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It can be challenging to find snack ideas that are both tasty and filling when you have Crohn’s disease if you’re not sure which foods trigger your symptoms.
Below, Brittany Rogers, RD, shares her 15 favorite snack ideas for people with Crohn’s disease that tend to be well tolerated by most. Brittany is an IBD registered dietitian at Romanwell and a member of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation’s National Scientific Advisory Committee.
“Here are 15 snack ideas that clients tend to enjoy and tolerate.”, Brittany said. “If a particular ingredient triggers symptoms for you, try swapping it out for a better tolerated alternative or try adjusting the texture by cooking or pureeing the ingredient.”
Important note: If you have stricturing Crohn’s disease, talk to your healthcare provider about whether it’s safe for you to try any of these snacks.
1. Smoothie with plain, nonfat kefir
If you have Crohn’s disease, smoothies are a great way to modify the texture of certain vegetables such as leafy greens, to make them more tolerable. Blend together blueberries, spinach, kefir, and water using a high-powered blender for a protein-filled breakfast or afternoon snack.
Keep in mind that if you’re not used to having a lot of fiber, you may want to slowly build this smoothie so that the amount of fiber isn’t too different than what you’re used to as that could trigger symptoms.
2. Tahini energy balls
Tahini energy balls are a good Crohn’s-friendly snack to keep on hand. In a food processor, combine oats with a mashed banana and tahini and your favorite nut butter until well combined. Portion the mixture out into 1-inch balls.
Place on a baking sheet or in a Tupperware container and put in the refrigerator until firm. Enjoy for up to a week!
3. Yogurt toast with fruit
To make this easy Crohn’s snack idea, start by toasting up your favorite piece of bread. Spread a few tablespoons of plain, non-fat Greek yogurt on the toast and topped with your choice of fruit. Fruits containing soluble fiber such as bananas and raspberries tend to be well tolerated by people with Crohn’s disease.
4. Chia seed pudding
When fatigue sets in from your Crohn’s disease, it can be helpful to have some quick and easy snack ideas on hand. This chia seed pudding takes almost no effort and makes for a creamy and delicious snack! Make your own chia seed pudding by soaking a tablespoon of chia seeds in your favorite simple-ingredient nut milk and a juicy fruit such as peeled peaches. Once the chia seeds are fully soaked (about 20 minutes), top them with cinnamon and enjoy!
*If you have stricturing Crohn’s, ask your doctor and IBD focused RD to make sure this snack idea is safe for you before trying it
5. Non-fat greek yogurt parfait with raspberries
A yogurt parfait can be a well-tolerated, protein-packed snack when you have Crohn’s disease. Mix a cup of plain nonfat greek yogurt with raspberries and top with a well-tolerated seedless and nutless granola. If you’re looking for a little afternoon pick-me-up, this also works as a satisfying snack in between lunch and dinner.
6. Homemade gluten-free banana bread
In a large bowl, mix together medium-ripe bananas, baking powder, cinnamon, nut milk, gluten-free baking flour, and oats. Bake the mixture in a bread baking dish and let cool completely before serving. The sugars in the banana will caramelize as the loaf bakes, making this a delicious dessert with no added sugar.
7. Matcha energy balls made from oats and nut butter
This Crohn’s-friendly energy ball recipe is packed with flavor. Combine oats, cashew butter, date syrup and a banana in a food processor and mix until well combined. Portion the mix into 1-inch balls, roll in matcha powder, and refrigerate until firm and enjoy throughout the week.
8. Homemade french toast
Many people with Crohn’s disease find this homemade french toast recipe to be well tolerated. To start, whisk together an egg, pure vanilla extract, and cinnamon in a small mixing bowl. Dip your bread in the egg mixture and cook on a frying pan until golden brown. Served with non-fat yogurt, fresh peeled fruit, and date syrup for a no-sugar-added snack.
9. Nut butter or seed butter sandwich with bananas
Raw nuts and seeds may be trigger foods for some people with Crohn’s disease, however nut butters and seed butters may be better tolerated. To make this Crohn’s snack idea, choose nut and seed butters with the simplest ingredients you can find (usually just the nuts or seeds themselves).
Toast your favorite bread and spread a tablespoon or two of nut butter on one side. Top with bananas and enjoy.
10. Avocado toast with scrambled tofu
Sneak some more protein into your diet with this delicious Crohn’s-safe snack. Spread half of a mashed avocado over your favorite piece of toast. In a small frying pan, crumble and cook ⅓ of a block of tofu. Sprinkle some coriander, garlic, salt, nutritional yeast and tahini on top and mix until well combined.
Serve the avocado and tofu on top of toast and enjoy.
11. Hard boiled eggs
If your Crohn’s disease is active, meaning you have inflammation, your body needs more protein than when you’re in remission. Hard boiled eggs are an easy way of adding more protein to your diet at or in between meals. Each large egg contains about 6g of protein. Simply boil your eggs until hard, then peel and top with salt and pepper to taste.
12. Guacamole with corn chips
Who doesn’t love guacamole and chips? To make this Crohn’s-safe snack, mash a fresh avocado with salt, pepper, and lime juice in a small bowl. Serve with simple ingredient corn chips for a tasty afternoon snack.
13. Tuna fish and crackers
Another high-protein Crohn’s-friendly snack to consider if you have active disease is tuna fish with crackers. Choose a can of tuna with the simplest ingredients and serve on top of crackers with pepper to taste.
14. Beet hummus with peeled cucumbers and toast
For a delicious variation on traditional hummus, try this homemade beet hummus that’s as pleasing to your eyes as it is to your taste buds. To make this Crohn’s friendly recipe, blend beets, chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice and garlic together in a food processor until the mixture is a creamy consistency. Serve with peeled cucumber toast or simple ingredient crackers.
15. Avocado toast with egg, salt, and pepper
This Crohn’s snack is a versatile classic that never fails to disappoint. In a mixing bowl, mash half of a ripe avocado together with lime juice, salt, and pepper. Top with an egg of any style for an extra serving of protein.
If you're tired of eating the same bland foods day in and day out and want to incorporate more of foods you love into your diet without triggering your symptoms, we can help!
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No matter what type of IBD you have or if you're in a flare or in remission, it's possible to eat a broad and enjoyable diet without triggering your symptoms. Find out how today.