Back to School With a Healthier Lifestyle
Angela Braden has researched and reported on wellness and lifestyle for a decade. She has been published hundreds of times in national and international magazines. Angela serves as a speaker for Alive! Expo (health convention) and as the Editor and Founder of www.angelicindulgence.com web magazine, where you’ll find more indulgent health tips and articles updated monthly.
Want to give your kids an intellectual edge this year? Power those little brains and fuel growing bodies with indulgent nutrition! You can pack more nutrition into your kids’ diets and avoid degenerative ingredients found in many packaged, processed and refined snacks (which are heavily marketed to kids) with a bit of mindfulness and a few sneaky tricks.
Back to School With a Healthier Lifestyle
- Shop together, with attention to ingredients. If you buy healthy, they’ll eat healthy. Grocery shopping doubles as an adventure and opportunity for Kids to learn how to choose food wisely.
- Instead of buying brownies and cookies, bake them at home with healthy substitutions —another activity parent and child can do together. Bake creamed spinach, beats, or black beans right into the brownie mix. Whip ‘em up with whole grain pastry flour (not enriched “wheat” flour), organic butter, which has healthier fats, or walnut oil, which stands up to the high heat of baking, unlike olive oil, one of the healthiest fats when cold. Substitute natural and nutritionally rich sugars like honey and maple syrup*. With these emboldened treats, you’ll feel like you’re getting away with something, but so will your kids. *Don’t feed honey to children under 1 year of age.
- Get creative, and most importantly, get enthusiastic about nutrition. Your attitude toward healthy food will translate to your kids.
Go Fish For Brain Power
- The Omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFAs) in wild (ocean caught) fish, like salmon, are crucial to proper brain development in infants and children – and crucial to proper brain functioning in adults, for that matter. Specifically, a fat called DHA, also found in trout and sardines, is pure brain food, to be sure (though it generally enhances many functions in the body and reduces inflammation). Of relevance to little ones’ future in the Ivy League, however, is its correlation with higher mental aptitude. Researchers consistently find that children with ADHD have significantly lower concentrations of EPA and DHA in their blood, for example. Studies show children with low levels of omega-3 EFAs also exhibit a greater number of behavior problems, temper tantrums, sleep problems, and learning problems than their peers. Lower DHA levels also corresponded to more health problems in general while higher DHA levels are linked to higher scores on intelligence tests. Another great source of DHA is omega-3 fortified eggs from chickens that have been fed flax seed or fish meal (available at natural foods stores). For a vegetarian source of EFAs, grind raw flax seeds in a coffee grinder, or the Magic Bullet www.homelandhousewares.com(also perfect for making fresh, organic baby food). With raw flax, grinding fresh only what you’ll use each day is best, since these oils go bad quickly.
Smart Snack Solutions
Keep colorful, tart berries and crisp veggies, cut into easy to manage pieces, within reach of little fingers. Savor them with your kids and they will learn to love nutritious snacks as they learn to nurture themselves.
When kids (or parents!) have a sweet tooth, indulge in this healthy version of the hearty classic: peanut butter cookie~
Angelic Indulgence™ Peanut Butter Cookies
- 1 cup all-natural (non-hydrogenated) crunchy peanut butter
- 3/4 cup Xylitol -a natural sweetener that actually helps prevent tooth decay! (Available at health food stores); or choose natural cane sugar
- 1 large egg
Mix together and roll into balls. Place onto cookie sheet, sprayed with non-stick spray, about 2 inches apart. Flatten with fork to form cross hatch marks. Bake for 10-15 minutes on 375°.
Enjoy those high test scores, rosy cheeks, and glowing report cards.
Click here and check out Angela's other healthy tips.
*Opinions expressed are solely those of the writer