When the kids are bouncing off the walls running us ragged, it may seem counter-intuitive to give them an energy boost…. but in many instances, hyperactivity, poor concentration and generally disruptive behaviour, can reflect low energy reserves and a lack of quality nutrition.
Surprisingly, plain old H2O is one of the quickest, easiest (and cheapest) energy boosters you can have! When kids (and adults) become dehydrated, physical energy plummets… brains become foggy…. and concentration becomes difficult (often leading to erratic behaviour)! Although plain water is best, it can also be infused with fruits or flavoured teas to add more interest.
Despite popular ‘diet culture’ veering away from grains in recent years, whole grains are still one of the best sources of energy available to us. Filled with dietary fibre and carbohydrates, traditional rolled oats provide a slow-release source of energy that can be jazzed up in a whole range of interesting ways, including the addition of fruit or cacao.
Protein foods are essential for building strong muscles as well as keeping ‘hangry’ mood swings at bay! Eggs are a fabulous, clean and easy source of protein… and with so many ways to cook them, the kids will never get bored! Scrambled eggs with cheese is classic comfort food for kids, and a boiled egg is a healthy addition to any lunchbox.
A lack of potassium in the body can result in lethargy and memory problems…. but bananas are a great source of it, and thus help to regulate and calm the body’s nervous and muscular systems. Most kids love bananas, but if the taste or texture becomes an issue, try blending frozen banana chunks with yogurt and fruit for a creamy smoothie.
The omega 3 fatty acids found in oily fish like salmon, have been proven to reduce hyperactivity and increase focus and concentration. Being high in quality protein means tummies stay fuller for longer, and blood sugar (and moods) remain steady.
Some kids are reluctant to eat fish, so try starting with something familiar like tuna melts, or adding a little salmon to scrambled eggs, quiche or zucchini slice. They won’t even know it’s in there!
Disclaimer: This post is general in nature. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice and you should seek professional verification on matters such as legal, health and wellness, travel or financial opinion prior to relying on such information.