Nutritional Recommendations for a Healthy School Year

Happy Monday Everyone!

This month’s topics are all around Keeping Healthy for a Successful School year.  Last week we talked about the importance of keeping your nervous system and brain healthy for creating that stable environment and homeostasis.  If you missed it, head on over to my website to read the recap!

This week, we will be going over some key nutritional recommendations for keeping your big/little kids healthy.  Next week will be going over EMF’s zapping their health and attention, and finally stress relief techniques for kids.

Nutritional Recommendations:

For children, different nutrients are need at different ages.  For instance, an infant needs an extreme amount of fat (which they get from breast milk) in order for brain growth and nervous system activity.

I’ve talked in previous blogs about these nutrients in different stages, which you can find here:

Nutritional Habits of Healthy Children, Nutrients at Different Ages

We know from research that it DOES matter what you and your children eat.  There diet in general can affect 

  • mood
  • energy
  • clarity of thought
  • behavior
  • healthy weight
  • overall health and vitality

All important things that are needed in school aged children right?!  It’s easy throughout the school year to start out good, say with lunches and snacks, and then start to wane on quality.  That’s OK.  No one is perfect, but especially for children, with growing minds, we need to make sure they are feeding their expanding brains, no depleting it. 

For example, juice boxes are very popular to throw in a kids lunch .

However, most of these “juices” are literally just straight sugar.  Providing no nutrient benefit to our kiddos.

Other SUGAR: from Dr Ronda Nelson:

“Fructose, that obnoxious kid who sits in the back of the class and makes faces at the teacher. And pulls all the girls’ hair. And always gets everyone else in trouble. Because of that, fructose gets an F- on all his papers.

Now wait a minute, let’s back up. There are times when even fructose gets it right. When it’s found naturally in nutritious fruits and other starchy foods, especially in foods with a lot of fiber, fructose is actually not such a bad guy.

The problem is when fructose hangs with a bad crowd. Or by itself. When fructose is chemically plucked out of healthful foods and plunked into not-so-healthful foods as a “healthy sweetener,” it’s anything but.

Ingested in this way, fructose can cause a lot of disruption. Again, if this were school, fructose would be the one making it hard for the other kids to focus. In health terms, this lack of focus means an increased risk for insulin resistance and eventual diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, arthritis, liver disease, and other problems you really don’t want to have.

Artificially manipulated fructose, consumed routinely for as little as 10 weeks, can also cause fat cells to accumulate around the heart, liver, and digestive organs. Say hello to fructose in this unnatural state and say goodbye to rock-hard abs. Then say hello to flab. And disease.

The metabolic burden of digesting fructose falls solely on the liver: 100% of the breakdown of this concentrated, isolated sugar is managed there. For a while, the liver can keep up. But much like excessive alcohol, too much fructose overwhelms the liver, which causes the body to become overwhelmed by toxic metabolic byproducts implicated in many of the diseases above.

What’s the root of fructose’s bad behavior? Well, sad to say, it comes from a bad home: GMO corn.

Remember that fructose occurs naturally in fruits and starchy foods. In that context, it’s reasonably well behaved. But somewhere along the line, food producers started thinking: corn is one of the starchiest foods there is, so why not suck out the sweet sugar from corn and sell it as a healthy sweetener? Even better, why not process it beyond all recognition and create cheap and plentiful (and dangerous) high fructose corn syrup (HCFS)?

HFCS, which is arguably not even food as we normally think of it, lurks in almost anything boxed, processed, baked, or sweetened – basically everything in the center aisles of the grocery store. HFCS is inexpensive and easy to produce, which is why it’s everywhere. It makes everything it touches taste sweet. But our bodies know the difference. Fructose in an apple vs. genetically modified fructose syrup in a store-bought brownie are two different things.

Avoid HFCS. For a source of dried sugar that is pretty close to the real thing found in food, choose date sugar or maple sugar. Or my favorite, Sucanat, which is just dehydrated cane juice. Don’t be tricked by fancy packaging or the slick brown color added to sugars to make them look a bit more healthful. Instead, be informed, read labels, and stick as close to Nature as you can. Your body will thank you for it later.”

We also know that bacteria have a HUGE impact on our mood.

