When battling Crohn’s or UC, one strategy for avoiding flare-ups is to eat several smaller meals throughout the day. Eating smaller portions more frequently helps your body digest more easily and helps prevent overeating. Try packing some of our favorite “snack meals” that you have every two or three hours that do not require reheating and can easily be consumed on the go.
Meat & veggie roll-ups
Slice some Low FODMAP veggies, such as cucumbers, celery, carrots, or bell peppers, into matchsticks or small pieces. Roll the veggies into slices of deli sliced ham or turkey breast. You can also do zucchini roll-ups by using a wide vegetable spiralizer or peeler to slice the zucchini into strips. Place your meat on top, roll and eat!
Strawberry, cucumber & feta salad
Slice fresh strawberries and cucumbers. At lunchtime, toss with olive oil and apple cider vinegar vinaigrette. Top with feta and enjoy!
One of our favorites to make ahead for the whole week! Simply combine oats and your dairy-free milk of choice at a 1:1 ratio. Add in some heart healthy berries, chia seeds and/or nuts like almonds, macadamia nuts or pumpkin seeds. If you need a little sweetness, consider using raw honey. Oats and raw honey are both considered to be prebiotic foods which promote healthy gut bacteria — important for healthy digestion.
Snack lunches are great, but sometimes you crave something warm for lunch. Here are our favorite make-ahead lunch recipes that only require a little time to reheat in the microwave if you’re on the go.
Green beans, potatoes and chicken sausage
There are a few ways to prepare this — heat all ingredients in a stovetop skillet, or bake everything on a sheet pan at 400° for 45 minutes (until potatoes are tender.) Whichever method you prefer, chop the green beans, potatoes and sausage into bite-size pieces. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. After cooking, portion into individual containers, preferably glass, and reheat before eating for a couple of minutes in the microwave.
Making a frittata is both easy and customizable. It reheats well, and can be balanced with a simple green salad.
- 6-8 eggs
- 1/4 cup dairy-free milk
- 2 cups meat and/or vegetables
- 1 cup cheese (optional)
Preheat your oven to 400º. Cook your meat and veggies of choice in an oven-safe skillet over medium heat on the stovetop, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, beat the eggs and milk together with a pinch of salt. Sprinkle the cheese (if using) over the meat and veggies, then pour the egg mixture over the top. Continue cooking on the stovetop until the eggs are set around the edges, usually three to five minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven, baking eight to ten minutes until the eggs are set. Portion into individual containers, preferably glass. Reheat in the microwave and enjoy!
Chicken Noodle Soup
There’s nothing easier to make ahead than soup! Most store-bought soups contain high levels of sodium and other unwanted ingredients. Making homemade soup ensures you’re getting a nutritional, Crohn’s/UC-friendly lunch. Chicken noodle soup is another staple, easy-to-throw-together recipe that can keep you satisfied all week long.
Start with six cups of liquid, either low-FODMAP chicken broth, water, or a combination of the two. Add two to three cups of cooked chicken, a stalk of chopped celery, and a couple of peeled and sliced carrots. Add a squeeze of lemon (about a tablespoon) to add brightness, then season with salt, pepper and thyme. Bring liquid to a boil and add gluten-free pasta or zucchini noodles. Cook until carrots are tender and pasta is cooked through — usually 10-12 minutes for gluten-free pasta and 3-5 minutes for zucchini noodles. Store in single-serving containers, like mason jars, and enjoy throughout the week. Freeze any leftovers for busy weeks in the future!