With the decreasing ability of children to concentrate throughout the day, parents are searching for solutions. Many parents want to go the natural route and do what they can without the use of drugs to help their children. Children’s diets are critical to giving them sustained calm energy throughout the day.
I see too many 10 year old kids in the line at Starbucks before school grabbing their iced coffee cooler or mocha lattes. I am always shocked that any parent would allow their kid to eat something like this-EVER. It is especially shocking considering that this is supposed to fuel them until lunchtime and they are expected to concentrate and behave throughout the day.
For kids to concentrate they need good quality whole foods, a balance of carbohydrates and protein and very little sugar. Here are a few do’s and don’t for breakfast with your kids.
Do Try to get some protein in them before they leave their house in the morning. If they like yogurt, try mixing a scoop of protein powder into the yogurt. A good quality protein powder makes the yogurt taste like pudding. Lots of kids like it.
Do Get creative and try to make they a fruit smoothie with the protein powder as well. If you leave it with just fruit it is very sugary so adding the protein powder to balance it is virtually tasteless, helps make it a bit thicker and shake like and is healthier.
Do Use whole foods. While these ideas with protein powder added are better than their average breakfast, whole foods are better. How about a vegetable omelet? Cut up veggies they like ahead of time and add them to the eggs each morning. It won’t take more than 5-7 minutes to make and your kid is out the door with a healthy breakfast. If you can’t find veggies they like, you need to start improving your cooking skills now and model healthy eating for them. Kids usually won’t eat what parents themselves don’t enjoy.
Don’t Start the day with a sugary cereal or really any kind of cereal. Most are very high in sugar, take minutes to break down in their bodies and send their blood sugar spiking and then dropping very quickly. Also-they have very little protein and….the vitamin fortified cereals….hate to break it to you…I’d love to test the bioavailability of the vitamins added to the cereal. I’m guessing there isn’t a lot of nutritional value coming through. Empty calories.
Don’t Allow them to start their day with a pop or coffee or any other sugar and caffeine laden beverage. Adding all those chemicals to their little bodies at a young age isn’t good for them.
Don’t This should go without saying but the energy drinks that are so prevalent today…not good for you…not good for your kids. This is just good common sense. The amount of sugar and caffeine and chemicals in these beverages make the kids in the line at Starbucks look like they are getting health food.