How do you start your day? How about your kids? You most likely know breakfast is the most important meal ... it sets the tone for the entire day. Advertising targets our kids and they want all those sugary cereals, Pop Tarts and empty calorie foods with little nutrition. White bread, white foods that definitely do not feed the brain!
As busy, on-the-go parents we may not realize that so much of the foods our kids eat are void of nutrients and fiber, and loaded with sugar and chemicals. We want the best for our kids ... and helping them pick foods that fire up the brain and keep them alert and focused is truly our job.
Don’t you agree?
We need to know about the difference between complex carbohydrates and processed foods. Processed food fills the stomach and leaves us” lethargic”. They’re hard on the body. Read each label: Does it list a lot of ingredients you don’t recognize? Is it truly food?
Complex carbohydrates such as veggies and fruits contain other life giving nutrients that are essential for wellness, focus and healing.
I’m all about starting my family off each day with a breakfast that fuels the brain. A nutritional breakfast leads to less cravings for the less desirable foods. Five days a week, we start with a plant-based smoothie that tastes great and has lots of nutrients and fiber, as well as healthy oil (ground flax seeds).
I add berries from Costco, pineapple, half a banana, kale, spinach and my favorite plant-based protein powder. The kale and spinach do change the color, but the fruit makes it taste great. Our green drink is good fuel for the body. Micronutrients (from plants) are essential for healthy bodies and brains.
Other great choices are oatmeal made with apple juice, no need to add sugar. Add raisins and walnuts just before serving. No instant oatmeal but old fashioned or steel cut oats a great source of fiber and it stays with you longer.
If you like cereals, try Nature’s Path with the pumpkin flax seed; it is great with low sugar yogurt and some fruit on top. Kids love it parfait style. Or, start with some protein such as organic eggs, which will help you or your child start the day with good attention and focus.
Begin your most creative day by moving away from sugary foods.
One of my favorite books for younger kids is Dr. William Sear’s Eat Healthy, Fell Great. He writes about red-light foods (the ones you want to stay away from), yellow light foods (ones you can eat on occasion), and green light foods (ones that help you be your best).
These are simple, easy-to-follow principals. When I have present them in talks at elementary schools, the children are engaged and share them with their parents.
To eat well—and live well—begin each day with a brainy breakfast.