Written by: Jessica Rzonzwew
Translated by: Lorena Martínez Lombard
The first days of school are a stressful period, especially when dealing with food. Being outside of house, it becomes more difficult to control what we eat during the school day.
What is most important, is making sure our children start their day by being healthy, offering energy and concentration during their activities. This is the part we must be most careful with: if we don’t offer the appropriate fuel to start their day, they will wear down and be more irritable and tired throughout.
This can only be achieved by starting the day by EATING BREAKFAST; yes, breakfast, and I write this in capital letters because in Latin countries we are not accustomed to eat breakfast, or we eat the incorrect food.
The recommendation is to eat food that is high in protein for breakfast. Foods that are rich in protein will offer the sufficient energy to start the day in the best way. It will give us a super qualified fuel to endure the morning without a problem, and without gaining weight (this also applies to children: remember Mexico is the #1 country in infant obesity).
It is not advisable to eat food with excessive sugar or flour for breakfast. This means, do NOT start the day drinking sodas or juices full of colorants that are sold as “healthy” or light (every soda, colored water, Gatorade, etc fits into this category). The reality is that these drinks are not beneficial to our body because of their lack of nutrients.
The best options for eating breakfast include: eggs (cooked however you like), cheese, sausages (even though I’m not a fan, they are acceptable once a week, taking into consideration their ingredients and lack of harmful ingredients). If you know vegan options, you may choose tofu, hemp, quinoa, etc.
To avoid complicating your life, you CAN give your children eggs every day. There is a false belief that this will increase their cholesterol, but recent studies show that this is not true. Plus, in children, eggs work as 100% protein, and this will help form their bones and muscles (remember that everything they eat also helps their body grow in every way). The benefit of eggs is that you can prepare them in many ways, and you may even take the advantage of adding vegetables. Vegetables are also an excellent option for starting the day. Although they are not 100% protein, vegetables contain good quality carbohydrates, which create energy.
Then why not try to make muffins with vegetables? They are easy to make and really delicious! You can keep them frozen to save preparation time. You can look for simple and easy recipes online.
Another option, especially on days in which there is not much time, is a smoothie. But a high quality smoothie; this includes powdered protein (sold in natural product stores, they are generally from a vegetable origin), combined with fruit, vegetables, and some type of liquid (milk, coconut water, coconut milk, etc). Avoid the chocolate powders that are commercially sold; these, although they are easy to prepare, contain a lot of sugar and we already saw that this is what children’s brain need the least, especially if they are just beginning their day.
In this order of ideas, boxed cereal isn’t the best option either (although it’s the cereal that both adults and children adore and has become the best option for breakfast due to its easy preparation), neither is sugared bread, processed cookies or any type of food that is abundant in sugar. These break the balance, creating more anxiety.
As a conclusion, I’d like to invite you to reflect on the fact that your children will repeat what you eat or the way you begin your day; children learn by imitating adults, and this is also applicable to their health.
If you are a healthy parent, that is what your children will see and learn. What do you want them to learn about alimentation?
Jessica Rzonzew is a family medic and Health Coach. Specialized in weight loss. She is married and has 3 beautiful children.
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