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How to sneak healthy foods into your family’s diet

As a mum of two, I’m always trying to find ways of adding (and I mean sneaking ; ) more veggies and other fibre-rich foods into my children’s meals.

I often explain to them the importance of keeping their gut bacteria happy with a variety of fibres, but oddly – they don’t seem to be as fascinated by the amazing world of the gut microbiome as I am…

Sometimes I’ll get asked why tonight’s spaghetti bolognese tastes slightly different. I just shrug and say I’m not sure. (Little do they know, I slipped a couple of tablespoons of lentils into the sauce while cooking it!)

Here are a few ideas for gut-healthy meals – and the kids will never know all the good it’s doing them!

Breakfast – check out this recipe for Prebiotic Pancakes which can also double up as nutritious dessert. Just swap out the toppings!

LunchCheese and Tomato Sourdough Toasties: Sourdough bread, of course, contains a variety of beneficial bacteria and yeasts. Some cheeses also contain friendly bacteria like gouda, cheddar and mozzarella, all of which are mild in taste and suitable for younger children. Other good options include Roquefort, feta and cottage cheese.

Dinner – here is a recipe for a fibre & veg-packed pasta sauce – you can freeze it in small batches and add it to any tomato-based dish.

Gut-Brain Healthy Pasta Sauce


  • Olive oil for cooking
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 3 bell peppers – green, yellow, orange or red, chopped or sliced
  • 1 large red onion, diced
  • 50g red lentils
  • 1 TBSP mixed dried herbs (oregano, thyme, rosemary, parsley)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 TSP ground turmeric
  • 250g of mushrooms, sliced or diced
  • 2 TBSPs tomato puree
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  1. Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan.
  2. Add the onions and cook for 10 minutes until soft.
  3. Add the crushed garlic and bell peppers and cook for a further 8-10 minutes.
  4. Add the grated carrot, herbs, turmeric and mushrooms and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  5. Add the chopped tomato, puree, lentils, salt and pepper. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  6. Once all the vegetables have softened and the lentils have gone mushy, set aside to cool.
  7. Once cooled, blend in batches using a food processor/blender.
  8. Store in pots or freezer bags in small batches which can then be defrosted and added to a variety of tomato-based sauces eg pasta dishes, bolognese, lasagne, chilli and stews.

Treats – see our recent reel on how to make Chocolate and Orange Prebiotic Energy Balls: you don’t have to let them know that these are full of polyphenols and prebiotic fibres which boost levels of beneficial bacteria 😉

Stay tuned to the Gut Health Express for more ideas and recipes!

If you would like one-to-one advice on gut health, book a consultation with one of our nutritional therapists.

Questions? Talk to a Nutritional Therapist on live chat!

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