Here are some tips to guide you on what really is worth pursuing for your family and what can be left at the supermarket door.
1. Omega oils
Omega oil containing foods such as pumpkin seeds, flax seeds and sunflower seeds. Sprinkle about a tablespoon of these over cereals or salads daily. Or even have them as a snack to keep the energy levels up through the day. Oily fish are also a brilliant source of these. They also contribute to the essential protein intake. Omega oils are fab for general day to day bodily functions and cognitive development.
2. Organic or reliably sourced proteins
We already know that certain fish products contain very high levels of heavy metals, such as mercury, these wreak havoc on brain function and contribute to mental illness so also avoid canned fish. Microplastics are now finally on the environmental radar and we are ingesting these through our seafood. Ultimately our bodies are not designed to deal with these alien objects. In non-organic chicken & Beef both antibiotics and hormones are prevalent which directly affect the microbiomes in our kids’ gut and can jog their hormones too. So buy organic and go for lamb or game which is less ‘tampered’ with.
3. Good Saturated fats
These include avocados, nuts, cooking with coconut oil, goats cheese, fatty fish (such as salmon) and organic grass fed butter. These all contain vitamins and minerals and are essential for the transport and storage of fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. They also support brain, nerve and cellular health. Unfortunately hard cheeses and sticky cheeses are difficult to digest and also contain gut bacteria deharmonising antibiotics. Try to avoid fried foods too.
4. Vegetables at every meal
These are not only the source of vitamins and minerals, they also contain chlorophyll and other phytonutrients essential for protecting the body from inflammation and oxidants. Vegetables have a gentle clearing but nourishing and fibrous action on the gut. Make them as tasty as possible so to make it easy for them to get down. Ideas are butter on spinach with garlic; roasted root vegetables; included in a sauce such as Bolognese; crudités with a dip like hummus or guacamole
5. Juices and smoothies
These are a great way of getting the vitamins down in a quick and tasty way. They are also a fantastic energy and vitamin booster. Be aware of high sugar in fruit smoothies. However the fibre will slow the release of sugar into the bloodstream so you can avoid the probable madness of the sugar high that many parents dread. Vegetable juices are more nutritious; making carrot the base is a good wheeze to sweeten up what can be an rather bitter flavour.