home grown cucumber
Esteem, FOOD, HEALTHY EATING, Learning, Routine, The U URSELF Routine

MAKING FOOD FUN FOR CHILDREN

BOOSTING IMMUNE SYSTEM

Now children are gradually returning to childcare and school many parents are concerned about boosting their children’s immunity.

Covid -19 is still present in our society, it’s not gone yet, despite some easing up on lock down restrictions, and children can be affected by it too.

There’s not one magical solution to prevent it or boost our childrens immune system but there are a few things we can all do to help.

ROUTINE

A good routine as always is key.  

Exercise, a good night’s sleep, and a variety of nutritious food is fundamental to any routine. But now this is more important than ever when it comes to assisting our children’s immune system.

Exercise.

You can learn more about the benefits of implementing daily routine in your child’s life by reading my book The Confident Parent’s Guide to Raising a Happy, Healthy & Successful Child, available from all good book stockists now.

KEEP THEM HYDRATED

Fruit infused water for a flavoured alternative!

Our children need water to help their bodies function properly, so we need to keep those hydration levels topped up throughout the day. If they are not a fan of water then try infusing their water with fruit, so they get a natural flavour without the sugar dump of a smoothie which can cause a sudden sugar high, resulting in a sudden dip in energy.

NUTRTION

As our childrens immune system is still developing, they need all the essential amino acids, which can be found in, poultry, fish, eggs and yoghurt.

If however we are raising our children vegan, this can pose a problem, as there’s no one single source of plant food that will offer all the essential amino acids our children need. Therefore, we need to make sure they get a good variety of plant based foods, such as, beans, lentils, rice, oats, grains, seeds, root and leafy green vegetables.

It’s a good idea to increase these in your child’s diet, whether they are vegan or not if they are fighting any type of viral infection, as essential micronutrients maybe depleted, such as the minerals, selenium, zinc and iron and vitamins C, D and A.

Selenium can be found in tuna, mushrooms, cottage cheese, herrings, cod, chicken, courgettes and brazil nuts.

Zinc in lamb, shrimp’s, haddock, egg yolks, and nuts such as almonds, pecan, brazil and peanuts and also green peas, turnips, oats, rye and whole wheat grain.

Iron can be found in pork, lamb, pork and beef liver, lentils, spinach, parsley, prunes, raisins, dates, pumpkin and sesame seeds, almonds, walnuts, pecan, brazil and cashew nuts.

For Vitamin C, try these immune strengthening, infection fighting foods- cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, peas, peppers, watercress, tomatoes, strawberries, lemons, limes, melons, oranges, kiwi fruit and grapefruit.

Vitamin D is needed to keep our little one’s bones strong and healthy and help fight tooth decay. Try feeding them, fish such as salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel or cottage cheese and eggs and get them outside for some sun (but don’t forget the sunscreen factor 50)

Our very own home grown wonky veg.

Vitamin A, will help to protect them against infections and frequent colds. For an antioxidant immune boost, include in their diet plenty of carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, cabbage, pumpkin, broccoli, tomatoes, tangerines, papayas, apricots, mangoes, melon and watercress (try adding watercress into their sandwiches, egg and cress make a lovely combination giving them their vitamin C, D and A in one sitting)

As well as adding fermentable fibre from beans and fruits, like bananas that they can digest and use as energy, while feeding their good gut bacteria, and including pro-biotics such as yoghurts can lead to numerous health benefits for our children.

Bananas with benefits.

One of the biggest challenges most parents face though is getting their children to eat a well-balanced, nutritious diet of fruit and vegetables.

Make food fun!

The easiest solution I’ve found is to approach this issue from a child’s perspective – which basically means – make food fun!

GROW YOUR OWN

A small vegetable patch in the garden, window box, or allotment can be a great investment, providing fresh air, fruit, vegetables, nature, exercise, education, and a fun hobby for some Us Time together. 

cucumber
We picked this cucumber today from our garden, grown in a basic grow bag which are available from most supermarkets or DIY Stores, no fancy green house or allotment or lots of space or money required, just add, water, love and sun as my husband says!

INVOLVE THEM

Involving them with food shopping, preparation, and spending time discussing ingredients and where they come from, looking at recipe books, watching cookery programmes, and the cooking and preparing of meals provides children with basic general knowledge and understanding of the world.

My daughter has always loved to cook from a young age.

EDUCATE THEM

Assisting us in meal preparation will also teach them mathematical concepts such as weighing, timing, and food in its natural state, and the scientific changes it goes through, such as solids melting.

Giving them a part to play at meal times by way of laying the table and helping us out also boosts their self-esteem. And having a regular mealtime routine ensures they get the right type of food they need at the right time.

When our children were young we had an allotment but still grew lots of veg in our garden too so the children could grow their own wonky vegetables.

A lot of children today think their food originates from a Supermarket. We can educate them about food and where it comes from when we involve them and grow our own, this encourages healthier eating too. Sowing, planting, picking, preparing, and cooking their own food teaches them the whole food process, from where it comes from to how it ends up on their plate. And provides a sense of achievement and pride, helping them feel connected to the food they eat, as well as encouraging them to experiment with new foods they wouldn’t normally.

To read more about Food and The U URSELF Routine you can take a sneak peek inside The Confident Parent’s Guide to Raising a Happy, Healthy & Successful Child below.

