We know that when you have gut issues and are on the low FODMAP diet, it can feel like your dating life is over. Dining out with a new love interest (or even a friend) can feel embarrassing and awkward as you navigate food restrictions. We’re here to remind you that dating doesn’t need to revolve around food and there are lots of fun experiences you can still enjoy. To help get you started we’ve created a list of 24 low FODMAP date ideas for you to explore on Valentine’s Day, or any time of the year. You’ll find a range of options to suit any budget and that can be flexible to your dietary needs, without taking the fun and love out of Valentine’s!
Out & About Low FODMAP Date Ideas
If you are ready to escape the house and go on a fun-loving quest then these date ideas are for you!
1. Explore a local museum. Learning together is a great way to generate conversation. You can choose to explore a particular exhibition or meander your way through multiple areas. Often museums are free for local residents to explore so they can be a great budget-friendly option. Our top tip is to pack a couple of low FODMAP snacks in your bag to share in case you get hungry. Snack options could include cheese and rice crackers, popcorn, dark chocolate, low FODMAP granola bars (or make your own here), trail mix made from low FODMAP nuts and seeds, or peanut butter energy bites.
2. Check out a local nature reserve or walk. Open spaces give you a chance to breathe, relax and chat with your buddy. Soak in the beauty of the views and take time out to lie down and watch the clouds go by. Plus a nice gentle walk is great for your gut too. If you’re worried about needing the toilet make sure you check out which parks have toilets near-by before you go.
3. Explore a local second-hand bookstore and swap stories about your favourite childhood books. Discover surprising anecdotes about childhood adventures and find common ground in the childhood tales you both enjoyed. See who can find the oldest book in the store!
4. Challenge them to a game of mini golf. Mini golf is a great date activity as it doesn’t require much skill, generates a lot of laughs, and you can even wager a win for a kiss!
5. Go to a local theatre show or performing arts festival. You often don’t need to travel huge distances to find good entertainment. Take a minute to see what’s on in your area.
6. Tour the aquarium or zoo. Rediscover your inner child together while enjoying the animal antics. Our top tip is to take a low FODMAP picnic with you to enjoy – see number 10 for some tasty ideas.
7. Explore an art exhibition or light show.
8. Head to your nearest city and pretend to be a tourist for the day. This is so much fun and something that we often don’t do enough. Make a quick list of activities you are interested in or create a random scavenger list to find before you head out.
9. Go to the cinema. Ready to sit down and relax? Then a date at the cinema could be a good option for you.
10. Pack a picnic and head to a park. Here are some ideas for your picnic basket: low FODMAP hummus and rice crackers, roast veggie frittata, cheesy zucchini and carrot slice, creamy chicken salad, mustard salmon mason jar salad, blueberry crumble slice, or easy banana bread.
11. Go volunteer together. Create some feel-good vibes together as you help the community. Volunteer ideas include helping at a local animal shelter, pitching in at a soup kitchen or attending a tree planting event.
12. Find a spot to watch the sunrise or sunset together. This super romantic date idea is super easy to organise. Pack a blanket so you can snuggle up together.
13. Show off your intelligence, (or suss out theirs) at a Quiz night. Lots of local pubs run regular quiz nights – and it’s OK to have a drink if alcohol doesn’t irritate your IBS.
At Home Low FODMAP Dates Ideas
You don’t even have to leave the house to create an epic low FODMAP date. All these ideas you can do from the comfort of your home so are perfect for a nice, cosy date
14. Enjoy a popcorn and movie night at home. Snuggle up on the couch with a freshly popped bowl of popcorn and enjoy a couple of blissful hours watching a movie.
15. Create a bonfire night with homemade S’mores. Do we need to say more? This date idea is sure to be a hit. Get cosy by the roaring fire and create your s’mores from low FODMAP marshmallows (just check them for high FODMAP sweeteners), dark chocolate and gluten free cookies.
16. Host a board game evening. Challenge each other to a game of Bananagrams or break out one of your favourite childhood games. You can do this as a couple or invite some friends over to join you. The perfect low-cost double date!
17. Binge-watch a Netflix series while drinking homemade hot chocolate. This date night idea is seriously easy. Take a couple of minutes to make our low FODMAP hot chocolate recipe then indulge on the couch with your favourite couple’s Netflix series.
18. Do the blindfold cooking challenge. Have you heard of this? The concept is simple – you choose a simple recipe, gather up the ingredients, one of you puts on the blindfold and the other gives the blindfolded person instructions. The goal here is to create the dish through teamwork with a lot of laughs and a bit of chaos along the way.
19. Tackle a DIY project. Have a piece of furniture that needs restoring? A wall that needs painting? Turn the project into a date day and focus on creating some fun DIY memories.
20. Make breakfast for dinner. We are a big fan of this in my household and love creating French toast, pancakes, waffles or a big brekky style meal for date nights. All of these can easily be adapted for the low FODMAP diet with plenty of recipes like these found in our Recipe Club.
Food Expeditions For Low FODMAP Dates
If you’re still keen to enjoy some food together, here are some low FODMAP options that you both might enjoy.
21. Enjoy a wine tasting. Good news my friends, wine can be low FODMAP (especially white or sparkling options) so enjoying a wine tasting can be a fun date idea if alcohol isn’t a gut irritant for you. Just make sure you have a food plan and a safe way to get home before you head out.
22. Go out for a beer and some hot chips at your local pub. A glass of beer and hot chips without the seasoning are low FODMAP too (you can add salt at the table). So find a pub hosting a local musician and enjoy an afternoon in the sun or a cosy night at your local.
23. Try out your local Thai restaurant. A lot of Thai-based meals are cooked fresh when you order which means they are a lot easier to customise for the low FODMAP diet. Stir-fries, fried rice, and fresh rice paper rolls are great places to start – ask them to leave out your major FODMAP triggers – e.g. onion, garlic, mushrooms, cauliflower, peas.
24. Drop in for a meal at your local steak house. Plain grilled steak or chicken with a side of potatoes, steamed veggies or salad is often a FODMAP-friendly option that can be enjoyed during the first phase of the low FODMAP diet. Just remember to order your salad with the dressing on the side as these can contain sneaky FODMAPs.
You can also find our Low FODMAP Eating Out Guide here.
So there you have it. There are lots of awesome dating adventures you can have while on the low FODMAP diet that everyone can enjoy. Hopefully, this list of 24 low FODMAP date ideas has inspired you to go out and create some new memories while looking after your gut. Lastly, if you are looking to create a delicious meal for your date, then we can help with that too! We have over 900 tasty low FODMAP recipes for you to enjoy in our Recipe Club and many would be perfect for Valentine’s Day (did someone say Red Velvet Cupcakes?!). Over the next few days, you can grab 40% off your Recipe Club membership for 3 months using the code VDAY40.
We wish you a fun and enjoyable Valentine’s Day. Love from the ALBY Team.
Valentine’s Day Sale ends on the 20th of February 2023.