgery with DO NOT EAT on?! When I plucked up the courage to give it a try, I started with a small amount and chewed REALLY well. Guess what – I was fine! I now eat it as a regular snack and have never had any issues. Not everyone is the same and there are foods that people struggle with, so my advice is to give things a try. Always start small, chew really well and drink plenty alongside so you are flushing it all through.

I also snack on jelly sweets (things like marshmallows and jelly babies can help thicken output) and crisps (my body seems to know when my salt is getting low and I crave a bag or three).

Thursday – Soup Is One Of My Staples

It’s not always homemade but this one was – and it was bloody delicious! I often have soup when I am struggling a bit or feel a little backed up as it finds it way through my narrowings much easier and can still fill me up and contain some good stuff. This is also a great option if you are struggling with vegetables but still want to eat healthily. You can blend a soup to complete liquid which gets rid of some of the fibre and allows you to get some vitamins and nutrients from the veg.

I also keep a stash of meal replacement drinks just in case I am struggling with a blockage or am in pain.

Saturday – Breakfast With The Kids

One of our favourite things about the weekend is we can enjoy special breakfasts – like fry ups and our most favourite – pancakes! Not just the kids but me too! I either make crepes and then load up with strawberries (the kids have blueberries and grapes too but I can’t eat those due to the skins) and cinnamon sugar or the easy banana pancakes. These are made with just one large banana and two eggs and then cooked in a frying pan like normal pancakes. These are great for a protein boost and if you can’t eat a lot of fruit you get a good amount of mashed banana in these to bump up your 5 a day count!

Mama’s Pancake Station Open For Business

In the week I tend to have cereal or toast. I love porridge but buy the Ready Oats stuff as it is completely smooth, as opposed to just the oats.

Sunday – It Has To Be A Roast!

Oh Sunday – my favourite! This week we enjoyed roast beef, which can be one of the trickier meats to digest when you have an ostomy. Cooking it so it is nice and tender and chewing REALLY well tends to work for me!

Roast Beef Dinner

As for the veg – as I said previously, I am pretty lucky in the fact that I can eat most vegetables, as long as they are cooked well so they are nice and soft. The only vegetables I struggle with are sweetcorn and beans (green beans etc) so I will always avoid these. I also eat A LOT of mushrooms, shock horror! Like with the popcorn I started small and chew them really well. When I am making things like spaghetti bolognaise I cut them up super small so the sauce has the flavour but doesn’t contain chunky bits of mushroom.

I hope you enjoyed this little look into my food diary – as I said before please contact me or pop a comment below if you have any questions.

If you have come over from Amy’s post – welcome, I hope you will stick around and give the blog a follow (see top right of the page). And if you haven’t yet seen Amy’s post you can view it by clicking here.

17 Comments on “Eating With An Ileostomy

  1. how very brave of you too show this .people never see the every day effects .there views/judgements are very Snotty Nosed ..i have IBS long list health issues M.E .migraines list goes on .i take part in a lot lot research
    my blog,..http;//


    • Thank you! People don’t understand the day to day complexities of having a chronic illness – it really is a case of you don’t get it till you get it – but hopefully blogs like ours will help spread some awareness as well as supporting people with the same conditions


  2. Pingback: Ten Top Tips To Prepare For Ostomy Surgery – The Spoonie Mummy

  3. My is 87 and she just now has a stoma and we’re trying to figure out the best foods for her to eat do you have any suggestions besides fruit water what meats would be good what protein would be good


    • I generally find white meats easier to digest so some soft chicken breast would probably be the best place to start. Keep it pretty soft at first, things like mashed potatoes and pasta are good but will thicken up the stoma output- good for if output is loose but not so good if it is already quite thick. Be careful with starting fruits and veggies. Cook veg really well so it is soft and remove any veg and fruit skins before eating xx


  4. Nice, I love soups and stews also! At 2 months postop I eat a lot of things on the obstructive list and eat salads daily, as well as whole apples with skins and other raw fruit and veg. I drive my mom crazy when I’m over there and she says something like you can’t have this (contains nuts or skins etc) or this I made specially for you (no skins or whatnot) and I’m like oh I can eat just about anything! She is so afraid I’m going to end up with an obstruction, but I was careful in trying foods and there are a handful I don’t think I’ll ever try in fear: pineapple, celery, dried fruit, peanuts, corn….mushrooms and popcorn were on that list until I read your post! I think I’ll try them in small quantities and chew well. Plus the tip on cutting the mushrooms very small is a great idea also!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes you still get the flavour then but not the chunks! I also manage celery and pineapple with no issues! Sweetcorn, apple/potato skins, peanuts and string type/kidney beans are my no nos! But then I know people who eat them fine so it really is so individual! Best advice is to start with a small portion, chew really well (which apparently is something I am TERRIBLE at lol) and drink plenty as you eat to help flush it through xx

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for the tips! Yeah it’s amazing and individual for sure on what we can and cannot eat….I’ve been fine with apple and potato skins so far, the other things I have just been too afraid to try yet. I know there are people who can eat any and everything with their ileostomy, but I really think those with strictures or scar tissue are more prone to obstructions and need to be more careful

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah I have three strictures along my small bowel due to scar tissue so occasionally get backed up and have to switch to a liquid diet till everything clears through. Is a nightmare and I look 7 months pregnant but at least I can sort of get it under control myself nowadays as I know what’s happening x

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi !
    I have a high output ileostomy and am finding it difficult to maintain my weight. Also I would really like to gain 15 lbIs
    I am taking lomotil and questran started about 2 week ago. It has been 5 months since my last surgery bringing the total to 7 in the last 2 1/2 years.
    Now I have a permanent end ileostomy. I am having trouble with my doctors not being very helpful 😦
    And I am looking to switch but here in the United States I am finding it hard to find a any doctor who has a lot of knowledge in this area. No one seems to specialize in high output. And I don’t feel listened to by either of my doctors.
    I have not been diagnosed with short bowl syndrome. I get no real answer from my surgeon, he just avoids it with out saying yes or no. ( I’ve had three different surgeons during this time and started out with surgery for a bowel obstruction which resulted in my coming out of surgery with a colostomy) My primary care doctor is an internist and doesn’t seem to know where to send me for answers.
    All 3 surgeons said I could be reconnected, all three surgeries failed and now I am left with the permanent ileostomy. The second surgeon was at Cleveland clinic where people travel from all over the world to go, but still a failed attempt happened.
    Very poor communication from all 3 surgeons. I am now looking at doing a consultation at Mayo Clinic. They are the only place I have found who have specialized clinics for people with high output and or short bowel syndrome.
    I just can’t seem to find the secret to how to eat and separate my fluids and it is very stressful and life consuming. After all this time I know what thickens my output, it is more the volume of food and what I am expected to drink that I am having problems with.
    My two biggest worries are losing weight and dehydration. My numbers were good the last time I had blood drawn and I had gained back a few lbs, but now I am going the other way again and I am really scared and anxious.
    Any tips or ideas on how to address this would be greatly appreciated !


    • I have written a few posts with tips on hydration which can be tricky with an ileostomy – if you pop hydration in the search tab you should find them easy enough! I am really sorry to hear of your struggles with finding a doctor who can help and hope your visit to Mayo Clinic is a good one!


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