5 Steps to Back to School Smarts

by Heather MacAyeal Hardy Add
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Feeding the family for smarts!

In summer it is easy to relax our family nutrition standards, have the extra sugar, loosen up on the vegetable rule a bit. It’s ok, summer can fill us with other forms of nourishment like quality time together, healthy play, and a great dose of Vitamin D from sunshine.

But as fall starts and we head back to school, there are important nutrients your child needs for concentration and overall brain health. Follow these 5 tips and you will most certainly have high report card bragging rights!

1. EAT YOUR EFA’s (ESSENTIAL fatty acids) we call them essential because the body can not synthesize them on their own, they MUST be sourced from food or supplements. This group includes the much talked about Omega 3 fatty acid. Great sources of omega 3 are salmon, walnuts, flax seeds, hemp seeds and pumpkin seeds. Sprinkle some flax or hemp seeds on cereal or add to a smoothie. Use flax oil on your salad or try this salmon kebab recipe that the kiddies will love. Find creative ways to include this essential nutrient into your families diet for brain health and super smarts.

2. BALANCE YOUR BLOOD SUGAR – The best way to balance blood sugar is by getting rid of the processed foods, if it comes from a bag or a box, please don’t feed it to your children! You can think of processed foods as partially digested – because the processing has ripped away the nutrients and reduced the foods to simple fast sugar which deposits instantly in to the blood resulting in a glycemic spike (the hyper active sugar high) followed by an insulin rush and crash (the almighty temper tantrum).Β  Be aware of what you eat, natural sugars such as those found in fruits and root veggies are complex and take time to enter the system, this is a good thing. Additionally these foods are high in fiber which slows down the “dumping” of sugar in to the blood. Brain synapses will fire more efficiently when blood sugar levels are stable. Fire away brain synapses!

3.ZINC WILL MAKE YOU THINK! Protein rich foods like beef, lamb and scallops are great sources of zinc but also plant based foods like cremini mushrooms, shitake mushrooms, spinach, chard, and pumpkin seeds. Your kiddies will love this creamy comforting recipe and their brains will too: Creamy Mushroom with Quinoa and Kale

4. SAY GOODBYE TO ADDITIVES AND PRESERVATIVES. Eat real food prepared by you, with love, in your kitchen! Several studies in England have shown food colorings and preservatives increase symptoms of learning disorders and exacerbate allergy’s in children! If there is a numbered color listed don’t buy it! If the food is a bright hue thanks to mother nature, spend your green!

5. MAKE A SMART FAMILY DINNER. Hands down the best way to set your children up for success, prepare a meal, sit down, eat together and talk! You are nourishing their body with good food, their mind with stimulating conversation, their heart with your love and attention, and their future with your care and love!

Heather MacAyeal Hardy
About Heather MacAyeal Hardy, Holistic Health Counselor

A holistic health counselor and mom to two fantastic kids, Heather is passionate to share her knowledge of plant based nutrition and wellness.