1. Stomach pain is the MOST common reason for children to visit their primary care physician, according to the CDC
2. Gastroenteritis is the most common cause of abdominal pain in children and can be caused by viruses or bacterial agents.

Having a healthy well balanced nutrition is going to set your children up for a healthy gut and immune system.

I know it’s difficult sometimes to find time to always make lunches, and maybe they will be temped by others bringing the crap food, but it’s super important to make their lunches and meals a big priority.

Whole foods is best.  Ditching the packaged, processed foods, and moving more towards wholesome fats, proteins and carbs (from fruit and veggies)

When you  have a healthy gut, you have a healthy mind as well because of the close connection between these systems. A healthy diet can also have a profound effect on a child’s sense of mental and emotional wellbeing, helping to prevent conditions such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and ADHD. 

Foods that make mood problems:

  • A diet high in processed foods, such as fried food, sweet desserts, sugary snacks, refined flour and cereals can increase the risk for anxiety and depression in kids.
  • Kids who drink four or more cups of soda,  or sweetened fruit drinks a day—including diet versions—have a higher risk for depression
  • Caffeine from soda, energy drinks, or coffee drinks can trigger anxiety in kids and aggravate feelings of depression.

Limiting sugar is a BIG one to ensure your children will be successful and have a strong immune system.  Sugar not only from sweets and drinks but excess carbs and processed foods.  These spike their energy levels, and then give a BIG drop not allowing stability.

Most parents go to for lunches are sandwiches.  Easy…
Easy yes, but having bread all the time isn’t really the best for kids. Every once in a while having a gluten free or grain free bread can be great.  Every lunch?  Not as good.

An easy way to help with this is to cook in bulk.

Cook in bulk

When you have some extra time on weekends or evenings, bake a big batch of grain free muffins  and freeze in plastic zipper bags.  Or when you’re cooking your evening meal, make extra that can easily become leftover lunch.  Cooking in bulk not only saves you time when packing healthy school lunches, it also adds some great variety to the usual repertoire of choices.

ORGANIC and non GMO foods are a MUST. Since children’s brains and bodies are developing, they are more sensitive to toxins than adults. Trying as best as you can to get organic will ensure you aren’t inhibiting their immune systems with toxins.

Other tips:

Involving your kids in the process is also important, so they know WHAT they are eating is so important. Help portion things like a nut mix, or maybe older kids can make their own wraps.

What’s really important for kids is:
Be a role model. The childhood impulse to imitate is strong so don’t ask your child to eat vegetables while you gorge on potato chips.

Disguise the taste of healthier foods. Add vegetables to a beef stew, for example, or mash carrots up with mashed potato, or add a sweet dip to slices of apple.

Sneak vegetables into other foods. Add grated or shredded veggies to stews and sauces to make them blend in. Make cauliflower “mac” and cheese. Or bake some zucchini bread or carrot muffins.

Keep lots of fresh fruit and veggie snacks on hand. Make sure they’re already washed, cut up, and ready to go. Add yogurt, nut butter, or hummus for extra protein.

When your kids or teens want to gravitate towards junk food try these tips.  And as I always say for adults as well, don’t keep things in the house, and the temptation will cease.  If you buy it someone will eat it. 

Kid-friendly junk food alternatives
Instead of… Try…
French fries “Baked fries” grilled in the oven and salted lightly
Ice cream Yogurt; sorbet; fresh fruit smoothies
Fried chicken Baked or grilled chicken
Doughnuts or pastries Home baked goods with less sugar
Chocolate-chip cookies Fresh organic fruit as a dessert is a great alternative
Potato chips Baked vegetable chips or, for older children, nuts

Additional tips and products that I recommend for quick snacks:



There’s so many things out there! The goal is just to create healthy options!   If you have some school lunch favorites please share!

 

OIL OF THE WEEK

ON the spotlight this week is DoTerra’s  KIDS LINE!

This is brand new and so awesome for our school aged kids! I wish I would have had these in college too!Introduce your child to essential oils with the kids collection. Pre-diluted with Fractionated Coconut Oil, these essential oil blends are gentle enough for children of all ages. Each of these kid-friendly blends is formulated with children in mind—their fragrance preferences, emotional needs, and most common health complaints. Color-coded labels and roll-on tops make application easy and fun. And while they are created with children in mind, don’t be surprised if you fall in love with a few of these blends yourself.

