So the summer holidays are over and for some they were over a few weeks ago…..so after several requests here goes on some nutritional tips.
First I would like to shatter the myth that just because a child goes back to school after the summer break does not mean they ‘catch colds’ at school. The reason why children for the first few weeks can get a cold or feel unwell with fevers or stomach bugs is basically their immune system is going through a bit of a roller coaster because their mind is going through exactly the same roller coaster. The immune system cannot go through a dip without the mind following or vice versa. After all our bodies are wholly inter-connected ..this is a well known researched fact, orthodox medicine is just playing catch up and will be for a very long time.
So, just how most adults feel about going back to work after a long summer holiday …children feel exactly the same if not even more.
So I will give some very basic pointers but most importantly your child’s school does not harbour more bugs than the travel home or your own home. If the reasons for various illnesses on starting school was due to the school being a ‘bug rich’ environment or blame it on the other kids carrying bugs then every child would be off school for the first few weeks not just a few. It is a myth that is constantly thrown around. It is more to do with where each child is emotionally as well as physically forget blaming the bugs.
One of the key points is to start the day off with a nutrient dense breakfast…(I mention it in my book ‘Fat Doesn’t Make You Fat and Other Naked Health Truths’ ). Ensure your child has a balanced breakfast one that will release sugar slowly. This will not only support your child’s immune system but also their blood sugar levels will be more stabilized through the day which improves concentration and creates a steady flow of energy. One example includes, poached eggs with rye bread and grilled tomatoes …Do not have time for that? Just think of your child’s full day ahead. A quicker option is a full fat yoghourt with some nuts and seeds with a little fresh fruit. You could even sprinkle some bee pollen on to boost the B vitamins as well as the immune system.
I want to share our favourite at home,..warning ALWAYS involves planning …so if you are not a planner then skip this healthy section…
1. the night before, soak about two tablespoons of chia seeds with coconut water or water or almond milk…(what ever suits your child’s palate)
2. you can also soak some almonds in water over night too with a date or two or a few dried prunes (rich in iron too)
3. Next day take out your blender, to this add ALL the above, and a drop of vanilla essence, half a banana (or fruit that your child likes) some yoghurt OR some protein powder (good quality whey, hemp powder, pea protein etc) and blend and drink
4. Some kids love a chocolate flavour so why not add some good quality pure cacao powder instead of the vanilla essence?
Breakfast is BREAKING A FAST so it can even include lentils and rice for breakfast or avocado with a few chicken pieces with home made salsa but DO NOT turn breakfast time into dessert time, sugar saturated cereals with dairy milk and in some cases soya milk is just asking for energy slumps which result in a whole manner of symptoms. Starting a child off on a sugar laden break fast will only create an unhappy child. They will find the school day a hard slog and around 10am they have a sugar crash and cannot concentrate or start to ‘act up’ or feign illness which are real..as true illnesses can be exacerbated by blood sugar yo-yo-ing such as eczema flaring up, or allergies getting worse, feeling generally unwell etc BLOOD SUGAR YO-YO-ing is also known as STRESS.
Snacks, ideally include a carbohydrate such as a piece of fruit with either some protein or fat. For example, an apple with some yoghourt. Choice is your child’s ..but give them options that include these food groups.
Plenty of water to sip throughout the day, after all, most of our body is made up of water. To this water you can add a pinch of the wholesome French un-refined salt Le Guerandais Salt and NO OTHER.
Healthy lunches do not include sugar laden desserts yet these abound in most packed lunches let alone school lunches…the sticky toffee pudding or the apple crumble with custard. Why not try and give your child some of the various sugar free flap jacks, or even a home made chocolate drink in a flask …firm favourite is a tea spoon of raw cacao powder in almond milk or quinoa milk with a little maca powder and pinch of cinnamon with a teaspoon of seed butter such as pumpkin seed….don’t forget a straw as it will need a good stir before drinking. This is easy to consume as I know some children want t inhale their lunch so they can go and play and it is full of goodness.
Most parents comment that at school pick up time their children are ravenous which usually indicates their blood sugar is not stabilised. The more sugar there is in one’s daily life the more stress there is on the body and these little bodies need stability physically, mentally and emotionally.
If you try adding in some of these nutrient rich foods you will notice a difference. Today we are spoiled with all the superfoods around so why not make use of them and see your children and yourself flourish.