How are the kids coping after the Easter weekend? Is back to good eating habits on the cards this week?
Here are some tips to help to get the little bodies back on track.
A strong foundation is essential to give our kids the best chance in life, so we have to focus on nutrition basics to give their health the best start as well. One of the most important thing to focus on is gut health. A healthy gut contributes to a healthy immune system, improved bowel and digestive function, which means a poo every day and less burping and farting. A few simple things to enhance kids health;
Keep everyone moving - walking, cycling, climbing are all movement activities that are good for general health. Good for their brain development as well as hand eye coordination. If you have limited space make an obstacle course or a treasure hunt.
Play with your food - Getting kids to eat healthy can be tricky with some kids so make it fun. Get them to help in the kitchen, cut fruit into fun shapes, call different foods by funny names - broccoli trees, strawberry hearts etc. Look for the brightest coloured natural foods to make the plate look like a rainbow or use sectioned plates. Talk to kids about the benefits of coloured foods in a good way, like when we were all told spinach would make us strong like Popeye.
Drink water - making water the main drink that is consumed is essential. Add fruit ice blocks, a fun reusable straw, a new drink bottle all can add to the fun of drinking water and not sugar filled juice or cordial.
Add more protein - protein is essential for healthy growth and development so getting some eggs, yogurt, legumes and fish in the diet is important.
Fibre is essential for a healthy gut. It feeds our good bacteria to allow for healthy digestion and good immunity. So plenty of wholegrains (brown bread, rice), fruits and vegetables. If a food is white there is limited fibre
Avoid foods with added sugar, artificial sweeteners, colours and flavour enhancers. This just leads to hyperactivity, cravings and can lead to sleep and mood issues. Check the percentage of sugar added to things like muesli bars and cereals. If there is 25g per 100g of sugar in a food that means 1/4 of the bowl of 'Ironman food' is sugar!
Some fun ways to get kids to eat healthy -
Apple doughnuts - Core the apple to make rings, use yogurt, nut butter, fruit puree to ice the apple doughnuts and sprinkle with muesli, seeds or blueberries.
Banana sushi - use a wholegrain wrap, spread with nut or nut-free butter, place banana inside and roll it up, slice into 'sushi'
Jelly - use good quality gelatin powder and make into jelly with pureed blueberries, strawberries or even tinned pears in natural juice mixed with rice malt syrup, maple syrup or honey to sweeten if needed.
Fruit pizza - Cut one large round slice of water melon and cut into 'pizza' slices then decorate with other fruit pieces to look like a pizza slice.
Coconut yogurt ice pops - use natural yogurt with addition of some pureed blueberries or raspberries, 2-3 probiotic capsules, honey and vanilla and use in icy pole moulds for a gut healthy treat. You can use coconut water instead of yogurt with mango for a tropical treat.
In health and happiness