It's “back-to-school” Colder days, meal prep, homework and trying to get back into a route! Yup, the struggle can be overwhelming to say the least.
Over the summer, my organisation Feed Me Good delivered our first holiday club to over 80 children per day, our priority was to make our meals and cooking classes healthy and delicious, while being mindful on allergies.
A couple things came to me while listening to the concerns of the parents. "What can I do to make the back-to-school route easier while getting my child to eat healthier?
Firstly, let's address one quick thing "What is healthy food? As a Public Health Nutritionist, your plate should reflect different colours of your foods to obtain the right amount of nutrients needed for your body. As a chef, I would say we eat with our eyes., and It is important to explore different cuisine styles to learn what we can do to explore food palettes! You might surprise yourself!.
To help you out a little bit, Feed Me Good is preparing a 4- parts, the "Back to School” series". Together, we will explore the basics of food suitable for kids to prep meals and foods good for immunity and concentration.
The importance of breakfast: We always say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day but, why is that? As we sleep, our systems is still working to ensure that we regulate and maintain our normal bodily functions while preparing stomachs to digest the food previously consumed. Once we wake up, we must also wake up our organs and support the brain to focus throughout the day. When a child does not eat breakfast, they find it hard to concentrate in class and may get so hungry and distressed they end up disrupting others.
Types of Breakfast:
When it comes to breakfast time, it is all about quick and easy; However, it does not mean we must give our children high sugar cereals . Some alternative that you may consider are: porridge, omelette, sandwich, and yoghurt bowls and wraps. The trick is to provide foods rich in fibre, protein and starchy carbohydrates this way, your children feel fuller for longer and will find it easier to focus in class. Keep in mind: sugar distracts!
Children involvement in meal planning:
Mums and Dads - kids love to cook! by getting your children in the kitchen with you or letting them plan the meals, you will save money and time and reduce food waste.
Start with asking them what their favourite meals are then divide those into the following categories:
Family Classes: What do we cook the best that our little ones love the most? Cook these 2-3 days in the week.
Restaurant Inspired: We all have that favourite takeaway or restaurant out there; why not make these dishes at home?. Buy these ingredients up to 2 - 3 per week , and you can cook them on Friday and Saturday.
Wild Card Meals – Get Creative! Let your inner chef go wild and use those leftovers in ways you didnt think before.
This 3-way method will help you start planning your meals and know what you have available to cook or repurpose in your fridge/freezer and cupboard. Stay tuned!