Want your shoppers' kids to get the best out of this school year? Encourage them to pack the following brain foods for their little ones.
The school year is here! And it's time we get our kids the best foods, so they will be the best in school as they can be. It's also time to start fresh, encourage healthy eating habits and set a great example as a retailer or food industry player.
There are some foods that make the top of the list in terms of super brain foods for kids (and adults!) In general, eating nutrient-dense meals, and snacks, and staying hydrated, at regular intervals and avoiding processed, sugary foods can boost brain development, improve concentration, and provide children the energy to make it through a school day.
It is also important to always send kids to school with at least a balanced healthy snack, even if all other meals are provided.
So what are the best foods for kids?
Eggs, whether hard-boiled, scrambled or sunny side up, eggs are a great food or even snack for kids. Eggs are rich in choline (a vitamin-like substance that is plentiful in eggs, but also found in nuts) which helps promotes memory and brain development.
Healthy Fats: Healthy fats help "cushion" the brain; in fact 60 percent of your brain is made up of fat. Salmon is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for the brain and eyes (deficiency can lead to anxiety and depression). Avocados are another great fat, as well as flax, and chia seeds (which are full of fiber as well).
Whole Grains: Whole grains are great for kids – most notably oats. Getting your oats in a not so sweet granola is a great way to get kids to eat more whole grains. The addition of some dried fruit and nuts, balances out the meal or snack. Whole grains in general contain phytonutrients, folate and B vitamins that boost memory. Another great idea for parents? Pack sandwiches with whole wheat bread. If kids are not used to it, make as sandwich with half white, half whole wheat bread!
Lean and Clean Protein: Choosing protein sources that are raised humanely and fed a proper diet, or pastured are your best bets. Encourage customers to ask about how the meat was raised – and make sure the staff is up to speed. Protein is great to pair with whole grains and can help kids feel full longer, avoiding a sharp drop in blood sugar.
Fruit: Berries, grapes, apples, pears and other seasonal fruits are rich in antioxidants like vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and fiber. The fiber in fruit also helps kids regular; yes it's not just a grown-up problem.
Filtered Water: Parents would be surprised how little water kids drink at school. After learning and running around all day, most kids could use a couple of glasses of water. In fact, dehydration can lead to fatigue, fogginess, and more, so drinking plenty of water is crucial to keeping concentration and energy levels high. Encourage customers to buy reusable water bottles in the color or pattern they like. If they choose it, they are more likely to use it!