Looking for something?

Find it in our extensive resource library!

Smart Filters

  • Reset
  • Services

  • Who it's for

  • What it’s about

  • Format

View: 3041

Download: 2

Small bowel MRI preparation

An MRI is a way of examining the small bowel without using X-rays. MRI combines a powerful magnet and a sophisticated computer to detect small changes in the body and can create highly detailed images of the bowel.


It is also important that we make sure your child’s bowel is as clear as possible so it’s important that for 24 hours before the scan, a low residue diet is followed.

Fibre is the structural part of plants. It is not digested or broken down when we eat it, but passes through the gut, adding bulk to our diets. Having lots of fibre in our diets is usually a good thing, and helps keep our gut healthy. However, before having an MRI of the Small Bowel, it is important that the gut is ‘clear’ so that the doctors are able to get better pictures. The low fibre diet still contains small amounts of fibre, but high fibre foods should be avoided.

What a low residue diet looks like

Foods allowed ✔ Foods not allowed ✖
Meat and fish Meat and fish Meat or fish with wholemeal pastry or breadcrumb coating
Dairy products Milk – all types


Smooth yoghurts





Yoghurts with pieces of fruit, cereal or nuts

Cheese containing pieces of fruit or nuts

Ice-cream containing pieces of fruit or nuts

Fats and oils All allowed
Breads and cereals White bread and toast, including white naan, chapatti, poppadums, crumpets, break cakes/rolls

White flour

White pasta and noodles

White rice, cous cous, tapioca, sago

Rice Krispies, Corn Flakes, Sugar Puffs, chocolate and sugar coated cereals (e.g. Coco Pops, Frosties)

Plain biscuits such as Rich Tea, malted milk, shortbread

Plain cake such as victoria sponge

Plain crackers and crispbreads


Wholemeal, brown, granary, bran and soya breads or flours, high fibre white breads e.g. Kingsmill 50:50, Hovis Best of Both

Wholemeal pasta and noodles

Brown rice, wild rice, cold rice

Wholegrain cereals such as Weetabix, All Bran, muesli, porridge and any cereals containing fruit, seeds or nuts

Wholemeal biscuits such as Digestives, Hobnobs, flapjacks or any biscuit with fruit, seeds or nuts

Cakes containing fruit or nuts

Rye or wholegrain crispbreads, Hovis crackers, oatcakes

Potatoes Mash, roast, chips, boiled – all without skins Jacket potatoes, potato skins, chips with skins on, new potatoes, cold potatoes
Puddings Ice cream, jelly, custard, rice pudding, blancmange, ice-lollies Any of the ‘allowed’ puddings which contain fruit or nuts
Drinks Water, milk, fruit cordials, fizzy drinks, smooth fruit juices, drinking yoghurt, tea, coffee Fruit juice with bits, smoothies, milk shakes or yoghurt-based drinks containing fruit
Fruit Tinned fruit, smooth fruit juices All other fruit and dried fruit
Vegetables Tomatoes, onions, swede, peppers, beetroot, courgette, cucumber, mushrooms, leeks, aubergines All other vegetables

All beans and pulses including baked beans, kidney beans, broad beans and lentils

Others Honey, syrup, smooth jam, smooth marmalade, lemon curd, chocolate spread, Marmite, Bovril

Sweets, chocolate, toffee, fudge

Potato crisps, corn snacks, pretzels, rice cakes

Clear soups, cream of chicken or tomato soup

Tomato ketchup, brown sauce, mayonnaise, salad cream

Stock cubes, seasoning, spices

Jam or marmalade with pips or peel, nut butters e.g. peanut butter

Chocolate containing nuts or fruit

Nuts, seeds, Bombay mix, popcorn

All other soups

Pickles and chutneys


Before the appointment


It is essential for your child to fast for 4 hours before the allocated time of the MRI appointment. They are allowed to drink water.

You will be asked to attend 1 hour before your appointment time and your child will be given some fluid to drink which will highlight the inside of their bowel. We will also give something called Buscopan which helps relax the bowel and gives us clearer pictures.

After the appointment

Your child can return to their normal activities and diet straightaway.

How do I make a comment about my child’s treatment?

We aim to provide the best possible service and staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have. If you have any suggestions or comments about your visit, please either speak to a member of staff, fill in a comment card or contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 0114 2717594  www.sheffieldchildrens.nhs.uk/pals . PALS staff are able to listen to your comments, suggestions or queries and help sort out problems on your behalf.

Further information

Please read our resource for more information about risks of anaesthetics.

Is something missing from this resource that you think should be included? Please let us know

Contact us


Please note: this is a generic information sheet relating to care at Sheffield Children’s NHS FT. These details may not reflect treatment at other hospitals. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professionals’ instructions. If this resource relates to medicines, please read it alongside the medicine manufacturer’s patient information leaflet. If this information has been translated into another language from English, efforts have been made to maintain accuracy, but there may still be some translation errors. If you are unsure about any of the guidance in this resource or have specific questions about how it relates to your child, always ask your healthcare professional for further advice.

Resource number: RAD4

Resource Type: Article

How useful did you find this resource?*


Western Bank
S10 2TH

United Kingdom

Switchboard: 0114 271 7000

Interesting Facts

We’ve got a special MRI scanner just for teddies so children can see what it’s like before they have a scan.

Help to transform our extraordinary hospital into something even better.


By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.