Skip to content

Smart Start - Start your child (or yourself) off to a healthy and productive school year !

Start your child (or yourself) off to a healthy and productive school year !

– By Dr. Katie Weststrate, ND

1. Start smart with protein!  Choose eggs, yogurt, nuts/seeds, make a smoothie with protein powder for breakfast to stabilize blood sugar and energy levels.

2. 5 Alive – Children need to be eating at LEAST 5 brightly coloured fruits and/or veggies/day!

3. Fats for Function –   Omega-3 fatty acids are vital for brain development.  Supplementation has been shown to have resounding impact on anti-social behavior, aggression and oppositional behavior! In addition to fish, other ‘good’ fats to include in the diet, aside from fish: raw nuts and seeds, avocado, extra virgin, unrefined cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil (saturated but healthy option especially for heating). AVOID hydrogenated and trans fats!

4. Keep it Real – avoid processed, packaged foods, artificial colours, flavours and preservatives as much as possible – shop the perimeter of the grocery store and at your local markets, focusing on whole foods in their natural state – just you’re your grandmother would have eaten!

5. AVOID refined sugar!  –  refined sugar is linked to many health problems and wreaks havoc on blood sugar regulation, affecting energy, focus and attention span. Instead of sugary drinks or snacks, have fresh or unsulphured dried fruits for a treat. For a soft drink alternative, dilute 1/4 cup 100% fruit juice with carbonated mineral water.  Baking? – use applesauce, pureed dates, maple syrup or honey.

6.   Watch for food allergies and sensitivities – Signs of a food allergy are usually quite obvious (hives, etc) but symptoms of food sensitivity are very diverse, ranging from diarrhea or diarrhea to repeated ear infections, eczema, decreased attention span and moody outbursts. Speak with a Naturopathic Doctor about how to best address this issue if you have concerns.

7.   Don’t sweat the small stuff! – Kids will be kids, and they are inherently picky! Sometimes this is actually a sign that the food they are refusing is NOT good for them. Try to respect their autonomy and body awareness by offering them multiple healthy choices and allowing them to choose.  We can facilitate a child developing good body awareness, and hunger regulation, by encouraging them to make healthy choices, but allowing them to dictate when they are hungry, and full.  Left overs will keep in the fridge!

8. Be a Mindful Model – We often get caught up in the day-to-day chaos and end up neglecting those who need our undivided attention the most (ourselves, our children, our loved ones). Take time frequently throughout the day to stop. Take a conscious breath. Reassess a situation, thought or emotion and prioritize – ask yourself: “what’s the intention here? What really matters?”

See below for some book suggestions to promote conscious parenting:

•     Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting- Jon& Myla Kabat-Zinn

•     Simplicity Parenting – Kim John Payne

•     Heaven on Earth – Sharifa Oppenheimer

•     Healing Stories for Challenging Behaviour – Susan Perrow

Add Your Comment (Get a Gravatar)

Your Name


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *.