Start Kids’ Days Right!
by Mommy MD Guide Jennifer Hanes, DO
With school in session, it can be a challenge to keep children full of energy until lunch time. In some families, breakfast may be at 6:30 am with lunch at noon. To help your children think and feel their best at school, it is important to focus on healthy habits.
Include protein and fiber at breakfast. Both protein and fiber help the stomach to empty slower and keep blood sugars stable. When breakfast consists of a sugary cereal, instant oat meal, pancakes, and the like blood sugar spikes but then rapidly drops, leaving your kid feeling tired and unable to concentrate. Help your child feel great all morning by including protein at breakfast. Common protein breakfast foods include eggs, bacon, peanut butter, and milk. Augment the benefit by combining with a fiber-containing food like fresh fruit, whole wheat toast, or old fashioned oats.
Encourage kids to drink water. After school, and especially on weekends, encourage your child to drink lots of water. Dehydration can be a cause of fatigue and overall feelings of hunger. Offering water for breakfast helps avoid the sugar spike from fruit juice but hydration needs attention around the clock. When your children are home from school, continuously offer water. It will help them feel more alert the next day. Ways to help your child drink more water include using straws, trying new cups, and adding food to flavor. Yummy additions to water are lemon, lime, orange, and cucumber slices and mint leaves. A great technique is to make a pitcher of water and place a few pieces of fruit in the bottom to flavor. You could even add berries or apple slices. Make it a family goal to drink the pitcher before dinner.
Consider adding a multivitamin. In the afternoon, it is often a wise addition to add a children’s multivitamin and even a kid-friendly fish oil supplement. Keeping vitamins at ideal levels can help your child focus in school and feel more energetic. Of course, with all medical advice, always consult your pediatrician first.
When your children are well-hydrated and at optimum levels of vitamins and minerals, they will be able to concentrate better and complete the day with more energy. By beginning each day with a great breakfast, you will be giving them a wonderful way to start their day.
Bio: Dr. Jennifer Hanes is a board certified emergency and forensic physician in Austin, Texas. She shares her motherhood journey through the Mommy MD Guides. She has lost 70 pounds, and she outlines those secrets in her upcoming book, The Princess Plan. You can learn more at www.DrHanes.com