01 Feb Healthy Food, Alert Brains, Even Temper
Healthy food, alert brains, even temper – helping your children adjust to school days.
Healthy food routines are crucial for supporting your children to be alert in class and not break down into tears or tantrums after the school pickup bell. The long lovely days of the school holidays are over and adapting to a tighter routine can take some time and struggle.
Planning high quality and kid friendly meals and snacks can really serve to support this transition, both for your child and for you. Children come home exhausted in the first few weeks back at school. The potential for arguments, tears and winging is high. Remaining calm and supportive can be challenging for any caregiver in the face of disobedience or multiple children with varying emotional needs.
Here are some really simple ideas with food to decrease the impact of a long day:
- Start the day with a breakfast that has a low glycaemic index. What this means is that the food will be digested more slowly and provide sustenance for longer. Examples are homemade muesli (raw rolled oats, nuts, seeds and some dried fruit ground in the food processor) with milk or a dairy free alternative, eggs on toast or a smoothie with berries, yoghurt and a raw egg.
- Provide a midmorning snack that is low in sugar and high in protein or complex carbohydrates. Ideas are: homemade muffins with low sugar content and wholegrain or coconut flour, good quality yoghurt in a reusable container or hummus with carrot sticks.
- Continue the theme for lunch. Ideas are: wraps with grated cucumber, tuna, lettuce and mayonnaise or spelt pasta with pesto and grated cheese or meatballs.
- The key to surviving pickup time is having the afternoon tea ready to go. For some kids it is even important to bring the snack with you so they can have something to eat immediately. If your kids don’t have nut allergies after school is the time to bring out all those yummy nut recipes such as seed and nut bars, almond meal muffins and cakes or even just an offering of nuts, chopped veggies and fruit. At home a smoothie is a great option.
- The next golden rule is to serve chopped salad veggies as an appetizer before an early dinner. Using high hunger times to increase vegetable intake really works.
- Use all those brilliant recipes you can find online to prepare yummy kid friendly dinners that contain lots of veggies, high quality protein and complex carbohydrates. Make them in advance if you can. Planning ahead will ensure that you don’t need to compromise with takeaway or packaged meals.
I hope a couple of these ideas are new to you and useful. I am off to the kitchen to do some cooking and baking myself. Even having three kids with different school lunch requests becomes just manageable with some preplanning and precooking.
If you would like one on one support and nutritional advice for your child, call the clinic on
(08) 9339 1999 and make an appointment with our children’s health specialist Eloise Charleson.