I feel that this is the best time of the year. No, not because the leaves are going to show their true colours or the air is fragrant, not because ski season is just around the corner.
It is, to many, the best time of the year because the fruit of our loin have returned to school.
Ahh…normalcy again. But every morning the same question arises—what to feed the trolls?
The growing mind and its ability to learn starts at the mouth.
What we feed our children will determine if they will learn well that day, spiral into a sugar crash or be more prone to obesity as they grow older.
Obesity in adolescents has reached epidemic levels, almost tripling since 1980.
Many of my patients are teachers and I ask them what most kids eat for lunch. Most do well, some do not.
I have known parents to place their young children on a diet.
Please, do not place your child on a diet, but rather give them good wholesome food and teach them that food is not the enemy, it is fuel.
I know of a little girl who’s mom grounded her from eating junk food and she replied, “Then please stop buying it.” Smart kid.
Thinking food smart
Don’t give them those “insta-lunches.” We all have seen them.
They are those peel back the cellophane and eat-type meals. I call them garbageables.
These are my most hated foods for developing minds. I would not feed them to my dog.
They are full of nitrates, hydrogenated oil, trans fatty acids and sugar.
Use this as a nice rule; if it comes out of a box it is overly processed, it is garbage.
Don’t load them with juice boxes, fruit leather and cookies. This is far too much sugar for their physiological ability to process.
Too much sugar will send them into a sugar shock and cloud their minds later in the day.
Fruit gets a bad wrap. There are some good ones out there and there are those to avoid.
Some acceptable fruits include berries of any kind, apples, plums or grapes. There are some fruits that have too much sugar in them such as bananas, pineapples, oranges and watermelon.
All vegetables are suitable. Give them some veggies and a yogurt dip followed by the mandatory: “Bring back the container!”
A good stew, chowder or soup in a thermos is a nice and convenient idea. Just bring back the thermos!
I ask you to read the label and make sure there is no MSG, hydrogenated fats or artificial flavouring in it. Pizza is a no-no.
With respect to fluid, a water bottle is best. Most definitely pop and juice boxes are out of the question.
A study that just took place in the UK found that decreasing pop by one can a day with children will decrease their chances of obesity by 26 per cent and their susceptibility to juvenile diabetes by 34 per cent. Save the pop for movie night, if you must.
Many of my patients ask me if any of those protein bars are any good for their children to take to school.
Make absolutely sure that there are no artificial sweeteners or hydrogenated fats in them. These compounds are listed as excitotoxins and can cause degenerative brain disease in some people.
This is especially true in children because their blood brain barrier has not fully formed and the brain is more susceptible to damage.
There is a line of bars out there called “tri-o-plex” and I find them acceptable. They are natural and contain none of the nasties.
But make sure that it is used as a snack and not the bulk of their meal.
They are not to be used as a meal replacement.
My wife is brilliant, she will give the children a gel cap of essential fatty acids and a multivitamin.
Natural factors has a supplement called Learning Factors which is an excellent supplement for these wee ones to take to school. Their health is your responsibility. Feed them well and they will grow well.