Included in most every New Year’s resolution is a focus on diet and healthy eating. Now is a perfect time to include a renewed focus on our children’s eating habits, too. The food we eat is our body’s daily fuel. An article by Alan Greene for the Center for Ecoliteracy argues that our children’s brains “are high-performance engines, and if we want them to do their best in school, we need to provide them with clean, high-quality fuel.” Science has proven that food affects children’s memory, attention, and cognitive skill. A terrific way to assure that growing children are learning at their best, is to provide them with a healthy breakfast to start their day. Experts recommend a breakfast of whole foods - those designed by nature and grown in a nutrition-enhancing way. With the realities of getting multiple children dressed, fed, and out the door, how does a busy parent do that?
Here are some helpful tips from mealmakeovermoms.com: 1) plan the meal and have the kids help to set the table the evening before; 2) stock the pantry with a varied selection of 3 – 4 all-natural whole grain cereals avoiding the highly processed, high sugar, fat, and salt cereals; 3) try hot meals like oatmeal with chopped nuts, berries, and maple syrup or a scrambled egg with slices of fruit and whole grain toast; 3) consider yogurt “parfaits” witha combination of sliced berries or fresh fruit, crunchy cereal, or nuts; 4) occasionally have last night’s leftovers; and 5) keep healthy “grab and go” food on hand like apples, bananas, grapes, whole grain granola bars, low fat cheese sticks, and whole wheat bagels with peanut butter.
For a more thorough look at food and the brain, check out authors Michael Pollan and David Kessler, MD.