As the summer holidays slowly draw to an end you may have started to prepare for the school term ahead. If you are anything like myself, one area that you might be thinking about is food. What are you going to feed the kids and how can you pack them a healthy lunch box.
As a society we are understanding now more than ever the importance of gut health and its influence on overall health. Whilst this area of science is still an emerging field we do know that certain foods are better than others for building a healthy gut. Looking for ways to support your little one’s gut and overall health? Check out my top tips for building a gut friendly lunch box below.
- Diversity is key – by incorporating a range of plants into their lunch boxes you are helping to fuel a diverse range of gut bugs as bacteria love to eat from a range of different plant fibres. Don’t stress if you can’t get them to eat a huge range of vegetables just yet! Just start with the fruits and vegetables that they do like and try to switch them around as much as possible and introduce new ones in as much as possible.
- Probiotic rich foods – incorporate a range of probiotic rich foods such as unsweetened yoghurt (add your own fruit to make it tastier and for diversity!), miso, tempeh, kefir and sauerkraut- just to name a few!
- Fibre is your friend – Always opt for high fibre foods where possible such as whole grains (think oats, brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, barley, corn and rye), legumes, nuts, seeds raw fruit and vegetables
- Stay away from artificial sweeteners and added sugars as these can disrupt the balance in the microbiome
- Try your best to prepare and or cook their food from home wherever possible so that you can sneak in extra vegetables where possible and minimise nasty ingredients
Some food ideas to put these into practice:
- Vegetable sticks with home made tzatziki
- Home made sushi
- Pumpkin wholemeal pancakes
- Zucchini and corn fritters
- Hidden Veg sausage rolls
- Fruit salad
- Wholegrain crackers with hummus
- Oat muffins or bars (made at home to avoid excess sugar)
- Quinoa crusted chicken strips
- Wholemeal flat bread wrap
- Roasted chickpeas