Healthful foods


To eat a more varied diet, whether that is one of reduced wheat products or anything else, it is helpful to plan your meals.

When you plan your weekly meals (or even just your next meal if you are not very organised) think about what each meal contains:

  • What are the main features of that meal?
  • What were the main features of meals already eaten that day?
  • What were the main features of any snacks eaten already that day?
  • Do you know what the next meal or snack of the day will be? If so, what will be the main feature there?

Reduced Wheat Breakfasts

Wheat can be found in many breakfast cereals, either as a main ingredient or as an ‘extra’.  Why not try these alternative breakfast ideas…?

  • Homemade wheat-free granola or muesli
  • Porridge or overnight oats, topped with fruit and seeds (add some nut butter for extra nutrients)?
  • Boiled eggs with a portion of fruit
  • Omelette (add veggies for extra nutrients and texture)
  • Natural yoghurt with fruit, seeds and nuts
  • Poached fish – think of a hotel menu!
  • Smoothie – add in natural yoghurt and veggies, even avocado goes well
  • Chia pudding

Reduced Wheat Lunches, Dinners and Evening Meals

Think about what you had for breakfast to reduce repetition before considering these ideas:

  • Change a pasta-based meal for rice, potato, sweet potato, quinoa, or other grain
  • Try moussaka instead of lasagne
  • Change sandwiches for salads, omelettes or a different light meal
  • Top a potato or sweet potato, instead of toast
  • Have a healthful dessert to fill you up instead of bread with soup (choose a protein rich soup and add spinach leaves and seeds to boost it’s nutritional level and help you feel more full)
  • Avoid pastry by opting for a stew or potato-topped pie made of similar ingredients to your preferred pastry pie fillings, if appropriate. You could even swap the potato topping for mashed sweet potato, or carrot and swede.
  • Choose fish fillets without breadcrumbs or batter, same for any coated meat options
  • Pick side dishes of salads or hot vegetable instead of bread-based options
  • Try seaweed (nori) sheets instead of using tortillas for wraps (or use for sushi!)

Reduced Wheat Snacks and Desserts

Snacks tend to be something we want quickly so make sure you have suitable foods to hand to reduce your tendency to go for biscuits and cakes.  For snacks and desserts you could try:

  • Washed fruit (you could put a portion in a container ready). Add natural yoghurt if you don’t fancy plain fruit.
  • Veg sticks – add a dip for extra flavour
  • A veg-containing smoothie
  • A portion of nuts and/or seeds
  • Stewed fruit in place of fruit pies and crumbles
  • When baking, consider using an alternative “flour” such as ground almonds
  • Chia pudding

There are many recipes available online or in dedicated cookbooks for wheat-free alternatives to pastry dessert cases that use nuts and dates, or other ingredients for form the base.  Why not, look up your favourite dessert to see if you can see an alternative way of making it?

Why “Reduced Wheat” and Not “Wheat-free”?

Why have I used this terminology?  Because, the focus here is on reducing your dependency on a particular food, wheat, rather than eliminating it entirely.  Many people eat wheat without any ill-effect but as it is the basis of so many foods, it is easy to get lazy with it.

If you want to look at ways to avoid wheat completely due to your own health symptoms, or those of someone you provide food for, you will need to look at the ingredients lists for everything that you eat, drink and use as an ingredient.  Wheat can appear anywhere, even as an ingredient in flavourings!  The above ideas will give you a good starting point, but again check the ingredients on any products that you may use in making the above swaps!

Keep an eye out for a post about the problems wheat may cause, coming soon.