With adult help, your child can learn to safely apply these essential oil blends to their tummy, hands, head, and heart. As your children grow up using these oils, they can learn to identify their feelings and solve everyday complaints for lifelong success and happiness. The doTERRA Kids Collection includes six pre-diluted 10 mL roll-on blends designed to support the heart, body, and mind.

Calmer™ Restful Blend helps your child relax and promotes sleep. It creates restful feelings throughout the mind and body with essential oils of Lavender, Roman Chamomile, Ylang Ylang, Buddha Wood, and Fractionated Coconut Oil.

  • Lavender and Roman Chamomile soothe anxious feelings that can interfere with falling to sleep.
  • Buddha Wood has a high concentration of complex sesquiterpenes that can be grounding, calming, and supportive of bedtime routines when experienced aromatically.
  • The aroma of Ylang Ylang blossoms promotes relaxation.

These oils in Calmer help quiet the mind before bedtime, support restful sleep, and encourage relaxation.

Thinker™ Focus Blend helps prevent mental distraction and reduce feelings of mental stress and fatigue. This kid-pleasing blend is comprised of Vetiver, Peppermint, Rosemary, and Clementine essential oils with Fractionated Coconut Oil.

  • Vetiver root is a rich, woody oil that calms the mind and brings focus.
  • Peppermint and Clementine are energizing and encourage a positive outlook.
  • Research suggests that inhaling Rosemary essential oil may help people recall previously learned material, making it an excellent companion for test day.

Together, these oils combine in Thinker help instill a sense of alertness and focus while doing homework, during tests, or anytime concentration is needed.

Brave™ Courage Blend helps manage stress and feelings of anxiousness. Counteract negative emotions of doubt, pessimism, and cynicism with Brave Courage Blend. This blend combines essential oils of Wild Orange, Osmanthus Flower, Cinnamon Bark, and Amyris Wood.

  • Wild Orange is an uplifting and energizing oil with a sweet, citrus aroma.
  • Amyris Wood is traditionally used to promote calm feelings and manage stress.
  • Osmanthus Flower is chemically similar to Rose. Native to Asia, it is emotionally supportive when experiencing overwhelmed or stressful feelings.
  • Cinnamon Bark is energizing and provides warming and soothing benefits to the skin when properly diluted.

Energizing and invigorating, Brave promotes feelings of confidence, courage, and belief in oneself.

Strong™ Protective Blend promotes a natural immune defense and is soothing to the emotions and the skin during times of distress. This blend combines Frankincense, Cedarwood, Rose, and Litsea essential oils with Fractionated Coconut Oil.

  • Litsea is sometimes called “tropical verbena” due to its similar fragrance. It has a pleasant, fresh, lemony aroma. It has a high concentration of geranial and neral, which gives it calming and soothing benefits.
  • Frankincense has a warm, spicy aroma that promotes peaceful feelings. It is also soothing and rejuvenating to the skin.
  • Cedarwood has been used historically for its calming and relaxing aroma. Emerging scientific evidence is providing support for this use.
  • Osmanthus flower essential oil is chemically similar to Rose. It has a high concentration of ionones, making it ideal for emotional support when you are feeling overwhelmed.

These emotionally soothing oils combine in Strong to create a dynamic blend that strengthens the mind and body.

Rescuer™ Soothing Blend reduces feelings of tension in the neck and shoulders. This relaxing blend is comprised of essential oils of Lavender, Spearmint, Copaiba, and Tomar seed with Fractionated Coconut Oil.

  • Lavender has been used to soothe head and neck tension since the days of Queen Elizabeth I of England. Its fresh, lightly floral aroma instills a sense of relaxation.
  • Spearmint is topically cooling to the skin, thanks to its menthol content, and is mentally refreshing.
  • Tomar seed essential oil is harvested from the fruit of a tree native to Nepal. It is used to encourage relaxation at the end of the day.
  • Copaiba helps calm anxious feelings when inhaled.

Together, these remarkable oils blend beautifully into a highly soothing blend that can help your child unwind and relax after a busy day.

