It’s easier said than done when it comes to healthy nutrition for kids. We all get those bad days when kids are finicky and refuse to eat anything healthy. However, it’s worth a try to improve their nutrition as a balanced diet can make a whole difference to their behaviour as well as their performance. And school teachers will also thank you for it. Where to start from? Eliminate the usual suspects:
White Processed Foods – A diet high in rich carbohydrates (white bread, white pasta, pastries, biscuits) tends to be low, if not void, in essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals leading to irritability, low IQ as well as mental and physical sluggishness. Artificial chemicals are also added to white processed foods to prolong their shelf-life which can cause various food sensitivities.
Choose whole-grain, organic substitutes to white flour. Introduce super-food grains such as quinoa, millet, buckwheat or brown rice. Grains such as millet can also be ground and sprinkled on food for extra crunch as well as added nutrition.
Added Sugar/White Sugar – Refined sugar robs the body of minerals and energy, contributes to obesity, rots teeth and makes blood acidic to say the least.
Start by replacing the usual sweet treats with home-made ones using healthier substitutes to sugar. Use chopped dates, maple syrup (rich source of manganese and zinc) or manuka honey (not cooked). Try out some raw sweet recipes which are easy to follow and fun to do with your kids.
Chemical Preservatives and Artificial Colours – These chemicals which are unfortunately in various foods, sweets, foods, sauces, medicines, and believe it or not even in some children’s vitamins, can cause behaviour that mimics ADD symptoms in children. Eating foods which contain these ingredients can cause children to be impulsive, hyperactive and can create difficulty in concentrating and focusing besides creating other health issues. There is a whole list of these ingredients, however these are the ones to highlight on your list:
High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) also known as “sweet poison” which contains mercury.
Mososodium Glutamate (MSG), Glutamic Acid, all Glutamates which are flavour enhancers. Also known as E621.
Artificial Sweeteners such as Aspartame, saccharine and Acesulfame-K.
Sodium Nitrate (found in processed meats and sausages)
Replace with “brain” superfoods: eggs, greek yoghurt, organic greens such as spinach, oily fish, sweet potatoes and avocados. High fibre foods such as oat meal, brown rice and whole-grain breads. Ask your pharmacist for aspartame-free medicines and vitamins. Shop around for healthier choices without these ingredients which are available in health shops as well as in health sections in supermarkets.
Should you wish a full list of these chemicals preservatives, comment in the below box and I will get back to you.