It’s that time of year again, when we start loading our children onto buses with their new shoes, binders and backpacks and bid them farewell for the rest of the day. We always hope they get through the whole day in reasonably high spirits, fully equipped to absorb the day’s lessons. But that’s not always the case!
When I think back on what I ate when I was a child, it’s no wonder I had trouble sustaining my energy and concentration through a school day. Like most kids in my generation, I loaded up on super-sweet breakfast cereal stampeded off to school high on a sugar rush that only lasted an hour or two before crashing hard. This was when I would usually find myself looking out the window daydreaming while the teacher gave the day’s instruction.
My generation was at the forefront of an explosion of ADHD diagnoses – particularly for school-aged boys – and I was caught up in that trend. I accepted the ADHD label for years without altering my lifestyle, until my health reached a crisis point and I knew it was time for a change. I did not realize it at the time, but being prescribed Ritalin at the age of 13 was my first of many drugs I would later find myself taking daily.
As a new parent myself, I often see children caught up in the same cycle of manic, unfocused energy and dopey crankiness I used to be trapped in. Granted, that is how some children naturally are at least some of the time, but the last thing I want to be doing is feeding my daughter a diet that creates a cycle of extreme highs and lows.
As parents, we choose processed food for our children because it’s easy, convenient & they like it. Cereal comes in a box, ready to eat – just add a little milk and voila! Breakfast is served! Same goes for handi-snacks, fruit roll-ups, granola bars and pudding cups for lunch. But these products are jam packed with added sugar, salt and fat and prepared using methods that destroy the vitamins and nutrients the ingredients once contained.
Your kids might love them – they might even beg for them – but they’ll pay for it. We are seeing higher-than ever levels of diabetes, obesity, ADHD, depression, anxiety, allergies and hypertension in children, thanks to processed food.
The good news is, you don’t have to spend hours and hours slaving away in the kitchen to ensure your kids are getting a diet that sustains their energy all day. A little bit of planning and preparation goes a long way! Besides, what’s the extra two minutes it takes to blend a smoothie for breakfast compared to the thought of your kids suffering a mid-morning cereal crash?
You don’t have to be that parent who forbids their children from ever laying a hand on a Mars bar. The trick is to add in some nutrient-rich, living, plant-based food to their meals. If they’re into Cheerios, toss a handful of hemp or chia seeds into the bowl or give them a smoothie to wash it down. Stick a bag of mixed nuts alongside their fruit roll-ups when you pack their lunch.
I know it is easy to rely on the quick processed food options, but the LOVE you put into creating a few snacks your children will enjoy eating is very empowering. Give it a try. Not only will it helo your child feel super-energized and focused all day, you too will feel amazing for giving them that extra bit of LOVE.
Here are a few of my favourite Power of Food recipes to help get your started, including my newest creation, the Cool Kids Blueberry Chips – OH YEAH!
Take action: Here are 5 easy recipes your children will love!
Each of these recipes include ingredients such as hemp seeds, chia seeds, rich antioxidant berries and high energy carbohydrates such as quinoa. Once your little ones being eating these beautiful plant based Power Foods, they will have more sustained energy and a better chance at staying focused for longer stretches of time.
- Cool Kids Blueberry Chips
- Back to School Milk-Shake
- Cranberry Hemp Chews
- Rise & Shine Cereal
- Flourless Hemp Peanut Butter Cookies (These gluten free cookies can be made with almond butter if peanuts are not allowed in your school)
Get started today. Go out and pick up all the ingredients for one, two or all five of these recipes in the next 48 hours. Then share a picture with me on my Facebook Fanpage or through Twitter of your creation. I will personally respond to each picture posted. OH YEAH!