Expert-Selected Movie Night Snacks for GERD Relief

Expert-Selected Movie Night Snacks for GERD Relief

Published on Monday, December 25, 2023 by Rebecca Ledford

GERD-Friendly Movie Night Snacks: Enjoy Heartburn-Free Delights

If there’s one thing my husband and I love, it’s movie night! We are both huge Star Wars and Marvel fans, so you can imagine that the movies are pretty long. About halfway through, we need a snack. My husband usually reaches for popcorn, while I may eat pretzels or Junior Mints. But what about those that have GERD? Can they indulge in the same snacks?

Snacking while having GERD can be challenging, but adding the late-night time of most movie nights could lead to bothersome flare-ups. If foods cannot digest properly, they may fight back in the form of heartburn, which will cause a restless night’s sleep. 

Don’t worry, Foodguides fam, we will not let you down! Our expert contributors have offered several snacks that are not only GERD-friendly but are also good for your overall health. I also asked them what movies they would recommend for movie night, just in case you would like suggestions.

Dr. Allison Koch’s Charcuterie Bliss:

First, we have Dr. Allison Koch, PhD, RDN and FODMAP-trained dietitian:

What snacks do you recommend?

I love making little charcuterie plates for when we are watching our shows because it gives you a chance to have bite-sized sweet and savory options at your fingertips. Plus, if protein options exist, people will not over-snack as much. Put some carrots, bell peppers, and celery with a dip (I suggest plain Greek yogurt with some ranch dressing seasoning), cheese and crackers or pretzels, and some fruit for sweetness (such as grapes).

Why are these GERD-friendly?

Crackers and pretzels not seasoned with pepper or spices are excellent for a crunchy snack. Also, the Greek yogurt and ranch seasoning dip is always a hit with people, even those who only know the ingredients once they've tried it. You can also use low-fat sour cream. It makes the dip thicker for dipping but has less fat than traditional ranch dipping sauces (which higher-fat foods can aggravate symptoms of GERD). 

Can you add these foods to other snacks?

Of course, you can make a quick chicken salad with the celery and grapes and put that on crackers for another snack. 

If you could choose a film for movie night, what would it be?

How can you choose just one!? My taste is eclectic, but if I am honest, I'd pick a comedy like Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

Dietitian Savannah Duffy’s Mediterranean Movie Magic:

Savannah Duffy, MS, RDN, LD, likes to coordinate her snacks with the movie she's watching. One of her favorite movies, Mamma Mia, is an excellent choice to pair with GERD-friendly snacks. The film takes place in Greece, so the infamous Mediterranean cuisine inspires her recommendations. Be careful; some Greecian-style foods may contain acidic vegetables and fruits such as tomatoes and lemon juice. 

What snacks do you recommend?

I’d recommend sliced cucumber with tzatziki sauce, black olives, pistachios, walnuts, almonds, pita chips with lemon juice-free hummus, and alcohol-free wine.

Why are these GERD-friendly?

Tomatoes and cucumber are often paired together in Mediterranean cuisine, but tomatoes are a common GERD trigger. My suggestion is to skip the tomatoes but keep the delicious cucumbers! I selected black olives instead of green since green olives are another common GERD-trigger food. Finally, I mentioned alcohol-free wine since it can provide movie watchers with the feeling of indulging without the consequences.

Dr. Alexander Koch’s Popcorn Extravaganza:

Finally, Dr. Alexander Koch, PhD, CSCS, based his snack choice on the most coveted movie snack of all: popcorn!

What snack do you recommend?

Popcorn is quite GERD-friendly, as it is high in fiber. To season our popcorn, I have come to love using Smoke N' Sanity's Sweet Maple Dust, which gives a delightful flavor and doesn't add any fat (as with many of SNS's products); the spice is Low FODMAP as well!

If you could choose a film for movie night, what would it be?

There are so many good ones! I tend to like Science Fiction and Fantasy myself. So, Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves is a good recommendation I can make off the top of my head. 

Snack and Tell:

Are you trying any of these snacks for your next movie night? What movie will you choose? Share your movie night adventures with these GERD-friendly snacks on our website, Facebook, X, and Instagram!

Happy holidays and healthy eating!

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