functional nutrition

Sibo Doctor Approved
Alyssa Simpson RD, CDE, CLT
Alyssa Simpson

RDN, CGN, CLT
(602) 422-9800

Sibo Doctor Approved
certified gastrointestinal nutritionist
Sibo Doctor Approved
certified gastrointestinal nutritionist

Navigating the Bland Diet: Your Ultimate Guide & Comprehensive Bland Diet Food List PDF

Share This Post!

bland diet food list

Table of Contents

Welcome to the Bland Diet Food List PDF – your ultimate resource for a soothing and nourishing diet. As a registered dietitian and expert in digestive health, I utilize bland diets with my clients to aid in post-surgery recovery or to alleviate stomach discomfort.

In this article, I’m sharing with you my comprehensive list, compiled from over 20 years of practice as a dietitian, which includes everything patients needing a bland diet have requested. This extensive list offers gentle and easily digestible food options. Download the bland foods list to keep it handy in your kitchen; whether you print it out, tape it to the fridge, or save it digitally for quick reference.

Purpose of a bland diet

A bland diet is frequently suggested to alleviate stomach issues or manage conditions such as gastritis, ulcers, or GERD. Its purpose is to soothe the digestive system, alleviate symptoms like heartburn, bloating, or nausea, and aid in the body’s healing process. You may have been provided with a one-page handout at the hospital or in your doctor’s office containing only a few basic food options, leaving you with a load of questions and, most of all, wondering, “What the heck can I eat?” I got you! Download your bland food list pdf here.

Conditions that may require a bland diet

Conditions that might require a bland diet include gastritis, ulcers, GERD, IBS, diverticulitis, and other issues that render you sensitive to spicy or acidic foods. This diet is effective for gastritis, ulcers, GERD, post-surgery recovery, inflammatory bowel issues, swallowing difficulties, and stomach bugs. In most cases, you will want to adhere to the diet for a temporary period and then gradually reintroduce foods as tolerated.

Bland Diet Foods

bland diet food list

For a list of bland foods to eat, download your Bland Diet Food List PDF here.

Allowed Foods for a Bland Diet

On the bland diet, you can eat things like plain rice, boiled potatoes, cooked veggies without seasoning, chicken or fish, non-acidic fruits, and low fat dairy. Stay away from spicy, fried, or super-seasoned foods to keep your belly happy. Adjust what you eat based on what feels good for you, and as you feel better, you can slowly add more foods back in.

Hey, if you liked what you are reading so far and want to share your thoughts and tips and be part of a supportive community, click here.

Lean Proteins

Baked, broiled, roasted, or steamed with little or no added fat or oil, or in a soup or stew.

  • Skinless chicken
  • Ground turkey (90% or leaner)
  • Lean cuts of beef (filet, sirloin, 90% or leaner ground beef)
  • Fish or shellfish (not fried)
  • Canned tuna or salmon
  • Eggs or egg whites (scrambled, poached, soft or hard-boiled)
  • Tofu
  • Smooth nut or seed butter (2 Tbsp per sitting)
  • PB2 low-fat peanut butter powder
  • Low Fiber Grains & Starches
  • White Rice
  • White Bread
  • Tortillas (flour or corn)
  • English muffins
  • Saltine, Ritz, soda crackers, or rice crackers
  • Melba toast
  • Pretzels
  • Plain Pasta (regular or gluten-free)
  • Rice noodles
  • Low-fiber cereals (Rice Chex, Rice Krispies, Crispix, Corn Chex, Corn Flakes, Special K)
  • Cream of Wheat or grits
  • Mashed or baked potatoes (without skin)
  • Sweet potatoes (without skin)
  • Angel food cake
  • Nilla wafer cookies

Soft, Non-acidic Fruits

  • Bananas
  • Cantaloupe
  • Honeydew
  • Applesauce
  • Canned peaches
  • Canned pears
  • Canned fruit cocktail
  • Avocado (< ½ per sitting)

Cooked (soft) Vegetables

Well-cooked fresh or frozen, or canned vegetables, avoiding beans, peas, lima beans, and kernel corn.

  • Carrots
  • Green beans
  • Zucchini
  • Spinach
  • Beets
  • Asparagus
  • Carrot juice

Dairy & Dairy Alternatives

If you are lactose intolerant, use lactose-free or plant-based dairy alternatives.

