Let us begin at the beginning: Feeding your child’s brain starts with breakfast. We happen to know that children are better focused and more attentive when they eat breakfast, compared with schoolchildren who skip breakfast. The main reason for this is that food creates the glucose, which is what drives the brain. Studies show that skipping breakfast leads to poor attendance, weak verbal fluency, and behavioral issues.
While any breakfast is better than no breakfast, all breakfasts are not equal in the health department. In fact, some of the dominant patterns of consumption are dangerous for children—mostly these dangers refer to refined sugars and carbohydrates, sugarcoated cereals, frosty donuts, juices (which mostly contain extremely high levels of sugar), as well as many of the packaged fast food breakfast meals.
All the nutritional sites promote fiber- and protein-rich breakfasts, and you can pick up tons of awesome, scrumptious recipes for children, including some fast-action, racing-out-the-door meals for kids that meet the brain smart food standard. Take a look at my “Start Your Engines” clicks I provided below.
Lunches, too, can be easily thrown together, and you will want to check the sites I have listed in the “Mid-Day Revving Up” section below, provided your kid’s school does not have one of those farm-to-table, locally grown, vegan, Golden Carrot award-winning cafeterias, whose kitchen director just retired from editing Clean Eating magazine.
Start Your Engines:
Click into any of the sites below for lists of quick morning recipes, healthy ideas, and staple items you’ll want to keep around the house to get your child off to a great start:
- Some of these ideas require a bit more prep time than normal, but if you can make these in advance (like on Sunday), you’ll have some winning breakfasts ready to go:
- For breakfast ideas that look like arts and crafts, click here:
- Here’s a quick, nifty go-to guide for healthy brain foods:
- How can we not include something from the ubiquitous Cooking Light people—this site is filled with great photos!:
- You might think low cal is not right for the kids—but think again: this one site probably can boast the most healthy breakfast ideas, on the bad-fat safe side of things:
Mid-Day Revving Up:
Time to earn an A+ for teaching yourself how to teach your children healthy eating straight through the day. For all the lunch-makers out there, it is time for wealthy, healthy, and wise choices with these sites:
- From home-made chicken noodle soup, to chocolate muffins, this site will take you to the top of the class:
- From avocado burritos to cutely cut croutons, this explosion of recipes are as creative and fun as they are healthy:
- Literally, hundreds of lunch ideas—you’ll never exhaust the possibilities at this site:
- This site knows how to make veggies exciting and inspiring:
- Lunch is more than just the lunch ingredients; it’s also about how to pack the lunch, which can be just as important to keep your kid’s interest in veggies high.
Parking the Car—But Keeping the Engines Running:
This section refers to dinnertime! At dinner, there are presumably more opportunities for families to be together, but even this profile is sadly diminishing in our contemporary culture. I have listed sites that are both educational regarding balanced meals with high nutritional value plus gobs of menu and recipe suggestions.
- Read about nutritional power while lining up some healthy scenarios for family dinner time with these options:
- Here are the all-time best vegetarian meals—you’ll find some great health tips here, too:
- Here you’ll find low sodium cooking ideas, plus a slew of high fiber recipes:
- This site will show you how to balance your busy life with putting together healthy meals; includes some great organizational tips to pull it all off:
- For a thorough run-through of all things healthy to eat—nutritional and diet plans; entire schedules of recipes for those of you who like to plan way ahead, and tons of tips on the kitchen and how to shop: