Night after night, families are fraught with indecision about what to feed their kids. Does one attempt to be valiant and present their children with all the food groups on their dinner plate or throw in the towel and pull out the chicken tenders and pasta?
Making individual swaps to a more “healthy” alternative i.e. substituting unsweetened yogurt for the sugary kind or real chicken instead of fake chicken is one approach but certainly not the only one towards eating healthfully. Instead, empowering kids with the information about why certain foods are better than others and giving them the responsibility to choose what is good for their bodies cements the path towards healthy eating. Such an approach allows parents and coaches to positively impact how children relate to food and eliminates the daily power struggles about who is right. Armed with the knowledge, children can make informed, fact based decisions about their diet and its impact on their health.
If your child is a picky eater or shows resistance towards certain food groups, the best way to help them embrace change is to make small, yet manageable shifts in their eating patterns. Start with Breakfast, arguably the most important meal of the day. Breakfast, also known as Breaking a Fast, is just that. After going without sustenance for 8 hours during the night, your child’s body is primed to absorb nutrients when he or she awakens. This is a great opportunity to give them a meal that will help them power through their mornings. You can achieve this by incorporating 3 important elements which include a complex carbohydrate, a healthy fat and phytonutrients. The brain is our fattiest organ (containing about 60% fat) so a diet rich in good fats is essential to support and maintain brain tissue. Complex carbohydrates metabolize slower than sugary cereals and provide steady bursts of energy till lunch time preventing the 10 AM sugar crash. Finally, Phytonutrients boost the immune system and help the body fight of diseases.
Whole grain porridges made with rolled oats, barley or buckwheat and whole grain toast with nut and seed butters paired with a side of fruit provide an array of breakfast ideas. For busy mornings, smoothies made with a good quality dairy or plant based milk can be wholesome and nutritious.
Breakfast Banana Smoothie Recipe from Let’s Consider This
1.5 cups vanilla flavored almond milk
1 tsp chia seeds
1 tbsp hemp hearts
2 tbsp almond butter
¼ cup frozen organic blueberries
3-4 ice cubes
Serve immediately and enjoy!
Zarmeen Patil, M.S.Biochemistry + Organic Chemistry Wellness and Food Science Coach, Owner of Let's Consider This, personalized nutritional coaching with an emphasis on eating for optimal health. Say goodbye to unwanted weight, relief from chronic pain and autoimmune diseases. Your body is ready to heal. I’m here to show you how. Let’s get started!