- Hydrate water is always the
best option. In place of juice,
kids can have a whole fruit and water.
Fiber is key to mitigating the effect that fructose has on our bodies. Fruit juice is a wonderful treat, though. Just keep the quantity in check. I’d recommend 25grams of fructose or
less a day for kids.
Avoid packaged foods an
amazing choice for the on-the-go lifestyle, packaged foods are not an amazing
choice for our bodies, especially little growing bodies. Whenever possible choose fresh, local
and organic vegetables and fruits.
Always show up with sliced cucumbers or carrots and celery. It’s easy to add in the junk AFTER
they’ve eaten the good stuff, go healthy first and then if they’re still hungry
you can feel good about giving in.
- Keep dairy to a minimum between the chocolate milk, the go-gurts, and the cream cheese bagels kids get
exposed to way more dairy then the body needs in one sitting. Dairy is an excellent choice for
calcium, but make sure you’re choosing it for the calcium and not because your
wee-one’s become addicted to the massive amounts of sugar found in most of the
diary targeted toward kids.
- Throw in a few alternatives to
wheat pancakes are every child’s favorite breakfast food, and are often just
a delivery system for maple syrup YUM! Try switching from buttermilk to
buckwheat, and throw in some Chia seeds for added fiber and omega-3’s. I recommend doing this very slowly:
start with ½ cup buttermilk mix and ½ cup whole wheat. Once your children are tolerating that
mix, move them completely to whole wheat and then do the same for the
buckwheat. We call our Chia seeds
Superman seeds, kids love sprinkling them in the mix.
- Minimize snacking it’s
always better to have 3 square meals, then spend the day grazing on
snacks. In fact, starchy, sugary
snacks will just lead to more snacking since they don’t really fulfill our
nutrient needs. I recommend making
one meal for everyone; party line being: “this is lunch, you don’t have to love
it, it may not be your favorite, but you have to try it, and this is it until
dinner.” If kids think there’s an
out, they’ll take it. And not that
I care about them generating more work in the kitchen, kids need to know that
you’ve selected these foods because you know what’s best for their growing
bodies. Nutrition is not up for
negotiations – neither is running into the street!
you stick to these 5 basics, you’ll see dramatic improvement in mood, energy
and focus improved performance!
Try it and see for yourself.
Jillian Burne is the Integrative Nutrition
Specialist at the Hallowell Center in NYC, she has a 6 year old and a 5 year
old and lives in the West Village.