“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.’’Hippocrates
The morning juggle and struggle
Most parents find the morning rush very stressful, getting everyone up, dressed, fed and organised ready to start the day. But what parents seem to dread the most is packing the school lunchbox. The morning challenge of searching the cupboards and refrigerator for something that looks good so they will actually eat it and nutritious enough to feed their growing body’s needs.
There is nothing worse than finding a picked over lunchbox or worse still discovering a lunch that has been untouched.
For many parents, it can be very easy to fall into the trap of providing a lunch that doesn’t support their child’s nutritional needs. For example, a cheese sandwich on white fluffly bread and a muesli bar
Poorly balanced lunchbox
✅ Poor focus and concentration
✅ Behavioural problems
✅ Poor immunity
✅ Underweight or overweight
Children’s Nutritionist lunchbox rules
Packing a healthy and nutritious lunchbox need not be complicated or take up a lot of your valuable time.
Children’s Nutritionist rule number 1: Protein
Protein – Essential for growth and development
Protein is crucial for the growth and development of your child because every cell, muscle and organ including the brain and heart need protein to grow and function properly. When choosing animal protein, choose the best quality meat you can afford such as grass-fed beef or free-range chicken, I recommend the thickness and size of the palm of the hand for lunch.
✅ Protein keeps kids full, this helps to stop them craving processed food
✅ Reduces sugar that is a major contributor for the obesity issues children face today.
✅ Improves focus and concentration which is especially important when they go to school.
Protein foods include
✅ Beef | Lamb | Pork
✅ Chicken | Turkey
✅ Dairy | Yoghurt | Cheese | Milk
✅ Nuts | Seeds
Children’s Nutritionist rule number 2: Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are plant foods and an essential part of a healthy, balanced diet. Their primary function is to provide energy for the body, especially the nervous system and the brain. They provide vitamins and minerals essential for good healthy and are easily converted into fuel.
Carbohydrate foods include
Dietary fibre is a component of complex carbohydrates and is the indigestible part of the plant, such as the covering of wholegrain cereals or the skin on fruit and vegetables. It is also found in nuts and seeds and legumes. There are two types of fibre, ‘soluble’ and ‘insoluble’. The beneficial actions of soluble fibre include lowering cholesterol and balancing blood sugar, while insoluble fibre is regarded as a stool-bulking agent, making the faeces bigger, softer and easier to pass.
Fresh fruit and vegies are also high in fibre and act like a broom going through the gut to keep kids regular and this also assists the immune system to stay strong and alert.
Benefits of dietary fibre:
✅ Provides a source of food and energy for the friendly bugs.
✅ Decreases amounts of potentially dangerous bacteria.
✅ Fibre breaks downs slowly in the stomach and therefore helps stop craving highly processed foods full of sugar.
✅ Bulks up the stool which helps keep kids regular.
✅ Maintains a healthy immune system.
✅ Maintains healthy weight.
A diet low in complex carbohydrates causes:
✅ Constipation which depletes immunity and general health and wellbeing
✅ Decreased cognitive function
✅ Poor endurance
Four easy ways to add vegies to daily meals
✅ Grate vegies and add to pasta dishes, soups, omelets and frittata
✅ Puree vegies and add to smoothies and/or popsicles
✅ Cut up vegies ready to use in the fridge, eat with dips instead of biscuits
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