By Barbara Schellenberg –
With the school year winding down and the summer holidays sparkling on the horizon it’s a good time to start laying the foundation for the summer months. Kids do a big part of their growing in the summer months, they are also often more active and that means it is crucial to keep up proper nutrition during this time.
Summer means you are out of the day-to-day school-year routine, which makes it a perfect time to mix things up, introduce them to new foods, and focus on better eating for your family for the long term.
Here are some good things to start with:
• Switch your salt: Buy un-refined sea salt—Redmond or another full mineral mined salt or pink Himalayan salt. Using good salt is perhaps the easiest way to boost the nutrients in your food. Use your white salt to do a fun play dough project with the kids!
• Upgrade your sweeteners: Simply discard any synthetic sweeteners and white sugar (white sugar is even dangerous for humming birds). Replace with raw local honey, pure maple syrup, and organic unrefined cane sugar. All of these sweeteners are full of micronutrients and make sweet treats more nourishing.
• Include probiotics daily: Live foods help with digestion and assimilation of nutrients and are amazing for developing the palate. Check out www.wildfermentation.com for endless ideas, recipes, and articles on the benefits of live probiotics.
• Buy organic and local produce, grains, and legumes whenever possible: You will notice a difference in how they taste, and you will also be serving up more nutritional value.
• Animal protein and fats: Buying high quality animal products really pays off. Find a local farmer who sells barnyard fresh eggs—make a new friend and get better quality food. Source grass-fed and, ideally, organic meat products and dairy.
•Broaden the spectrum of carbohydrates you cook with: Wheat and potatoes are still the most common carbohydrates eaten by most families. Experiment with different varieties of rice, millet, and quinoa as well as things like sweet potatoes, purple sweet potatoes, yucca root, and taro root. Each are rich in minerals and can help reduce risk of developing allergies or sensitivities simply because a diverse diet means we have less chance of overexposure to any one food.
Use this summer to create better food habits!
For “Nourishing our Children” newsletters of the past visit www.thegreengazette.ca.