We all know that fruits, veggies, protein, good fats, and whole grains are good for us. But did you ever think about how they help your child to get through their day?
Think about your child at school. They have breakfast, get on the bus, have a quick snack (maybe) and lunch at school, and have to maintain energy and focus for a 7 hour school day. Since you can’t control what your child will actually eat at school, breakfast really is the most important meal of the day!
When you plan your child’s breakfast during the school week it is important to think about what foods will stick with them to provide energy during the day. The easiest way to do this is to provide meals with whole grains, protein and good fats that take longer for the body to break down an release energy over a longer period of the day than simple carbohydrates and sugars. Look for foods with folate, omega-3 fatty acids, and tryptophan as well. If your child likes to eat cereal, save it for a snack.
- Folate: Enhances memory, focus and concentration
- Omega-3 Fatty Acid: Balances serotonin levels to boost mood and improves brain function
- Tryptophan: Regulates mood (helps maintain calm and relaxed mood), improves sleep quality, and aids in growth development
Some easy breakfast choices include:
- Nut or sunflower butter, real butter, or cream cheese spread on whole grain toast, bagel, or toaster waffles. Add sliced banana’s or strawberries and make it a sandwich.
- Slices of meats and cheeses with whole grain crackers
- Egg and cheese sandwiches on whole grain bread (add ham, turkey, or avocado) – Have a child that does not like eggs? A grilled ham and cheese sandwich makes a nice substitute!
- Full fat plain yogurt with low sugar granola with seeds or nuts plus their favorite fresh or frozen fruit . Add cinnamon and your own sweetener such as honey or pure maple syrup to keep sugar content low.
- Pre-cooked meatballs with or without sauce
- Sliced apples or carrots with nut/sunflower butter to dip
- Whole grain Quesadillas with shredded meat and cheese
- Fruit Smoothy with full fat yogurt, frozen fruit, and nut/sunflower butter
Getting brain foods into your child’s breakfast as part of a healthy diet can support their mood and ability to focus, especially when combined with movement to support body activation learning.
For more information about eating and food exploration: Click here to read related blog posts
Have a picky eater?
Sensational Achievements is excited to offer food exploration as part of our Sensational Summer Camp.
Looking for individualized and family-centered feeding therapy? Contact us for a consultation with Amanda Michel, MLD, OTR/L Senior Occupational Therapist and Feeding Specialist at Sensational Achievements.
You can also join us Wednesday 4/18/18 at 10am as Amanda shares tips to help your child add veggie variety to their diet. Learn how to get your child comfortable around vegetables, explore them using all of their senses, and integrate them into your child’s diet! We will review the do’s and don’t when introducing new foods and have the opportunity to explore a number of traditional and non-traditional resources to help your child become a food explorer. For more info and registration use click this link: goo.gl/dCX13Y
Written by: Rachel Butler, COTA/L