Light meals for a sensitive stomach

Updated July 20, 2017

You should eat small light meals when you're experiencing a sensitive stomach. Light meals are easily digested and place less stress on the stomach than heavy meals. A sensitive stomach may be caused by viruses such as influenza, which means your light meals must be very bland; post-sickness meals gently help regulate your digestive system and allow you to rebuild strength. Long-term health conditions and certain medications can also cause stomach sensitivity; you can experiment with a broad range of light, nutritious meals to add variety and balance to your diet.

After an illness

Even when you're over the vomiting stage of an illness and ready to graduate from bland foods such as crackers and broth, you still need to avoid hard-to-digest foods. Stay away from red meat, eggs, spicy sauces and dairy products. Health author Sid Kirchheimer suggests eating simple meals until your stomach feels normal again. "The Best Light Recipe" editors recommend pasta and broccoli with skinless, boneless chicken breasts. Cook the chicken for about five minutes per side in a non-stick frying pan until the thickest part is no longer pink. Prepare thinly sliced broccoli stems and cook them for about two minutes until they're bright green and tender but still crisp in the centre. Cook the pasta until it's firm. Don't prepare a sauce for this meal, and avoid salt, pepper, and other seasonings.

Stomach-friendly energy smoothie

Drink your meal with this immune system-boosting "power smoothie." Use low-fat probiotic yoghurt that's rich in millions of probiotic organisms that reinforce the battalions of beneficial bacteria in your body. Probiotic yoghurt aids digestion, something that's especially useful for those with sensitive stomachs. "Men's Health" editor David Zinczenko says you should make your smoothie by blending 235 g (1 cup) low-fat probiotic yoghurt, 200 g (1 cup) fresh or frozen blueberries, 237 ml (1 cup) carrot juice and 110 g (1 cup) fresh baby spinach.

The vegetarian option

Home economist Lincoln Jefferson prepares a meat-free meal called "Mixed Potato Rosti" with only four easily digested ingredients: 326 g (11 1/2 oz) of white potatoes, 326 g (11 1/2 oz) of sweet potatoes, four tbsp sunflower oil, and 3 tbsp butter. Parboil the white potatoes in a large pan of salted water for 10 minutes. Peel and coarsely grate the sweet potatoes into a bowl. When cooled, coarsely grate the white potatoes into another bowl. Divide each type of potatoes into four equal portions, shaping them into patties about 1.3 cm (1/2 inch) thick, pressing them together firmly. Heat half the oil with half the butter in a heavy-bottom frying pan. Add the white potato rosti and cook each side over medium heat for five minutes. Heat the remaining oil and butter in the frying pan and repeat with the sweet potato rosti. Serve with a salad for a light meal.

Light stir fry

Stir fry meals are easy to prepare, and they can also be easy on the stomach. "The Best Light Recipe" editors recommend creating your own stir fry by following the formula one part protein to two parts vegetables. Use your favourite vegetables and sauce. Use oil as needed to cook the vegetables and make sure the longer-cooking vegetables go into the pan first. For example, use 340 g (3/4 lb) chicken, pork, shrimp or tofu and 680 g (1 1/2 lb) prepared vegetables. Serve your stir fry creation with plain rice.

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About the Author

Cicely Austin has been writing professionally since 2008, covering everything from art to crime. Her work has been featured on websites of the "Atlanta Journal-Constitution," Review Centre, NPR and U.K. Film Talk. Austin is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. She has a journalism diploma from the London School of Journalism. Additionally, she has an Associate of Science in communication and a Bachelor of Arts in communication.