Dear readers, I’m pregnant again. I wish I were saying this to elicit congratulations and by way of launching a new column about pregnancy -- and I am, at least, doing the latter, but the...
Summer is absolutely upon us again. I know this because I don’t get any blogs written, we’ve used up most of our frequent flyer miles, our swimsuits smell vaguely of mildew and my baby’s got a farmer’s tan (if you think Daddy’s happy about this, think again - and check out our blog on sunburns and suntans). I don’t know when the official solstice is, but we might as well name the beginning of the seasons based on the school calendar anyway, right?
It’s time for us all to refresh our memories on how to keep our kids healthy and hydrated amidst all the travel, high temperatures, and variations in routine. Summer can be a super-healthy time, full of outdoor play and refreshed minds -- given the appropriate precautions...Here are some of my favorites:
1. Summer Nutrition:
Part 1 of Our 3-Part ‘Eat Your Greens’ Series
I’m reading the Joel Fuhrman book, Disease-Proof Your Child, in an absolutely occasional moment where my son Aidan is quietly playing next to me and Ammie is sleeping. In the book, he mentions that his children have known since the age of 5 why eating greens is important. I turn to Aidan (a boy who, mercifully, has always been willing to eat his greens -- at least with a little cajoling), absorbed in his model car parking lot, and the conversation goes something like this:
Well, the breakfast challenge began today, with a not-so-inspired but healthy breakfast in our house of sprouted grain (Ezekiel) bread with nut butter and a pear (at least part of a pear). My assistant, Maddie’s household had a more inspired start -- with a new kind of smoothie -- inspired, she tells me, by a magic bullet infomercial. (I love those things!)
We’ll be including our favorite recipes as we go along this month, but this morning’s realization was that, as with any game, I probably should start with a game plan. Here’s a list of possible breakfast options -- so I don’t have to think TOO hard first thing in the morning.
Suggestions for Healthy Breakfasts
Oatmeal with fruit -- use milk or almond milk to cook the oatmeal for protein, stir in your child’s favorite fruit (a little dried fruit often such as dried apricots and raisins goes over well in my house), and sweeten with a bit of real maple syrup.
I’ve been taking a lot of heat lately -- from my own parents, and my mother-in-law -- and the truth is, I deserve it. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, that’s how I was raised (and both behavioral and cognitive studies on children agree!)... and yet...
Too many mornings we are racing to the car with a toaster waffle or granola bar in hand. Lunch, dinner, we have raised a beautifully balanced eater (throw a little sauce on his greens and he’ll down anything from broccoli to kale), but breakfast? Well, suffice it to say, we haven’t raised much of a breakfast eater, and both sets of grandparents have noticed.
The Importance of Breakfast
So we’re leaving for Paris now in 13 days and counting, and I’ve finally, just now, graduated to that category of planning that transcends watching stylish French movies as part of my ‘language and culture’ research into actually figuring out how I’m going to take a family of three and move us out of our comfortable spacious house into 4 suitcases and a 3rd floor Parisian walkup. (Did I mention that the next step in my travel planning beyond pragmatic to-do lists – and far beyond film noir – is panic?)
But for tonight, no panic yet, just a few deep breaths and… Project Natural Health Travel Kit.
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