Helping Our Kiddos Avoid That Afternoon Crash

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NNo matter where you look, time and time again research will show that healthy eating boosts immunity, increases brain function and keeps our bodies operating at their best! Often times we get busy and throw together easy lunches – or if you are like me, you allow the kiddos to make their own lunch – yikes!! In our home that often looked like this: PB&J, fruit roll-up, Capri-Sun and some pre packaged snack item as a “dessert”.

When I became a Health and Wellness Coach, our old lunches made me cringe! I realized that our son’s afternoon crash was because I was sending him off to school with sugary cereal in his belly and with a lunch box full of sugar to “refuel” himself. This often led to him to coming home and passing out on the couch for hours before dinner and homework! I had no idea that I was contributing to that crash and certainly didn’t do it intentionally.

Once I gained the knowledge and started helping him eat better, we saw his demeanor and health change quickly. We used to say “he has seasonal allergies”, because he had dark circles under his eyes and a stuffy nose. We were shocked to see that when we started feeding his system healthier foods, those things disappeared!

Our son is now a high school athlete and refuses to drink Dr Pepper or eat bad food choices when he is “in season”, because he listens to how those things make him feel. He’s chosen to fuel his body for the things he thinks are importan, such as a Health Coach. I love that!

There’s a quote I love by Heather Morgan, “Every time you eat or drink, you are either feeding disease or fighting it”. Pretty profound when we think about the research that shows that every time we eat sugar we lower our immune response for the next 2-3 hours!

I always thought it was interesting that our “flu-season” (or illness in general) seemed to always hit mid-fall through Christmas break. Well, in hindsight, this is the season of loading up on Halloween candy, yummy pies and Christmas cookies! So, no wonder our kiddos are getting sick in the fall. Their immune responses are down, and they are around a lot of friends & family. This is a perfect combo to spread nasty viruses around!

With all of the new changes this year now is a great time to re-introduce healthy eating! Our kiddos have become accustomed to change over the past few months-why not start them off with a power packed lunch as they hit the ground running this fall!

Ok, so how do we fight this battle AND pack yummy stuff that our kiddos won’t try to trade at the lunch table? At Ideal Health of Boerne, we have some suggestions.

1. Add fruits and veggies to their diets like: berries, apples, grapes, carrots, sweet potatoes, or bananas (bananas if they are active, if not-save them for a high energy active day!).

2. Try to create a rainbow in their daily diet-in an active child. NO macros (proteins, fats and carbs) should be off limits-when they get the whole rainbow of colors each day they are loading up on nutrients like Vitamin C, E, Zinc, beta-carotene, and flavonoids. According to Healthline.com flavonoids “help your body function more efficiently while protecting against everyday toxins and stressors.” Who doesn’t want to send their kiddos off to school with immune systems that are ready to fight those pesky germs?

3. Yogurt is another powerhouse full of probiotics which keep the gut healthy. A healthy gut keeps the brain healthy too!! Mix up some plain yogurt with cinnamon and berries or a touch of honey instead of buying the store bought colored ones full of sugar!

4. One last but powerful idea would be to make Protein Power bites and send them off with one or two to eat before recess or athletics!! These are SUPER simple to make, take less than 10 mins and keep in the fridge all week! They have oats, peanut butter (or any nut or seed butter), honey or brown rice syrup, and usually a few chocolate chips. Most kiddos will love them! You can find this recipe along with many others we love at www.planetbox.com under “meal ideas” (BONUS – they also sell toxin free, leak proof, simple to clean and good for the environment lunch boxes and lunch containers!)

POWER PROTEIN BITES
Ready in under 10 minutes, these energy balls are an easy snack or breakfast bite and can be modified using your favorite mix-ins!

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup honey or brown rice syrup
1/4 cup all natural peanut butter (sub your favorite nut or seed butter!)
1/3 cup chocolate chips (or any other nut or dried fruit you like!)
Pinch of salt

DIRECTIONS:
1. Mix ingredients together in a medium bowl.
2. Scoop out dough using a tablespoon and with wet hands, roll into balls.
3. Store in refrigerator for one week or up to three months in freezer.

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