Snack ideas for Crohn’s disease
Many people with Crohn's find that their symptoms improve after eating certain foods and flare after eating others.
When symptoms are in remission, it is important to eat a nutrient-rich diet, which should include:
- Fiber: However, high fiber diets are not good for some people with Crohn’s.
- Protein: Stick with sources of lean protein, such as fish, eggs, nuts, and tofu.
- Calcium: Choose lactose free products, if dairy is a trigger, and be sure to include leafy green vegetables as another source.
- Probiotics: These are in sauerkraut, yogurt, and kimchi, for example.
- Fruits and vegetables: It may be beneficial to remove peels and seeds.
A doctor can give advice about how much fiber to include in the diet.
As always, it is essential to stay hydrated and include as much variety in the diet as possible, so that the body can absorb the full range of nutrients.
During a flare-up
Certain foods and drinks are more likely to trigger flare-ups and aggravate existing symptoms of Crohn’s.
These triggers are different for everyone, but they tend to include:
- dairy, and particularly its lactose
- sugary foods
- high fat foods
- spicy foods
- sugar alternatives, including sorbitol and sugar alcohols
A doctor or nutritionist may recommend an elimination diet. This involves removing all common triggers from the diet, then slowly reintroducing them one by one to see whether any worsen or prompt symptoms.
It is important to follow an elimination diet under the supervision of a healthcare professional to ensure that the diet still includes the right balance of nutrients.
When someone has Crohn’s disease, they must think carefully about all of the food they eat each day, including snacks.
Most people with Crohn’s find that eating small snacks frequently throughout the day is better tolerated than three large meals. Aim for a snack or small meal every two to three hours.
Here are some great snack recipes for people with Crohn’s:
Peanut butter banana smoothie
- 1 frozen banana
- 1–2 tablespoons of peanut butter
- milk or an alternative, such as soy milk
- Add the frozen banana, peanut butter, and a few splashes of milk into a blender and blend until smooth.
- Add more milk to thin the smoothie, as desired.
Tip: For a different flavor, substitute other frozen fruits, or add yogurt instead of peanut butter. In the summer, try frozen tropical fruits and coconut milk.
A cup of soup
- 4 cups of broth (veggie or chicken, for example)
- 1 can of diced tomatoes
- 2–3 cups of diced vegetables, which may be frozen
- Add the broth, diced tomatoes, and vegetables to a saucepan.
- Bring the mixture to a boil.
- Reduce the heat, and simmer until the vegetables are tender and cooked through, which should take around 10–15 minutes.
Tip: Try adding a can of beans or 1 cup of barley, lentils, or cooked, shredded chicken for a little variety and to add protein.
- 1 avocado
- 1 small tomato
- ¼ onion
- a handful of cilantro
- 1 lime
- whole-grain tortilla chips or butter lettuce
- Mash the avocado with a fork.
- Dice the tomato, onion, and cilantro, and add these to the mashed avocado.
- Add the juice of the lime, and mix everything together.
- Serve the mixture with whole-grain tortilla chips or scoop it into butter lettuce cups.
Tip: Spread the guacamole on a slice of toast in the morning for a delicious and filling breakfast.