How to support your children’s energy through food
Cooking Them Healthy places great value on using food to strengthen and heal your body. Our mission is to try and show you that by putting a little bit of thought into the ingredients you put on your families’ plate you can provide nourishing meals which are also quick and delicious.
A simple way to start doing this is by building up your store cupboard with ingredients that have great nutritional properties, which will help support and nurture your family – all of them familiar and easy to get hold of. Having these staples to hand will help make it easier for you to use them therapeutically, rather than turning to your medicine cupboard, to help curb a cold, settle an upset stomach or give your child a boost when tired.
As the summer holidays draw to an end we wanted to focus on Energy Boosting ingredients which will help your children settle back into the demanding school schedule. We have included a suggested list of energy boosting ingredients that will always come in handy:
Seeds and Nuts
A variety of nuts (such as almonds, Brazil nuts, walnuts and hazelnuts) and seeds (sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds) not only add a delicious crunch to many recipes but also provide a welcome complete protein boost. Nuts and seeds are rich in minerals, each variety containing different valuable nutrients. A small handful makes a vitality and energy boosting snack, full of protein, fibre and essential fats.
Brown rice is unrefined and unprocessed, and the bran & germ part of the grain remain which helps to make it a useful source of fibre, as well as being full of energy boosting B vitamins. It has a lovely nutty flavour.
Dried fruit is a great source of natural fibre rich sweetness and can be used in place of refined sugars. Prunes in particular are toffee like in texture and full of fibre. Figs are packed with bone supporting calcium and dried apricots (preferably unsulphured) can provide a helpful source of iron which is key to supporting healthy energy production.
These are a brilliant source of vegetable protein and make a nice alternative, or in fact addition, to meat dishes adding wonderful texture and flavour. Pulses & beans are also rich in fibre for digestive health and valuable vitamins and minerals, such as iron, which is a key nutrient to support energy levels. Soaking beans & pulses overnight can help us to digest them.
Ideally the unrefined jumbo variety, are a fantastic source of both gentle soluble fibre and energy supporting B vitamins. They make a fantastic breakfast, a great base for granola bars, bircher muesli, are easy on the digestive system, and help sustain energy.
Eggs are the ultimate fast food, quick & easy to cook, extremely versatile and are packed full of valuable nutrients such as B vitamins, choline and biotin for skin & hair health.
Spices such as cardamom, cumin and turmeric. Spices are a brilliant way to bring dishes to life, and not only do they provide great colour and flavour but are also nutrient rich. They act as potent antioxidants and can be helpful in reducing inflammation in conditions such as eczema, joint pain etc.
DID YOU KNOW?
Protein is essential for growth and repair in the body, a key macronutrient for rapidly growing bodies. It also helps to slow down the release of sugar into the bloodstream, helping to keep your little ones fuller for longer and helping to prevent that inevitable post-sugar slump most of us mums know only too well.
Using wholegrains in place of more refined grains helps to slow down the release of glucose into the bloodstream which results in more consistent energy levels. A sudden increase of sugar in the bloodstream, which occurs after eating more refined carbohydrates such as white flour foods, causes a spike in blood sugar followed by an inevitable crash and energy slump.