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Lunchbox suggestions

Does anyone have any good suggestions for sites with ideas for Crohns friendly lunchbox meals? We always send a smoothie but my 14 year old also needs something a little more substantial to get through the day. He does not have access to a microwave but we will send a thermos with soups. This is really new for us and keeping up a variety is important when you have a teenager struggling with a new and very restrictive diet. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!!

my little penguin

Staff member
What does he avoid ?
Crohns doesn’t necessarily have diet restrictions
Any food allergies ?
Does the school prohibit nuts ?
Bagel with cream cheese /jam
Hummus and pita chips
Yogurt with fruit /granola added
Turkey slices (organic ) ,cheese,tomato -on a roll
Burrito (black beans /rice /tomatoes/onions/sour cream /salsa ) -cold
Buddha bowls (quinoa ,chickpeas ,corn ,tomatoes ,Avocados -with salsa /pita chips /corn chips )
Organic frozen waffles /cream cheese /jam

my teen almost adult
Did not eat the healthiest at lunch at school
He now does online so easier
He has allergies to fish and tree nuts and oral allergies to most raw fruits so…

We were told minimally processed
No seeds
Organic as much as possible
And Mediterranean as much as possible
So lean meats (no red meat ,no pork )-chicken /Turkey - most folks eat fish multiple times a week
Fresh veggies /fruit
Beans /legumes -tofu etc…
whole grains


Well-known member
Is he on a medically prescribed diet such as SCD or CDED? If so what phase is he on?

Or is he just restricting certain foods that bother him, if so what are they.

We have also been told that while in remission there is no need to restrict diet and that the kids can eat whatever they want. The docs say diet will not cause a flare but an anti inflammatory (clean plant forward) diet is best.


Well-known member
One more question, is he in remission or dealing with a flare? Certain foods will aggravate a flare and leave him not feeling terrific.
We are trying to follow the ModuLife diet. He was just diagnosed in October (on his 14th birthday) so he is would still be considered in a flare. Lots of chicken and rice right now. Fish once a week. Using Orgain for protein shakes with strawberries and a banana. Phase 2 is most likely where we should be time wise. Food allergies are not an issue.
thanks so far for the input!!


Well-known member
Ohhhhh it is CDED based. Got it. Are you doing this under physician request/guidance? Do you have a registered dietician associated with your GI?? Our RD has been of tremendous value for my girls navigating CDED and then SCD.


Well-known member
The first phase is 6 weeks so time wise I think you are fine if you are still in phase 1 depending on when you started but honestly moving from phase to phase is determined more on how your child is doing. So if their inflammatory markers are coming down and symptoms are subsiding then the doc and RD will allow a move to phase 2.

I remember when we did CDED there were the mandatory foods that we had to get in every day and then the allowed and honestly it was more than enough food. Just got a little boring by week 6. But since only half your calories are from food and the other half from formula it was very manageable and not nearly as hard as the SCD which doesn't allow any grains what so ever and requires 100% formula for the first 6 weeks.

My daughters usually saved the chicken for lunch and like your son would toss it with rice, tomatoes, avocado etc. Lots of "bowl" meals. Often did their 2 bananas and an apple with a little honey for lunch. Did he have any strictures? The apple could be tough if he did.

We would also bake the potatoes let them cool and then mash avocado with some salt, pepper and diced onion and she would eat that as a topping on her potato.

I will keep thinking on ideas but the 6 weeks go by pretty fast and then when you move to phase 2 it is a whole new world. There was a parents of CDED Facebook group years ago. IDK if they are still around but worth a look. I am still on the SCD FB group and those parents are so creative withal options and recipes.

Not sure about the Orgain. That was not an option offered to us but if your doc allows it go for it. Our docs were strictly, Boost, Ensure, Modulen types.
For lunch for many years I mainly have
A ham salad sandwich, or a tuna mayo sandwich, or a egg mayo sandwich.

I'd then have a pack of crisps with it.