Steady™ Grounding Blend helps balance mood and soothe upset feelings when emotions seem close to the surface. As a parent, you notice when your child seems to be extra sensitive. Sometimes, this means they need a long nap, an extra snuggle, or some one-on-one time. You can help your child feel more calm and balanced with Steady. This blend combines essential oils of Amyris Wood, Balsam Fir, Coriander, and Magnolia with Fractionated Coconut Oil.

  • Amyris Wood (also known as West Indian Sandalwood) is traditionally used in meditation practices to promote calm feelings and manage stress. It has a gentle, woody aroma.
  • Balsam Fir has a Christmas tree aroma that is relaxing during times of busyness or upheaval.
  • Coriander seed is an herbal oil used in massage for its soothing effects.
  • Magnolia has a high linalool content. Research suggests that inhaled magnolia essential oil (due to its linalool content) may help to promote feelings of calmness and relaxation.

Together, these oils combine in Steady to evoke calm and balanced feelings. Apply Steady on the bottom of the feet, to wrists, or to the back of the neck to promote feelings of calmness and steady the emotions.

doTERRA Kids Collection Uses and Benefits

The doTERRA Kids Collection is a kid-friendly introduction to essential oils. Here are some of the ways to use this collection help your child.

  1. Apply Calmer™ Restful Blend to wrists before bedtime or naps to quiet the mind and soothe away worries. It is helpful for children of all ages. This blend can help older children take control of their own sleeping habits.
  2. When your child is feeling self-doubt, worry, or anxiety, reach for Brave™ Courage Blend. This energizing blend promotes confidence and belief in oneself. It can be helpful to keep on hand before a sports event, musical performance, test, or anytime children need a little encouragement to believe in themselves.
  3. If your child is getting distracted during homework time, pull out Thinker™ Focus Blend. Apply to the wrists of children who are easily distracted. This is also a great blend to use before tests.
  4. When your child is in need of a comforting touch, apply Strong™ Protective Blend during times of distress. It supports a natural immune defense and offers emotionally strengthening benefits. When your child isn’t feeling the best, leave a bottle of Stronger Protective Blend on their dresser or apply to the back of the neck for an added boost.
  5. After your child’s soccer game or after a busy day running around the neighborhood, apply Rescuer™ Soothing Blend to your child’s temples, neck, joints, or other targeted areas for all-around comfort. In addition to its topical benefits, Rescuer also promotes a relaxing and tension-free environment.
  6. When your child’s emotions seem close to the surface, you can support balanced feelings with Steady™ Grounding Blend. Before your child leaves for school, apply Steady on the bottom of the feet to promote feelings of calmness and tranquility throughout the day. Apply Steady to wrists or neck as needed during the day to steady the emotions.

Cautions
Intended for use with parental supervision. Keep out of reach of children under the age of three.

 

Avocado Zucchini Chocolate Muffins

Meat

  • 1/2 cup Hemp hearts

Produce

  • 1 Avocado
  • 1 Zucchini

Refrigerated

  • 1 Egg

Condiments- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

Baking & Spices

  • 1 tsp Baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp Baking soda
  • 1/2 cup Cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup Dark chocolate bar
  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1 tsp Vanilla

Oils & Vinegars

  • 1/3 cup Olive oil

Nuts & Seeds

  • 1/2 cup Pumpkin seeds

Dairy

  • 1/3 cup Almond milk or greek yogurt

 

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Mix together flours, cocoa powder, baking soda and baking powder and set aside.
  3. Mix all wet ingredients together, except for zucchini and seeds.
  4. Melt chocolate bar in microwave for 10-15 seconds, then pour into muffin batter. Add in flour bit by bit, folding into the batter. Finally, grate zucchini right into muffin batter.
  5. Cook muffins for 22-25 minutes in the oven, until tops are cracked and batter barely sticks to a toothpick (there will be a tiny amount of residue but not much).
  6. IMPORTANT: Store muffins in a sealed container in the fridge after they have been left to cool for at least an hour. Muffins will last longer this way.

 

 

Thats all for now..

 

Wishing you a happy and healthy week.

 

 

Dr. Hamel

 

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