  • Cow’s milk (skim, 1%, or 2%)
  • Fat-free or low-fat cottage cheese
  • Fat-free or low-fat cream cheese or sour cream
  • Almond milk
  • Rice milk
  • Plain or flavored yogurt (low fat or nonfat, no citrus flavors)
  • Low-fat cheese
  • Small amounts of full-fat cheese (sprinkle of Parmesan or feta, for example)
  • Puddings
  • Frozen yogurt

Flavor Enhancers & Fats

  • Salt
  • Mild seasonings
  • Butter, Mayonnaise, and mild salad dressing in small amounts.
  • Half & half (2 Tbsp per sitting)
  • Mustard
  • Honey
  • Syrup
  • Table sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Olive, avocado, or coconut oil (1 Tbsp per sitting)

Beverages

  • Water
  • Herbal teas
  • Protein shakes such as Orgain or Owyn shakes
  • Boost
  • Ensure
  • Pedialyte

Foods to Avoid on a Bland Diet

When you’re on a bland diet, it’s best to avoid things like coffee, tea, cocoa, carbonated drinks, and spicy foods. These can upset your stomach and make problems like heartburn or gastritis worse. Instead, try choosing foods and drinks that are gentle on your stomach, without caffeine, spiciness, or acidity.

Spicy, Highly Seasoned, or Acidic Flavors

  • Hot peppers, chili peppers, or chili powder
  • Black pepper
  • Spicy sauces (like BBQ sauce, hot sauce, horseradish, or ketchup)
  • Strongly seasoned dishes
  • Tomato sauce
  • Garlic & onions
  • Vinegars
  • Lemon or lime juice
  • Sauerkraut
  • Pickles
  • Chocolate
  • Peppermint
  • Cured or smoked meats (hot dogs, sausages, bacon

High fiber Foods

  • Whole grains like whole grain bread, brown rice, wild rice, bran cereals, granola, and oatmeal.
  • Popcorn
  • Nuts & seeds (in whole form)
  • Beans, Chickpeas, and Lentils (Hummus included)
  • Chunky peanut butter

Fruits With Seeds or Tough Skin, or Acidic Fruits

  • Oranges
  • Grapefruits
  • Lemons
  • Pineapple
  • Berries
  • Grapes
  • Kiwi
  • Apples
  • Dried fruit like raisins, dried cranberries

Raw or Acidic Vegetables

All raw vegetables, especially:

  • Raw baby carrots, celery, or cherry tomatoes as snacks.
  • Salads with rough greens like kale or spinach
  • Eggplant

Acidic vegetables, especially:

  • Tomatoes and tomato sauces

Potentially Gas-Forming Vegetables

This varies by individual, but caution with:

  • Cauliflower
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Bell peppers
  • Artichokes
  • Peas

High-Fat Foods

  • Whole milk
  • Full-fat yogurt
  • Full-fat cream cheese or sour cream
  • Cream sauces
  • Gravies
  • Ice cream
  • Fried foods
  • Potato chips
  • Fried potatoes (French fries, hashed browns)

Beverages

  • Coffee (regular or decaf)
  • Tea (black, green, or white – regular or decaf)
  • Carbonated beverages
  • Energy drinks
  • Alcoholic beverages

Creating a Balanced Bland Meal Plan

To make a balanced meal plan with a bland diet, mix up the foods you’re allowed to eat, like chicken, fish, rice, potatoes, veggies, fruits, and low-fat dairy. Try to have a bit of protein, carbs, and veggies or fruits in every meal, but avoid spicy sauces & seasonings. Also, pay attention to how much you’re eating and how often, so you’re getting the nutrients you need without upsetting your stomach. If you need help, I’m happy to give you personalized tips on planning your meals.

Bland Diet Menu

Sample bland meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner

These meal ideas are all about simple, easy-to-digest foods, but they still offer lots of variety and nutrition. Feel free to tweak them based on what you like and any special diets you follow.

Breakfast:

  • Plain oatmeal with sliced bananas and a drizzle of honey.
  • Scrambled eggs with steamed spinach and a side of plain toast.
  • Non-fat yogurt topped with a dollop of applesauce.
  • Boiled hot rice cereal with canned diced peaches.
  • White toast with almond butter.

Lunch:

  • Grilled chicken breast served with steamed carrots, white rice, and a side of cooked carrots.
  • Baked white fish with mashed potatoes and boiled or canned green beans.
  • Turkey and avocado wrap made with a plain tortilla served with unsweetened applesauce and steamed broccoli.
  • White rice salad with diced boiled eggs, mixed vegetables, and butter.
  • Tuna salad made with canned tuna, mayonnaise, dried dill, and served with Saltine crackers and sliced peaches.

Dinner:

  • Baked salmon with steamed broccoli, white rice, and steamed asparagus tips.
  • Stir-fried tofu with bell peppers, snap peas, and plain rice noodles.
  • Lean beef meatballs served with mashed potatoes and steamed zucchini.
  • Quinoa and black bean salad with diced tomatoes, cucumber, and a lemon-tahini dressing.
  • Roasted chicken breast with boiled sweet potatoes, cooked beets, and a side of canned pears.

Snacks:

I generally don’t recommend snacking because it increases gastric secretions, especially close to bedtime. But if you need something to settle your stomach, here are a few snack ideas:

  • Plain rice cakes topped with almond butter.
  • Cottage cheese with diced peaches.
  • Unsweetened Greek yogurt with honey.
  • Banana with peanut butter.

