Thursday, August 27, 2015

Brainy Breakfast

Back to School time!  I can hardly believe it myself!  Where did the summer go?  I know for our family, we had an amazing summer spending time with friends and family.  Long, lazy days at the beach, camping adventures and peaceful time spent on the lake, just to name a few of our activities.  

Now it's back to reality.....  

This back to school season, I want to educate parents about the importance of brainy breakfasts, nutrient-dense lunch and dinners and healthy after school snacks. 

In my first installment of Back to School tips; Begin the Day with a Brainy Breakfast!

Above all other organs, the brain is most affected – for better or worse – by what you eat. You put junk food into a child’s brain, you get junk behavior and junk learning. Scientific studies show that children who begin the day with a brainy breakfast:

Made higher grades
Were more attentive and participated better in class
Were less likely to be diagnosed with A.D.D. or learning disabilities
Handled complex learning tasks better
Missed fewer school days because of illness
The main ingredients of a brainy breakfast are:

Protein, which perks up the brain
Fiber-filled carbs, which provide a steady supply of fuel
Omega-3 fats, which build smart brain cells
Minerals, such as calcium and iron, which help brain biochemistry work better
Here are some tips for brainy back-to-school breakfasts from the Sears’ family kitchen:

Whole-grain waffles or pancakes topped with blueberries and peanut butter
Oatmeal with blueberries and yogurt
Whole-wheat banana nut bread and yogurt
½ cup low-fat cottage cheese in a scooped-out cantaloupe half
Whole-wheat tortilla wrapped around scrambled eggs and diced tomatoes
Veggie omelet, whole-wheat toast, and fruit
Peanut butter and banana slices on a whole-wheat English muffin with low-fat milk
Almond-strawberry yogurt cup. Layer the yogurt and strawberries (or another fruit, such as blueberries or chopped apple, peaches, or pineapple) in a small bowl. Drizzle honey over the top if plain yogurt is used. Sprinkle with almonds and/or flax-seed meal.
Zucchini pancakes. This is a long-standing Sears’ favorite that even our toddlers enjoyed. Add a cup of shredded zucchini to whole-wheat pancakes.
A fruit and yogurt smoothie

Besides a brainy breakfast, send your child to school with a healthy snack. Those busy little bodies and brains run out of fuel mid-morning and mid-afternoon, the times when learning and behavioral problems are most likely to appear. Our favorite snack: Go nuts! Nuts are the perfect snack because they provide the perfect balance of healthy fats, healthy carbs, and protein. Make your own trail mix: let your children pick out their favorite nuts and add dried fruit. For school snacks, be safe and avoid peanuts because of possible peanut allergy. A handful of nuts for a mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack is just what the school-doctor orders.

*Information from Dr.Sears Wellness Institute  

I hope this information was helpful to you.  There are lots of great suggestions to start your child's day of right.

A favorite breakfast in our house is pancakes or waffles with a side of fresh berries.  Both my children also take an Omega fish oil supplement to boost their brain power.  

I wish you all much luck and love as we all transition into this new school year!  May we enter it with a refreshed mind, a light heart and a sense of humor.

Stay tuned for the next Back to School installment!

Much love,

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Back to School

As kids head back to class, it's time for parents to restock the kitchen pantry with healthy meal and after school snack options to support their children's growing bodies.

This back-to-school season, I want to educate parents about the importance of brainy breakfasts, nutrient-dense lunch and dinners and healthy after school snacks.

I will be sending out Newsletter "Blasts" to help you get back into the groove. Full of tips, science-based nutrition information and recipes straight to your email inbox! 

Haven't signed up for my newsletter yet? Sign up now and you will also receive:

  • A quick lunchbox lesson with the Savvy School Lunch Guide. 
  • Healthy after school snack recipes. 
Simply go to Join My List at the top of my website, enter your name and email address and that's it! As always your information is safe and will never be shared with anyone! 

Let's start the school year off on the right foot! I'm here to help you!

Much Love,

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Food shopping...with the kids?

"Mom. Can we get gummies?"

Whenever my kids want to tag along with me to the grocery store, it's inevitable there will be requests that will make me cringe. It's not at total nightmare; things are great when we shop the perimeter. Picking out favorite "Banilla" yogurt, cheese sticks, hummus, fruits ("Don't forget the green apples Mom!) and veggies.  It's when we enter the middle of the store. The place where boxes covered in characters of T.V. shows or movies live. This is where things go bad pretty fast! 

"Mom, can we get gummies?" My son asks picking up a box with Spider-Man's big head plastered on the front. (Insert cringe here)

My first reaction is to say "Good grief, No!" For I know what's in these things....but my son doesn't! So instead of my knee-jerk reaction of No, I decide to make this trip into a little learning lesson. 

"Well, let's read the label and see what's inside the box." 

Ingredients : Corn Syrup, Sugar, Apple Puree Concentrate, Water, Modified Corn Starch, Gelatin, contains two percent or less of Citric Acid, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Natural and Artificial Flavor , Coconut Oil*, Carnauba Wax, Red #40, Yellow #5, Sodium Citrate, Blue #1.
*Adds a Trivial Amount of Fat.

I explained to him that corn syrup and the food dye is unhealthy for him; "Yucky Stuff".  This was met with a groan. "Let's find a healthier alternative."  I tell him. Not only do I not want to be the No Monster, but I realize that if I meet him half way, getting a gummy I'm ok with him having as a treat only, we both leave the store happy. So we settled on an organic brand that uses fruit juices, cane sugar and turmeric and other veggies for color. It's still a gummy, but I can be ok with this particular one. 

We read many more labels during our shopping trip, because he's 9. And I'm a mom and want what's best for him. It's not uncommon for me to hear "Mom, I really wish you weren't a health coach!" To this I reply, "One day you will thank me. It won't be today but someday you will."

Someday my kids will understand why I'm so stricked about the food they nourish themselves with. My hopes are that when they have their own kids they will do the same thing as me. I have a feeling they will and that makes me smile!

Until we get home and I hear him tell his sister; "Mom won't buy Gatorade because there's too much "sugar" in it!" (Enter air quotes and groaning voice here.)

To this I laugh! 😆