Mainly keep things simple not to many ingredients, most fruit or sald I'm not great with, liquid nutrition is best for getting vitamins and minerals I find.
You know this book used to be in hospital libraries e.t.c
I was not happy with boost or ensure as our options because of all the added ingredients- I independently chose Orgain because it was plant based.


Well-known member
@ktrandall Do the GI and RD know? It could very well be that Orgain will work but they are very specific about formulas when used as a therapy to reduce inflammation. I also hated using Boost and Ensure as did our GI and RD's. They can't explain it. There are so many things in there that are actually inflammatory and no no's with IBD but for some reason when you use them for EEN, they work. Those are the formulas that have been tested and what our GI's are familiar with so they prefer you stick with them.

my little penguin

Staff member
So things to keep in mind
Orgain can be plant based but is NOT complete nutrition-it’s a nutritional supplement
Ensure /boost are polymeric milk based but complete nutrition-meaning you can live off them
If you use a nutritional supplement you need an RD input on what’s missing nutrition wise since the cded is so restrictive and 14 year old boys are prime for growing
This does not happen if inflammation is present or the correct nutrition is not met .

other organic peptide formulas that are complete nutrition are Kate farms

nestle nutrition also has numerous formulaa your GI can prescribe

sometimes polymeric formula (boost ensure etc work )
But sometime due to gut damage semi elemental is needed such a peptamen jr , peptide or Kate farms peptide (organic )

cded is based On limited diet with most of the nutrients coming from the complete formula until more food can be added
Please talk to your Gi
And discuss risks benefits of using only supplemental nutrition vs complete

my little penguin

Staff member


Staff member
I would definitely see a dietician. Because your kiddo is still growing and CDED is a restrictive diet and Orgain is not considered complete nutrition. I would consider other formulas - Peptamen and Pediasure Peptide are commonly used semi-elemental formulas. They're partially broken down so easier for the gut to absorb. Your GI may have access to samples, so your son can try different flavors before you order one. I will say that semi-elemental formulas are not the most palatable - not like Ensure or Boost. But kids can and do get used to them - even teens. My daughter started out hating Peptamen Jr. but over time, she actually got so used to the taste that she missed it when she moved to tube feeds!

(She moved to tube feeds because she simply could not drink enough formula to maintain her weight, much less gain. And once she did, she found them SO much easier than trying to drink formula that she said she would never go back!).

Tube feeds are another good option for kids who can't drink enough formula or hate the taste of semi-elemental formula. It honestly sounds much more intimidating than it is. My daughter used an NG (naso-gastric) tube - she inserted the tube at night, did feeds overnight and pulled it out in the morning, so no one at school had to know.

I really, REALLY doubt this is allowed with CDED, but you can also get unflavored or vanilla Peptamen Jr. and add chocolate or strawberry syrup or honey. I've even heard of maple syrup being used. But you could also blend in a banana or strawberries and see what that tastes like.

If you want to avoid Ensure and Boost, semi-elemental formulas are generally considered the next option and they often do not contain all the ingredients Ensure and Boost do (such as no carrageenan for example). But there is also a plant-based version of Ensure that is newer. Kate Farms Peptide is another semi-elemental formula that is plant based (but my daughter has never tried that, so I have no idea how that tastes).

Good luck!!
We have a LOT of experience with CDED over the past year. We used Ensure because we have used it successfully for EEN (formula only diet).
Lunches: I was able to get some recipes from the CDED recipes Facebook page which is still up and running. For us: 1. a salad with allowed veggies, grilled chicken, and a lemon and olive oil based dressing. 2. Rice flour based crepes with honey bananas strawberries. 3. Hard boiled eggs with a salad. 4. I did use Tinkyada rice noodles (which keep a great texture and are only brown rice and water on ingredient list). With a home made tomato sauce. 5. Rice flour and egg battered chicken strips with veggie sticks. 6. Make a homemade mayo for more dip options. 7. Pre bake several potatoes and then reheat in strips for fries. Potato wedges are good too, cooked and reheated. 8. Meringue cookies! Cut the sugar in the recipe to meet daily limit. 9. Melon slices and deviled eggs.