Food marketers and supermarket chains spend lots of money telling parents what to buy to make children healthy, but keeping your kids healthy shouldn’t be expensive or complicated.
If your child is in general good health with no specific dietary requirements, the best thing you can do to support your child’s health is to get back to basics.
Start with these five ingredients for a healthy child:
1. Lots of fresh fruit, vegetables and protein every day
2. Add plenty of fresh water to drink
3. Mix with sunshine, outdoor activity and play
4. Combine with adequate sleep
5. Blend well with quality social interactions with parents and peers
Nourishing whole foods provide children with easily absorbed vitamins, minerals, proteins, antioxidants and healthy oils needed for healthy growth, learning and energy.
Are you confused about what to give your kids?
Making healthy choices for your kids should be simple. You can immediately remove unhealthy products like soft drinks, flavoured milk and processed fatty snacks like crisps.
With a little time, planning and creativity, you can create nutrient packed meals and snacks for your kids.
Use the following items as the base for kids’ meals and snacks:
• Any fruit or vegetable in season
• Protein from lean meat, chicken, oily fish and nuts*
• Cheese, eggs, naturally sweetened yoghurt
• Whole grains like oats, rice (brown or basmati), barley, quinoa, whole wheat
Add flavour, blend, bind or sweeten with wholefoods:
• Fresh herbs and ground spices. Cinnamon for example, has amazing health properties and a flavour kids love!
• Rice Malt Syrup. With no fructose, the sugar in rice malt syrup is more easily metabolised and sugars are released slowly, reducing insulin spikes. Use to sweeten cakes, muffins and baked goods.
• 100% Pure maple syrup is another natural wholefood sweetener.
• Dried Fruits have high fructose content, but used sparingly they add sweetness, flavour, vitamins and minerals. Try dried apples, currants, medjool dates, cranberries, blueberries and figs.
• Coconut cream, coconut milk, coconut flesh and coconut oil are tasty, nutrient-dense fillers and binders for cakes, biscuits, museli, museli bars, stir fry meals, curries and soups.
And that’s just a start! There are so many wonderful wholefood ingredients available. Create your own recipes – the only limit is your imagination!
Wholefoods, whole kids…
Whole health for kids isn’t just about food. Children also need quality social interaction, exercise, creative play and stimulation for healthy learning, growth and behaviour.
Outdoor play, sports, exercise and sunshine assist healthy growth, muscle strength, balance, coordination, creativity and imagination. They help children build problem solving skills, a stronger sense of self and a sense of belonging that helps create a positive mental attitude and healthy outlook.
And while we still need to manage exposure to sunlight we also know it’s essential for kids to obtain vitamin D – which helps absorb other nutrients like calcium.
Natural wholefoods, a little effort and some conscious decision making, is a great recipe for healthy well rounded children. Try your own today!