• franceswalker@thefoodinto

Quick breakfast cereals on the FAILSAFE or RPAH elimination diet.

Breakfast cereal: a quick and easy ready to grab breakfast when doing the FAILSAFE (Royal Prince Alfred Hospital -RPAH- elimination) as well as an easy snack.

As a quick recap: the RPAH elimination diet eliminates salicylates, amines, glutamates and certain food additives from the diet, and challenges to identify if these are causing food symptoms. FAILSAFE is the strict level of the RPAH elimination diet.

There are a number of suitable choices depending on whether you are eating wheat or gluten or are wheat/gluten free. Although it is worth noting that the more substantial cereals such as porridge (if tolerate oats or gluten free: from rice or quinoa) can set you up better for the day than the lighter brekkie cereal options.

BREAKFAST CEREALS (if wheat/gluten is ok)

If you do not need to avoid wheat or gluten there is a large number of commercial breakfast cereals that will fit the bill. Not suitable if restricting FODMAPs (oligosacchardides found in products containing significant amounts of wheat) with the exception of oats (see below).

Always check the ingredient list as ingredients can (and do) suddenly change without warning.

There are a number of brekkie cereals suitable that are high in fibre so there is a good chance you will find a favourite among this list:

  • Sanitarium Weet-bix

  • Uncle Toby's Weeties

  • Kellogg's Allbran, Special K

  • Rolled oats, plain quick oats (porridge)

The wheat based cereals are high in FODMAPs.

Quick oats are low FODMAP for 1/4 cup (uncooked), but 1/2 cup is moderate in oligosaccharides (FOS & GOS) according to the Monash low FODMAP app.

Rolled oats: 1/2 cup is low in FODMAPs but 3/4 cup or 80g and you will get a high amount of oligosaccharides (GOS and maybe FOS).

Some people do better with lower fibre choices while on the elimination diet so choosing cereals such as rice bubbles may be a better choice, but less filling.

Note that Kellogg's rice bubbles is not gluten free as contains a small amount of gluten in the form of malt extract. Gluten free rice bubbles are available as well as puffed rice.


There are a limited number of GF commercial cereals that are low in chemicals (and low in FODMAPs):

  • Good Morning does a 'Multipuff' breakfast cereal that is suitable and is a combination of Brown Rice Puffs, Buckwheat Puffs and Sorghum Puffs. Source these at a health food store.

  • Gluten free weet-bix is a suitable choice (sorgum).

  • Gluten Free Special K is another quick and easy choice- made from wholegrain brown rice. Useful for crumbing meats as well.

Gluten Free grains grains can be made into porridge such as rice porridge made from ground rice or quinoa porridge made from quinoa flakes. Mix different GF grains such as rolled rice, amaranth and quinoa flakes and millet to make a mixed grain porridge. Gluten free puffed grains such as puffed rice, puffed millet and puffed millet or puffed buckwheat make a great muesli (see below) with dried pear (check no sulphites) and cashews for extra taste.

Gluten free grains tend to be low in FODMAPs with the following exceptions: amaranth flour or flakes or puffed amaranth

  • reduced amounts of puffed amaranth (1/4 cup) is low in FODMAPs according to Monash low FODMAP app.

Any legume based flours such as chick pea flour or lentil flour is high in FODMAPs. Find more about gluten free grains on the low chemical diet.



  • Mix 1/2 cup rice flakes or quinoa flakes with 1 cup of water or tolerated milk.

  • Simmer for at least 5 minutes.

  • Top with tinned pear (high FODMAP) and pure maple syrup to taste.

Nice and filling and happens to be also low in FODMAPs as well as low in food chemicals or salicylates | amines | glutamates and additives.


Combine a range of GF grains such as quinoa flakes, puffed rice, puffed quinoa, puffed amaranth (1/4 cup max per serve for low FODMAPs) and store in an airtight container to keep them crisp and ready to use.

Turn this into toasted muesli by combining 3-4 cups of the GF muesli with 2 TBSP rice bran oil & 2 TBSP golden syrup and heat in an oven (180 degrees C) on lined baking trays for 5 minutes or until lovely and golden. Quick, easy and yummy.

To keep it low FODMAP have a max of 1/4 serve to keep golden syrup at 1/2 TBSP. Or reduce amount of golden syrup if you want to have a bigger serve!


Whatever your cereal of choice, partner with tolerated milk, whether it is cow's milk or alternatives such as calcium fortified rice milk. Rice milk and other alternative milks do not naturally contain calcium so it needs to be added 120mg per 100ml to act as a dairy alternative.

Other milk alternatives such as almond and coconut milk are high in food chemicals and oat milk will be too concentrated for those avoiding gluten or react to oats.

If low FODMAPs, the milk alternatives are appropriate as no lactose. However, if soy is tolerated, soy milk is usually made from soy beans which are high in FODMAPs. Look out for soy milk made from soy protein for example Coles soy milk (UHT).


Low chemical alternatives to honey are sugar, rice syrup golden syrup or pure maple syrup (not flavoured as high in salicylates).

If FODMAP sensitive, careful how much golden syrup you choose to add as any more than 1/2 tablespoon at a sitting increases the level of oligosaccharides (FOS).


The infamous low salicylate, amines, glutamates and additive toppers:

  • Cashew nuts (note limit on daily cashew intake for strict elimination = 10 raw or lightly toasted nuts or 2 teaspoons of home made 100% cashew paste). To be low FODMAPs, either reduce cashews to max of 4-5 (FODMAP Friendly app) or avoid (Monash low FODMAP app).

  • Dried pears (no additives, especially sulphites). Dried pears are harder to find these days, especially without sulphites. Absolutefruitz do a great freeze-dried pear. Can also dry your own (no skin). Again a limit of 2 pears on the strict chemical elimination diet. Pears are high in FODMAPs.

So what ever you preference and dietary needs on the low chemical elimination diet, there is a breakfast cereal that should meat your needs.


  1. Food Intolerance Network website (Sue Dengate). https://fedup.com.au/information/information/short-failsafe-shopping-list. Accessed 24/06/18.

  2. RPAH elimination diet handbook: with food and shopping guide. Anne Swain, Velencia Soutter, Robert Loblay, 2011 (revised edition).

  3. Monash University low FODMAP app. Version 2.0.9. Accessed 24/06/2018.

  4. FODMAP FRIENDLY app, version 3.7. Accessed 24/06/18



Frances Walker

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