Ostomy Diet Tips for the Holidays

Laura Cox, LPC
Ostomy Lifestyle Specialist | Shield HealthCare
11/09/15  10:17 AM PST
Ostomy Diet Tips

Ostomy Diet Tips for Special Events and the Holiday Season

It’s easy to forget about our dietary needs and restrictions when surrounded by laughter, family and friends, the excitement of new people or seasonal holiday cheer. Here are some ostomy diet tips to help keep your ostomy-friendly diet on track during the holiday season or when attending special events.

Stick to foods you know you tolerate well. Holidays and events are full of foods we don’t usually eat. If you’re second guessing whether you should try a dish or not, it may be best to play it safe and avoid the food. This is especially important if you’re away from home and your doctor. If you don’t want to miss out, make sure you only have a couple of bites of the new food, and follow it up with a glass of water.

Chew well. Chewing aids in digestion by assisting in the mechanical and chemical breakdown of food. It’s especially important for people who are missing part of their GI tract. Even if you’re usually great about chewing your food well, being surrounded by new people or loved ones and engaging in conversation can distract from chewing well before swallowing. Taking smaller bites and staying conscious of properly digesting your food can help avoid blockages and other food-related issues.

Be prepared. If you suspect you’ll be eating foods that you know can cause some ostomy related issues, be prepared by bringing products with you that can treat issues caused by certain foods. If you know you’ll be eating fish, eggs, or other odor producing foods, bring deodorizing drops. If you think you’ll be eating green beans, drinking soda, or ingesting other gas-producing ingredients, ask your doctor about taking an over the counter gas reliever like Gas X. If you are expecting to eat sugary deserts, drink alcohol or ingest other foods and beverages that are known to thin output or cause diarrhea, ask your doctor about taking something like Imodium or Metamucil.

Stay hydrated. Hydration is important for people with any type of ostomy. It’s easy to forget to drink enough fluids when distracted by everything happening during an event or around the holidays. The UOAA (United Ostomy Association of America) suggests drinking 8 – 10 servings of 8oz of fluids every day. They also suggest drinking liquids with electrolytes, like sports drinks, to restore electrolyte balance. Try keeping track of how many 8oz servings you have in a day, and keep track of what type of fluid you’re ingesting. Make a goal to be half-done with your hydration goal by noon (ex: “I will drink 4 servings of 8oz of liquid before 12:00 pm today.”).

We hope these tips will help keep you on track so you can enjoy the excitement of special events and holidays! For a more in-depth guide of diet and nutrition and general tips, check out our Summer 2015 OstomyLife Newsletter. If you missed it, you can find a PDF version HERE.

For more information, see related ostomy nutrition articles and resources here:

Shield HealthCare | Stronger with Shield

Serving Medicare Ostomates Nationwide
My family and I are taking a road trip. I wanted to know what accessories should be used when starting to drive or ride in a car. Should I use something to cover the stoma?
Great question! It all depends on if the seat belt is coming in contact with your stoma.
If the seat belt does not come in contact with your stoma, no additional accessories are needed. If the seat belt does come in contact, you can use a stoma guard or a seat belt cover to protect the stoma

Recent OstomyLife


  1. This is the first time to read info regarding my diet and medicine to take with my ostomy condition. The information provided here was very helpful. Thank you.

  2. I have a client your information is useful for. However, she is Spanish speaking and literate only. Do these come printed in the Spanish language also?

    Ana G., Social Worker Care Manager

  3. I had my ilistomy 1yr ago. I’m having terrible pain when I ride my medical scooter I have terrible pain on my tailbone. Please help

    1. Hi Barbara,
      I am so sorry to hear that. I recommend that you discuss this with your doctor. I hope you are able to find some relief.

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