We are what we eat right? So how do we get our kids to ‘eat for better grades in school’?
Think of the grades on a report card like the level of nutrition in food. The better nutrition we get, the better grades we get.
Why? Because growing brains reproduce cells based on the existing cells and the communication between them. The ability to think fast, recall information, process logic, follow instructions, retain, focus, create, respond etc. are all based on communication between neurons and other brain cells (to put it simply).
The building blocks of these cells are nutrients – vitamins, minerals, fats, carbs, proteins etc. If some of these building blocks are missing or altered, then naturally the structure won’t be as strong, last as long, or function as well. Once our body is built and we are ‘finished’ growing this is one we get to keep for the rest of our lives.
Although our cells are continually dying and growing anew, the information with which those cells reproduce on has already been determined. If we’ve put garbage in, we will get garbage out.
Like a house can receive structural renovations, our already grown bodies do have the ability to improve, but in a limited way and with much more effort and expense than getting it right the first time.
Reality. Yes I know. It’s a smack in the face sometimes. Especially when it comes to making lunchboxes that kids will devour without question. That is, until you set yourself and your kids up for success. Know that harmonious mornings, and happy healthy children are very possible – even for you!
Without an entire few days to get into the detail I would normally feel is required to do this topic justice, I will try to leave you with 5 simple ideas.
1.) Pickiness is learned. It can be re-learned. The next two ideas are two of (multiple) ways how;
2.) Remove or at least significantly reduce the amount of sugar in your child’s diet. This will allow their taste buds to ‘re-sensitize’ and reduce chaotic behavior or unhealthy weight gain. More importantly yet;
3.) Remove Remove Remove (this one is strict) all fake sugars from their diet. This includes aspartame, NutraSweet, equal, 951, other 900’s, 420 etc. They are in all things “Diet”, “Low-fat”, “No-Sugar”, “Lite” and hide in many other places too. These are neurotoxins in the brain that cause destruction and addiction.
4.) Taste buds change. We have 10% new taste buds each day. It takes between 10-16 tastes of a food to develop a liking for it. Introduce one rule, a child does not have to completely finish something that is given to them but they do have to take a proper taste of it – every time.
5.) Slow and Steady wins every time. Do not expect an overnight miracle of veggie-loving, mother-praising angels. Know that it can take many weeks or months AND it’s worth it. It is my personal guarantee to you that one day they will thank you. Gradual change is easier 90% of the time and tends to last longer. Transitioning slowly means adding less and less sugar each time you bake that favourite cake recipe. It means diluting the jug of dairy milk with 1/8 almond milk, then ¼ next jug, then ½ next jug etc. until you have completely transitioned.