During the cold autumn and winter period, when there are not many sunny days and children also have long days in kindergarten or at school, many parents have to deal with fatigue, bad mood and stress of their children. There are many ways to cope with all this and food could be one of them to support the health and boost immunity of your child.
Offer your child fermented foods
Gut flora is important when we are talking about the well-being and health of the children. The easiest and the best way to support microflora of the gut is with probiotic bacteria that can be found in fermented foods. Probiotics can help boost the immune system, protect against harmful bacteria, and improve digestion and absorption of nutrients. Several studies had found that gut health has a direct correlation to improving anxiety, stress and mood. So, fermented foods like sauerkraut, pickles, yoghurt, kefir etc help to increase healthy bacteria in the gut. Yoghurt and kefir can be made more attractive for the child using for example Be More superfood mixes.
The role of carbohydrates in nutrition
Carbohydrates are the first and main energy source for growing children and that way they are really important when fighting fatigue. If you choose refined products or products that contain lots of sugar, the child’s fatigue and bad mood will only enhance. Whole grains are definitely a better choice, they contain fiber and nutrients. It takes longer to digest fiber and that way the child will feel full longer. It also helps to avoid constipation and a quick spike and crush of blood sugar, glucose is being absorbed slower. When energy from food is released slowly, the child will not have sudden mood changes – one minute he or she is energetic and happy and the other – tired and apathetic. Fiber will help to keep a child’s weight under control and that way different kinds of diseases would be kept away – on one hand overweight weakens the body and on the other hand it affects the child’s mood.
Healthy fats help to reduce anxiety
Healthy fats like Omega-3, are also important. They can be found in fatty fish, avocado, nuts and seeds, including in Be More unhulled hemp seeds. In addition to healthy fats nuts and seeds contain Vitamin B, that is important group of vitamins when fighting fatigue. Children could eat nuts and seeds as a snack or add to porridges or smoothies. For example, if your child doesn’t like avocados, you can hide it in smoothie or make interesting green dressing from it. Studies have shown that healthy fats are good for the heart and help to reduce the stress and anxiety, boost concentration and improve mood.
Vitamin C helps to be healthy and full of energy
Vitamin C has been used as a cure from common cold and to fight tiredness for a long time. Some studies have shown that Vitamin C may ease stress levels. But as heat is the enemy of Vitamin C, it is better to eat raw the foods that are rich of this vitamin. Such foods are for example citrus fruits, blackberries, strawberries, bell peppers, but also raw cacao, Goji berries and Be Smart superfood mix. Most of the children like chocolate very much, so why not to try raw cacao nibs instead of usual sweets. You can eat them as a snack or add to porridge or smoothie.
Nutritionist Julia Bõstrova
Eesti liikumis-ja toitumissoovitused, 2016.