Issue 7 of Feeding Your Kids
The three main nutritional components are:
1. Carbohydrates, the main source of fuel for our bodies;
2. Proteins the main source of cell building;
3. Fats, which help brain functions and send the signal that we have had enough to eat.
A breakfast including both protein and carbohydrates is better.
Carbohydrates will give that boost of energy to jumpstart your child’s day. A mix of protein will provide the staying power to keep their body going strong until lunch.
Why is that? If your child starts the day with quickly digested simple carbohydrates like sugary cereal, a piece of bread or pastry, it will raise her insulin level, which her body will want to balance out by eating more sweet foods very quickly. By mid-morning, she will have a drop in her energy level and crave more carbohydrates.
What are the protein options? Eggs, sausage, tofu or tempeh, quinoa, fish or smoked fish, beans, cheese, yogurts and smoothies, milk, almond/cashew/peanut butter or nuts are a few examples of foods rich in protein.
Today balance breakfast by adding protein to a carbohydrate-heavy breakfast.
Slices of boiled eggs, a serving of yoghurt are examples of protein rich foods
If you are thinking: I juggle a great deal every morning. No time or energy for figuring out what contains protein in the morning, sorry.
Try this instead: Adding an egg, beans, a small sausage, a spoonful of nut butter will make your child that much stronger during the day. They will pay attention easier in school and eat better for lunch.
What to do if your child is stuck on sugary carbohydrates (cereal, bread, pastry, doughnuts, pop ups) for breakfast? Ask your child to experiment: Tell her that if she is willing to take the bite, she can observe how she feels later during the day. Does she feel full longer? How’s her energy level at recess or PE class? Can she run faster? Does her teacher notice a better attention span in school? Does she eat lunch differently?
We will look at the impact of planning next.