What’s in your Lunch Box?
Whether you are a kid or an adult its important your lunch box is enticing. There’s nothing worse when you’re 13 than being teased because “Mum makes me bring weird food”. The trick is to make it look beautiful so curiosity takes over. That’s easy to do by using colourful foods. This is attractive to the brain and also means your lunch is full of different nutrients, especially anti-oxidants.
Avoid too much:
Sugar – Too much sugar, especially early in the day will upset blood sugar balance and consequently mood, concentration and energy.
Carbohydrate – A lot of carbs (pasta, bread, potato, biscuits) at lunch makes us sleepy. An experiment on TV recently showed twins – one who was fed a carb based lunch and the other a protein based lunch. The concentration of the later was unaffected where as the former was greatly reduced.
Chemical additives – These affect the body in lots of different ways including hyperactivity, stomach ache & fatigue. They come in all different guises on the ingredients list – top of the list to avoid, artiﬁcial sweeteners, colours and preservatives. Better that you’re kids have a natural juice sweetened with sugar, than a sugar free one sweetened with aspartame which is highly toxic!
Sandwiches (if they don’t make you sleepy!) made with wholemeal bread or rolls. Spread with butter or humous. Get some protein in there – cheese, meat, avocado and balance that with plenty of salad. Google healthy lunchbox ideas for masses of ideas.
Middle Eastern style pitta bread with falafel, humous and salad ﬁlling. Or falafels, on a bed of salad with a humous dip.
Cook a grain such as millet, quinoa (good together) rice or buckwheat. Then add chopped up left over roast, cheese, avocado, cashew nuts, etc then add cherry tomatoes, diced carrot, cucumber, celery, etc and dress with vinegar dressing or just olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Season with mixed fresh or dried herbs. Delicious!
Salads are another great gluten and carb free option. Make a beautiful colourful mixed salad and add chunks of meat, tuna, feta cheese, avocado etc.
Snacks are great to keep us going and can be eaten at anytime.
There is such a huge choice of snack bars available these days. Go for ones with lots of nuts and seeds and dried fruit rather than sugar. These will keep you going longer because of the nuts and seeds contain protein.
Seasonal fruit is one of the best snacks. Eating seasonally gets us nutrients we need for the time of year. Dark berries like blackberries that are in season now are packed with high levels of antioxidants. A little pot of fruits is an essential part of a great looking lunch.
Trail mix, a mix of dried fruit and nuts is a great for energy and is ﬁlling!
Chocolate – the real stuff is high in anti-oxidants. Buy natural dark chocolate with a high cocoa content, its a strong favour but then you don’t need much!
Water is essential. Send your kids to school with water as their main drink, with a small natural juice for lunch.
Back to School Essentials
Its the end of the summer holidays and the start of a new school year. How can we help our children navigate the transitions smoothly?
Feed their Brains
Children grow very fast and when we consider that 60% of the brain is made of fats, they’re gonna need plenty in their diet, especially omegas 3 and 6. Do your kids eat oily ﬁsh? Mmmm, bet there’s a few people saying no. Don’t stress. There are some great omega 3 supplements available for kids. Chewy ones that don’t even taste ﬁshy! Omega 6 is found in nuts and seeds, so some trail mix in the lunch box will provide this. Otherwise there are combination supplements – ask in store!
ADHD & ADD
ADHD and ADD can be greatly helped with dietary changes alone. Omegas 3 and 6 that we have just mentioned are essential in the diet. Plus make sure that your child is eating whole foods, plenty of fruit and veg. If they don’t like them then you’re going to have to get inventive about introducing them into the diet. Get a blender and make delicious smoothies with seasonal fruit.
Avoid preservatives and colourings in foods at all cost! Do some research on the internet and get savvy with E numbers – so you know what to avoid.
Kids can be put under undue pressure to achieve. This can be difﬁcult for some children, just as it is for adults. Feeding the body well with healthy food will help support your child’s body and brain. Make sure they are drinking plenty of water through the day, the body needs much more ﬂuid when under stress.
Look at giving your child a nutritional supplement for stress that contains B vitamins to help support the body. Try Rescue remedy for exam stress. Try l-theanine to mitigate stress naturally.
Children who get tired easily may be lacking B vitamins. An egg for breakfast is a good start. If they are really tired give them a course of B vitamins once a day for 10 days. Repeat when necessary.
Vitamin D deﬁciency is becoming an increasing concern with the return of Rickets – a disease of Victorian times. This is due to diets of reﬁned, processed food and too much time spent indoors. It is recommended to supplement with Vitamin D in the winter. Ask in store.
If your child has been on a course of anti-biotics then its a good idea (as it is with adults) for them to take a course of pro-biotics to put back the good bugs!
If your child suffers with constipation it could be that they are gluten intolerant (try cutting gluten out of the diet for a couple of weeks), or, they are not drinking enough water or not eating enough ﬁbre. If you really can’t get them eating fruit and veg, try dried fruit like ﬁgs and apricots to get things moving!
Head lice: are insects that only live on the human head; are from the size of a pin head to 3mm long; cannot ﬂy or jump; only transfer between people by direct head to head contact; are not fussy if your hair is clean or dirty; can’t live on dogs, towel etc; they live for 1 month, in which time a female can lay 160 eggs.
The best approach to treating head lice naturally is to use a lice comb and a herbal treatment or shampoo.
Nitty Gritty make an excellent comb that removes lice and eggs. They also make a safe repellent spray and head lice solution. Riddance is a herbal lice shampoo made by A Vogel. The active ingredient is Neem – natural and totally safe.