Gut Friendly Lunch Prep – 5 Strategies With Easy Recipes

Healthy school lunch box

As the back to school season quickly approaches, as a parent you may be feeling overwhelmed by the preparations that need to take place. One think I’m really looking forward to is prepping easy lunchbox meals that are not only delicious but are easy on the digestion! No one wants to experience that after lunch bloat, am I right?

In this blog post, we will explore five strategies for preparing gut friendly lunches that are easy to pack, delicious to eat, and support optimal digestion. Plus, we’ll share some mouthwatering recipes that your kids will love!

1. Focus on Fiber

One of the most important components of a of a gut friendly lunch is a good amount of dietary fiber. Fiber not only aids digestion, but it promotes satiety which keeps your child energized and focused throughout the school day. To incorporate fiber into your child’s lunch, opt for whole grain bread or wraps for sandwiches. Include a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables like carrots, bell peppers, and berries that are packed with fiber. For a crunchy snack, pack a handful of nuts or seeds.

Recipe: Quinoa Veggie Wrap


  • Whole grain wrap
  • Cooked quinoa
  • Sliced avocado
  • Shredded carrots
  • Sliced cucumbers
  • Fresh spinach leaves
  • Hummus or Greek yogurt dressing (optional)


  1. Lay the whole grain wrap on a clean surface.
  2. Spread a layer of cooked quinoa across the wrap.
  3. Add avocado, carrots, cucumbers, and spinach leaves on top.
  4. Drizzle with hummus or Greek yogurt dressing.
  5. Roll the wrap tightly, cut into slices, and pack it for lunch.

2. Embrace Probiotic Foods

Probiotics are the good bacteria that support a healthy gut. Including probiotic-rich foods in your child’s lunch can promote healthy digestion and strengthen the immune system. Yogurt with live and active cultures is an easy option for a probiotic boost. Alternatively, pack kefir or fermented vegetables like sauerkraut or kimchi as a tangy side dish.

Recipe: Berry Parfait


  • Greek yogurt
  • Mixed berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)
  • Low sugar granola


  1. Layer Greek yogurt at the bottom of a small container.
  2. Add a layer of mixed berries.
  3. Sprinkle granola on top.
  4. Repeat the layers until the container is full.
  5. Seal the container and refrigerate until lunchtime.

3. Reduce Ultra-Processed Foods

Ultra-processed foods often lack nutritional value and are high in unhealthy additives and sugars which may contribute to digestive discomfort. Limiting ultra-processed foods in your child’s lunchbox can prevent energy crashes and promote sustained energy levels. Instead of pre-packaged snacks, opt for homemade versions. Baking your own granola bars or cookies allows you to control the ingredients and reduce added sugars.

Recipe: Homemade Oat Energy Bites


  • Rolled oats
  • Nut butter (peanut, almond, cashew, or sunbutter)
  • Honey or maple syrup
  • Chopped nuts (almonds, walnuts) or seeds (chia, flax)
  • Dried fruits (cranberries, raisins) or dark chocolate chips


  1. Mix rolled oats, nut butter, and honey/maple syrup in a bowl.
  2. Add chopped nuts/seeds and dried fruits/chocolate chips.
  3. Stir until well combined.
  4. Roll the mixture into bite-sized balls Refrigerate for a few hours and pack into lunches

4. Hydration is Key

Proper hydration is essential for maintaining a healthy gut. Encourage your child to drink water throughout the day by including a reusable water bottle in their lunchbox. Avoid sugary drinks or fruit juices, as they can disrupt the gut microbiome and cause unnecessary sugar spikes.

5. Plan and Prep Ahead

It is hard for any of us to make the best decisions when we’re tired or frazzled – even as a dietitian! Having a plan A and even a plan B helps to keep meals running smoothly, no matter how the day unfolds.

To ensure a stress-free morning routine, plan and prep your child’s lunchbox in advance. Dedicate some time on the weekends to prepping vegetables, cooking grains, and portioning snacks. Having a variety of ready-to-pack items in the refrigerator will make assembling a gut-friendly lunch a breeze.

Key takeaways: Back to school, gut friendly lunch prep

By incorporating these five gut friendly strategies into your back-to-school lunch prep routine, you can support your child’s digestive health while providing them with nutritious and delicious meals. Remember to focus on fiber, include probiotic foods, reduce processed foods, prioritize hydration, and plan ahead. With the provided recipes, you have a head start in creating lunches that will keep your little ones happy, healthy, and fueled for success throughout the school day.

Ready to boost your child’s gut health this school year through nutritious and delicious lunches?

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