kids are in school again, they can be challenged with learning, social
pressers and a heavy homework load. Most parents
don't know that stress, anxiety and inability to focus in school are
very common for many children. As parents, you can help by taking advantage of this season's brain-boosting and mood-managing fall harvest foods and putting them in your kids' lunch box. Not only are they
loaded with the nutrients needed for a kid's day in school,
they also taste great to a kid's picky pallet.
Junk food in is junk mind out
will often pack kids lunches with foods that are processed and full of
sugar because they are more convenient and kids are generally more drawn
to these types of foods. Kristine Guglielmo a certified holistic health counselor explains that children who eat processed foods and sugars may
- Have a harder time maintaining the rigors of the school day (stress)
- Lose concentration
- Feel sluggish during the afternoon
Kids in school need more nutrients
under stress or who need to concentrate more, require a higher amount
of magnesium, vitamin C, Vitamin B12, B complex and Vitamin E, which are
abundant in fall harvest foods.
Some ideas include:
Pumpkin: Make a big pot of pumpkin soup and put it in a thermos, make a healthy
vegan pumpkin and bean stew, make homemade pumpkin bread or pumpkin
muffins using gluten free or whole grain flours and either using natural
sweeteners or fruit juice and less sugar to sweeten it with.
Kabocha squash is very high in vitamin C, is naturally sweet and can be
used for soups, make a Kabocha squash stew with garbanzo beans or make a
beef and Kabocha squash stew for dinner and use the leftovers for a
hearty brain boosting high protein lunch.
Use spaghetti squash how you would use pasta, just cut it in half scoop
out the seeds, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and place on a
baking sheet with parchment paper. Bake for 1hr on 400 degrees and top
with your favorite pasta sauce and ground meat, sausage or beans and
cheese. Taste great the next day for lunch and can be eaten hot, warm
Sweet potatoes: This has been called
nature's perfect food. Sweet potatoes are easy to make simply poke a
few holes in it and bake at 400 degrees for 1hr or until soft, slice
open and add a little butter and cinnamon then wrap in foil to pack for
lunch. You can bake a few at a time and keep it in the fridge and pack
it cold with nothing on it in a lunch box because it tastes great plain
Pears: Serve whole, chop them up or poach them the night before for a sweet healthy lunch box treat.
These little jewels are great loaded with brain and mood boosting
vitamins and antioxidants as well as being fun to eat. Slice a whole
pomegranate in half for your kids to pick out the seeds on their own or
put the seeds in a little plastic bowl with a lid for the lunch box or
you can add pomegranate seeds to salad or yogurt.
Sheep's milk cheese: Is
excellent in the fall and sheep's milk is more tolerant than cows milk
for many people. Sheep's milk cheese has B12, protein and fats that are
great for energy, focus, stress relief and brainpower. Cut some slices
with apples or pears and walnuts in the lunch box or use sheep's milk
cheese in place of other cheeses in a healthy wrap. You can also grate
the cheese on the spaghetti squash, sweet potato or anything else you
would normally grate cheese on.
organic apples are sweet, crunchy and juicy in the fall. Kids love
apples and you love how healthy they are. Cut up apples with cheese and
walnuts drizzled with honey for a sweet lunch box treat or make a
turkey salad wrap using whole grain tortillas, turkey, chopped apples,
chopped cheese and lettuce or spinach tossed in lemon juice, olive oil
salt and pepper. Make a healthy apple crisp by chopping up apples, mix
with cinnamon apple juice, a little lemon juice, a little honey, Stevia
or sugar in a buttered baking dish, mix in oats, about 4-6 tablespoons
of chopped butter and walnuts and bake for 45min in a 400 degree oven or
till apples are bubbly and soft.
an easy lunch box treat, simply cut raw cauliflower into sticks like
trees and pack with a side of hummus for dipping or you can lightly
steam the night before and serve chilled sprinkled with salt and pepper
and optional lemon juice with olive oil and grated cheese.
a salad with spinach, turkey, apples, grapes, walnuts and cheese. Add
spinach in healthy sandwich wraps or pita bread like you would lettuce.
fresh grapes alone or add to salads like the one above, grapes even
taste great in a chicken salad made with leftover poached or baked
chicken, celery, whole plain yogurt, grapes sliced or whole, a little
olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder mixed together, chilled and
packed in a sealed container for school or wrap in lettuce leaves or
stuffed in a whole grain pita or wrapped in a healthy tortilla.
are full of calcium, fiber, potassium, minerals, and vitamins A, B1, B2
and can taste like candy to some kids. Pack your Childs lunch with
figs, nuts and cheese or figs alone for their dessert. Add to salads of
mixed greens or spinach, or blend fig and goat cheese, salt and pepper
with a touch of honey together making a delicious salty sweet sandwich
spread with chicken or turkey and spinach on whole grain bread or wrap.
love carrots, you can pack raw carrot sticks with a side of almond or
peanut butter for dipping, make carrot soup the night before and pack it
in a thermos, shred carrots into a salad or shred carrots and stuff
into a pita bread with hummus and avocado for a yummy, vegan, brain
Chicken soup: By making homemade
chicken soup, not only do you have enough for a few lunches, but also
you can take a basic recipe and add in almost all of the fall harvest
veggies. Go crazy with carrots, cauliflower, pumpkin, different
squashes, spinach and even top with grated sheep's milk cheese if you
Use your imagination and see what works for you and your
kids by using the healthy fall harvest foods listed above to balance
your Childs moods and boost their brainpower!