Kids are in school for most of their day, 180 days a year and 1/3 of their day. That is really their "job" for many years of their life. Homeschool kids, for the most part, have to "attend" the same amount of days but may spend fewer hours per day doing school work. Giving all kids proper nutrition that fuels their body for learning, energy and helping them stay well is important. As parents, we can give them foods that fuel cognition, focus and memory.
Whether your kids go to public school, or learn at home, we often need some quick and nutritious meals to put on the table each morning and need attractive ideas for lunch too! This post will be divided into two parts so I can cover this subject a little more in depth.
In addition to the foods I will mention, I suggest a good quality Omega Fatty Acid supplement, and minerals like calcium, magnesium and zinc. There are studies which show that deficiencies in these nutrients can effect learning and behavior. Check out the info about these supplements and learning here and here
But really, One of the most important things, I really can't stress it enough, is to NOT let your child go without breakfast. You simply can't argue with the benefits of a good breakfast every day before your child sets out for a day filled with learning, stress, physical activity and more! This study by the National Institutes of Health backs up the benefits of a good breakfast every morning before sending your student off to learn! This is also important for the child who learns at home as well.
So, what should you feed your child, or children, for breakfast? I'm glad you asked, there are several tasty options!
~Oatmeal is a great choice for a good start to the day. It contains plenty of fiber which promotes good gut health. It also digests slowly and does contain some protein. Protein is necessary for growth and energy. I add an extra boost of protein to my kid's oatmeal with Young Living Essential Oils Pure Protein Complete. It comes in two delicious flavors: Vanilla Spice and Chocolate. My kids love both of these! (It also makes a great quick breakfast for me too!) We love to use our Thieves or Cinnamon Vitality Essential Oils in our Oatmeal too; It is so delicious! You can learn more about the nutrition content of Pure Protein Complete here
~Eggs are another great choice for that first meal of the day. They contain choline which is essential in helping your child's brain make acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter for memory recall. Eggs are also rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids, plus Vitamins B-12 and D which are imperative for cognitive power! Serve up a couple of eggs the way your child likes them best along with some whole grain, sprouted bread (or a gluten free bread) topped with a nut butter and your child is ready for the day!
~Smoothies are a fast way to get some excellent nutrition and make it easy for the body to assimilate those nutrients. You can mix and go! Be sure to include a good quality protein powder (Like the Pure Protein Complete) and you can add other options like fruits and veggies for even more nutritional boosting! Smoothies make it easy to hide some nutrient dense foods like spinach, kale, beets, chard and other greens.
~Protein Packed Pancakes or Muffins are another fast, on the go breakfast option. You can make these ahead of time in a big batch, then freeze for later. Here's a recipe using the Pure Protein Complete Vanilla Spice for some yummy pancakes!
2 scoops Pure Protein Complete Vanilla Spice
1 large, very ripe banana, mashed
1/8 tsp Cinnamon, or 2 drops Cinnamon Bark Vitality Essential Oil
1/4 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Salt
2 Large Eggs