Through trial, error, and reading many books, I’ve incorporated a few techniques to help my clients (and myself) make the changes we really want to make.
Should we consider our child’s diet as a tool for learning? Absolutely! Leading nutritional researchers are learning more every day about the power certain foods have on growing bodies. A healthy diet helps to build a better brain and a stronger immune system. As well, it can supply school-aged children with the focus needed to sit through math class, enjoy a good book, or have the energy to play a fun game after school.
This is a meal that can make or break your child’s day. A good breakfast will fuel your child’s energy and mind, but a high carb/high sugar breakfast may lead to energy lows and mood swings all day. Instead, start your child off right with a healthy, higher protein breakfast.
A good breakfast includes a good source of protein, whole grains, and is balanced nutritionally. Some examples of great breakfasts include: a poached egg on sprouted grain toast, 5% fat yogurt with homemade granola, and long-cook oatmeal with hemp seeds and berries.
The best lunch for your child is always one you pack yourself. A sandwich made with sprouted grain bread, leftover meats, lettuce, and hummus makes a fantastic balanced lunch. Some carrot sticks or an apple rounds it out nicely. Juice packs and sugary drinks can cause an energy dip at the end of the school day. Pack water instead, or dilute 100% fruit juice with water.
After School Snack
Growing kids need more than 3 meals a day and an after-school snack is a must. This is also a great time to give them another serving of fruit or veggies that are a great source of vitamins and minerals to help support a healthy immune system. Vitamin C can help the body fight off colds and infections. Oranges, strawberries, and bell peppers are great sources of Vitamin C. Alternatively, a sugary snack after school may lead to problems sleeping, weaken his/her immune system, and make your child more prone to getting a cold.
The best dinner for your child is one eaten with the family. This is a wonderful time to talk and come together as a group. It is also a great way to expand the palate of your picky eaters. It can take 8 – 10 introductions to a new food before your child begins to enjoy it, so be patient and keep trying. Prepare a healthy meal full of quality protein, a variety of colourful vegetables and whole grains, and he/she will get all of the nutrients requires for a strong body.
Overall, spend some time watching how your child reacts to different food choices. What meal choices keep his/her energy steady, mood balanced, and body strong? Provide a healthy variety of food for you and your family and you’ll child with have fewer sick days and better concentration through this school year.
Lisa Kilgour is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist. She provides one-on-one consultations and teaches workshops in the Okanagan. To find out the underlying cause of your symptoms, or to find the diet that helps you feel your best, visit www.EatMoreRealFood.com or call 250.869.9434.
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