Importance of portion control

It’s important to keep an eye on portion sizes when you’re on a bland diet to prevent symptoms and help your digestion run smoothly. Try to tune in to your body’s signals, use smaller plates, and stick to the right serving sizes for veggies, proteins, and carbs on your plate. It’s also helpful to slow down, skip distractions while eating, and perhaps even use measuring tools to get your portions just right.

Tips for Success on a Bland Diet

  • Vary your meals to keep them interesting and ensure you’re getting all the necessary nutrients.
  • Plan ahead by preparing meals and snacks in advance and keeping plenty of bland-friendly options available to avoid temptation.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Listen to your body’s cues.
  • Get help from a dietitian who is experienced in gastrointestinal issues for personalized guidance and adjustments as needed.

Techniques to enhance flavor without irritation

Cooking Techniques: For adding yummy flavor without upsetting your tummy on the bland diet, try out gentle cooking methods like steaming, boiling, or baking.

Herbs: Fresh or dried herbs like basil, parsley, oregano, thyme, or cilantro can add depth of flavor without acidity.

Spices: Experiment with spices like garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, paprika, turmeric, or ginger to enhance taste without adding acidity.

Citrus Alternatives: Instead of lemon or lime juice, try using lemon or orange zest for a hint of citrus flavor without the acidity.

Vinegar Substitutes: Use alternatives like apple cider vinegar diluted with water, rice vinegar, or white wine vinegar in small amounts for a milder acidic taste.

Mustard: Dijon mustard or mustard powder can add tanginess to dishes without increasing acidity levels.

Sarah’s Bland Diet Success Story

Let me tell you about Sarah, my amazing client! Sarah reached out to me after a rough stint with gastritis. She had been experiencing intense stomach pain and nausea that landed her in the ER. They gave her some meds, IV fluids, and a basic diet handout, and off she went. Luckily, they also suggested she see a gastroenterologist, who then pointed her in my direction.

Sarah had a ton of questions about her diet and overall well-being. She wanted to know everything from what to eat, how to transition back to normal foods, and how to prevent this whole ordeal from happening again.

First, we took a deep dive into her nutrition needs and put together a plan (which included foods and some supplements) that gave her all of the necessary nutrients within the confines of the bland diet.

Sarah was relieved because she felt the one-page handout she got in the ER was too limited. “It’s all junky food!” she told me, referring to the many white flour products listed like bread, pasta, and crackers, when she was used to eating veggies, whole grains, and fruits. Our plan built in those foods and nutrients in a way she could tolerate.

Next, we developed a plan to slowly reintroduce foods back into her diet while keeping a close eye on how her body reacted. I made sure she had a clear roadmap of what to introduce each week, and we stayed in touch through emails for any questions or concerns that popped up between our sessions.

To ensure continued digestive wellness and avoid a repeat of her gastritis, we explored her lifestyle and health history to identify potential triggers. It turned out she was managing a lot with a new baby and two young children, alongside persistent back pain from her last pregnancy. I gently encouraged her to discuss her frequent use of Ibuprofen with her primary care physician and introduced stress-reducing techniques and dietary adjustments to support her digestive health.

With a few supplements and a solid maintenance plan in place, Sarah’s feeling better than ever. She’s even got her whole family on board with healthier eating habits! Curious to learn about how working with a dietitian can help you? Let’s chat.

Bland Diet FAQ

Can you eat mashed potatoes on a bland diet?

  • Yes, mashed potatoes are often allowed on a bland diet as they are easy to digest and generally well-tolerated by most people. However, it’s important to avoid adding spices, butter, or excessive seasoning to keep them bland and gentle on the stomach.

Can I have dairy products on a bland diet?

  • Dairy products are generally allowed on a bland diet, but it’s best to choose low-fat or non-fat options and avoid highly flavored varieties.

How long should I follow a bland diet?

  • The duration of a bland diet depends on individual circumstances and should be determined in consultation with a healthcare professional.

Can I drink coffee or tea on a bland diet?

  • It’s best to avoid coffee and opt for decaffeinated tea or herbal infusions while on a bland diet.

Are there any exceptions for certain medical conditions or situations?

  • Certain medical conditions or situations may require modifications to a bland diet, so it’s important to follow personalized advice from a healthcare provider.

Can I eat out while following a bland diet, and how can I make suitable choices?

  • Eating out while on a bland diet can be challenging, but opting for simple, plain dishes like grilled chicken or steamed vegetables and baked potato with butter can be a safer choice.

How can I ensure I’m getting enough nutrients while on a bland diet?

  • To ensure adequate nutrient intake, focus on incorporating a variety of bland foods and consider consulting a dietitian for personalized guidance.
Free IBS Resource Guide
The Top 5 IBS Resources I Use Every Day
Get your Free Meal Picklist
Join My Free Facebook Group
Testimonials
Meet Alyssa
Alyssa Simpson RD, CDE, CLT
registered dietitian weight loss tips
Is IBS Slowing You Down?

Get Your Free IBS Resource Guide Now and start feeling better fast!