Alright parents, we made it, high fives all around. School is in session and we can finally get a little time to ourselves while they are out learning a few things. Win win :).
Now while all those wonderful teachers out there are making sure to nourish our kids minds with knowledge, there is a lot we can do at home to feed our littles in a way that will keep those brains sharp and ready to learn.
I recently read the book Optimum Nutrition for your Childs Mind by Patrick Holford. It’s a wonderful book and it talks about all the basics to keep your child’s brain in optimal condition.
I would like to share with you a few crucial steps that you can incorporate into your and your kids life, we could all use a little brain tlc.
- Remove highly processed foods and those loaded with sugar. I know I say this ALL the time but it is extremely important. Sugars and additives are very disruptive to your child’s body and brain. Mood swings, lack of concentration, nervous behavior and hyperactivity are just a few symptoms of a diet high in sugar and additives. Read food labels and check this two things, always: sugar content if it is over 7 or 8 grams per serving it is too much. Keep in mind the daily allowance of added sugars for a child is roughly 12 grams total a day. Also check the list of ingredients for artificial colorings, artificial flavors, preservatives and additives. If the list is too long and has lots of names that are hard to pronounce steer clear.
- Feed your child healthy fats. I can not stress how important it is to feed your child fats. I am talking about those found in avocados, eggs, fish, organic dairy products and nuts. Fats coat our nervous system, help us regulate body temperature, protect our organs, make up most of our brain and provide structure and integrity to all our cells. This is very important especially for children’s brain development. Don’t avoid fats, know your fats and avoid those that are damaged (the ones found in fried foods, processed and prepackaged meals and over heated vegetable oils).
- Make sure your child is getting enough protein. Protein is our main building block, Halford calls it the Architect of Mind and Mood. It is crucial during periods of growth and development and it is pivotal for cel communication. Make sure your child is eating enough of this important macronutrient. Protein requirement will vary according to age, check them here. Include protein sources in every meal like chick peas, nuts, animal protein, eggs and yogurt.
- Never skip breakfast. This is important because it will help regulate sugar and improve concentration. Equally important is that it is a nourishing breakfast one with a low glycemic load (so pastries, bagels and cold cereal are not great options), a good source of protein and healthy fats. Skipping breakfast leads to fatigue, food cravings, weight gain and poor brain activity.
- Include a variety of fruits and vegetables. We all know fruits and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet, but it always seems hard to get enough into our day-to-day. Well we need to work on this because fruits and vegetables are not only the best substitutes for junk food but because they are loaded with vitamins and minerals that help regulate mood and energy.
Nutrition is linked to all our bodies functions and how we feed our bodies will affect all our systems. Lot’s of children’s issues can be prevented and resolved through proper nutrition. We all say we would do anything for our kids, and that is a good thing because it is on our capable hands to give our kids the building blocks they need for optimal brain function and health.
For more information I encourage you to read the book, its super interesting, or visit this website.
Ok, hope this helps a little or a lot 🙂 As always congrats on keeping your children thriving and for doing your best every day!