It’s no secret in the modern age that food is crucial in developing our minds and bodies.
In the same way that food can boost our energy and muscles and cardiorespiratory abilities, it can contribute to the nourishment of our brain and can help propel us to the next level of learning.
This is especially true with kids, as their minds and physical brains are growing and expanding at an alarming rate they need the nourishment to keep up with an ever demanding timetable and mental capacity.
Food is the way to do this.
The start of the learning process is preparation. Start the day right with a good breakfast and continue through to supper time and you’ll see an energetic, happy kid who is ready to learn and enrich their mind all the time. Here’s a breakdown of great foods for every meal.
Research has shown that people who eat breakfast do phenomenally better than those who skip their first meal.
However, not all breakfast are created equal. Sugar-heavy cereals are setting kids up for a crash later on in the day – when they’re in the middle of classes.
Make sure kids’ breakfast contains protein and complex carbs, so their energy is expelled slowly over the course of the entire day. This can also help improve motor coordination.
Eggs are fantastic for a breakfast. With a vitamin-like substance that helps to create memory stem cells that improve our memory. If you struggle to get the little ones to eat boring boiled eggs then try out easy French Toast with wholemeal bread and then top with fruit.
Oatmeal is another great way to get them pumped full of complex carbs before heading off to school (it also contains protein!) and can keep them going all day long. Now, I’m not saying oatmeal is super exciting for kids (because it’s not), so get creative! Add in raisins, dried fruit, walnuts, maple syrup – anything really – but try and keep the calorie count low as too many things added can result in too much sugar.
Antioxidant-rich fruits are another perfect breakfast. Strawberries and blueberries can help to boost cognitive function when eaten regularly. Make them into smoothies or serve them up in a big bowl – the more the better!
Lunch is the key to keeping kids going throughout the afternoon. If they eat school dinners from the lunch hall, it’s harder to keep track of if they’re getting everything they need so I would always suggest doing a packed lunch.
Sandwiches are the saviour of the packed lunch. Easy to make and easy to eat, they’ve been a staple for thousands of years (the cavemen ate packed lunches, right?). Make sure you make them on whole wheat to avoid processed carbs and to provide extra Vitamin B.
Add a carton or small bottle of milk to the packed lunch for an added protein boost. Calcium can help the body produce insulin so it’s important that it is included (except in the case of lactose intolerance.)
When the school bus drops them off or you head out to pick them up, kids are going to experience the after school slump. It’s a sensitive time that can make or break the rest of the evening. They need to recharge and cereal and water is the perfect way to do so.
Water is imperative in hydration – not only in kids but adults too! – lack of water can cause lethargy and irritability, it can also create false hunger which can lead to bad choices.
Get kids involved in what to make for dinner by offering them a choice (but make sure both those choices are healthy!).
Beef is an amazing source of iron and can help boost cognitive function and also contains zinc to improve memory.
Salmon and white fish is rich in omega 3 and is a key part of brain stimulation. Fish has long been recommended as a brain food, so get fishing!