Until next time,

Stay Present,

Em x

GOALS, HEALTHY EATING, PARENTING, PLANNING AHEAD, WEIGHT LOSS

WHAT CAN YOU CHANGE MOVING FORWARD?

Eating high calorific foods, reduced activity levels and increased alcohol consumption were some of the thing’s lockdown comforted us with.

wine, cheese and processed meat a thing of the past or occasional treat?

But moving forward it’s time to get out of our comfort zone on the couch and get going again.

With the easing of lockdown many of us moving forward will want to make some changes. Whether its healthier eating, more exercise or reducing our alcohol intake.

NO PLAN IS A PLAN TO FAIL

For positive change to be effective we have to plan ahead.

KEEP A DIARY OR JOURNAL- If you write down your goals in a way that inspires you, you increase your chances of success in achieving your goals by a whopping 30%!

KEEP FOCUSED – If you can measure your progress when working towards your goals, this figure increases to a staggering 60%!!!

SMARTER- As a Coach one way I help clients increase their chances of success in any endeavour is to, make sure my clients create SMARTER Goals.

These are: –

SPECIFIC – YOUR Goal, e.g. to be a certain dress size.  

MEASURABLE- Size 10 e.g. is the measurement you want to be.

ACHIEVABLE – Make a meal & exercise plan to achieve your goal e.g. fruit salad for breakfast, soup for lunch, fish & salad for supper- aerobics 3 times a week.

RELEVANT- It must mean something to you, e.g. to look amazing in your bikini.

TIMED- when do you want to see the results, e.g. 6 months from now in time for your holiday in Spain.

ENTICING- How would that impact your life in exciting ways e.g. feel confident to start dating again.

RECORDABLE- Recording and Reviewing your results along your journey will keep you motivated to continue and help you change your plan if somethings not working.

TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR ENVIRONMENT- So for example if your goal is not to drink alcohol on a weekday, you have to make sure that you have no alcohol in your house to tempt you. If its to eat healthier then a good plan would be to stock up on fresh fruit and vegetables, so you have a handy snack available when you need it and have fresh wholesome foods to include in your meals.

Theres always healthier alternatives to your favourite high calorie foods.

PREPARE AHEAD- when going to work planning what you’ll have for lunch and taking your own packed lunch will not only save you some pounds money wise but also weight wise if you choose healthy options, so if one of your goals is to lose weight or just be healthy this will help you achieve that goal.

Also, by shopping in advance for groceries (when you are not hungry, I recommend eating something before you do your grocery shopping)  that are healthy and batch cooking meals on your day off and freezing them, you ensure that when you get home from work, exhausted and starving, that you’ll have something quick, convenient and healthy to re heat.

My 5 Moving Forward Changes are;

  1. To eat at least 2 servings of fresh fruit a day
  2. Make a third of my diet vegetables
  3. To only drink alcohol at the weekend
  4. To do weight bearing exercise 3 times a week
  5. To stop eating processed meats like ham, bacon, sausages etc…

What’s YOUR 5 Moving Forward Changes?

  1. ———————————————–
  2. ———————————————–
  3. ———————————————–
  4. ———————————————–
  5. ———————————————–
My favourite home made soup is my Tomatoe & Basil. Comforting but kind.

Now its time for you to break each change down into mini changes and make them SMARTER by answering the following questions.

  1. I will achieve the following (e.g. Lose weight and be a dress size 10) ————————————————————————————————————————————————————
  2. I will achieve this because (I want to look good in my bikini on holiday)————————————————————————————————————————————————————-
  3. Here are the things I need to do (my mini goals) in this order to achieve my goal.

First: (e.g. snack on fruit) —————————————————————————–

Secondly(e.g. increase my vegetable intake)  : ———————————————————————–

Thirdly (e.g. remove all alcohol from my environment):—————————————————————————

Fourthly (e.g. order some home weight bearing equipment such as handy dumbbells and some resistance bands and make an exercise plan):————————————————————————-

Fifthly (e.g. make a shopping list to include plenty of fresh fruit vegetables and fish and no processed meat):—————————————————————————–

  • Today I will start by (e.g. looking for healthy vegetable soup recipes on the internet) ——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-
  • For this I need access to the internet, find some recipes to follow, to buy a hand blender and some ingredients and I will get these from the supermarket and the internet  ———————————————————————————-
  • I will know when I’ve been successful in achieving my mini goal when- (e.g. I find a healthy soup that I enjoy eating and is quick and easy to make.)
  • I will reward myself for achieving this by –  (e.g. buying a new bikini in my goal size 10) ——————————————————————————
  • The obstacles I may face are (e.g. not finding a recipe I like or can quickly or easily cook)————————————————————————————————————————————————————
  • To over come this I’m going to-  (e.g. try a few different recipes on my day off, when I can take my time and then make  a big pot of my preferred soup and freeze for the rest of the week) —————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-
  • I will review my progress ( e.g. in 2 weeks’ time on the 15th of July)——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–
  • This is the progress I’ve made (e.g. I’ve lost 4 pound)————————————————————————————————————————–
  • I will be ready to tackle my next mini goal when (e.g. I have formed the habit of having home made soup for lunch everyday for 2 weeks)———————————————————————————————————
  • My next mini goal is (e.g. to start weight bearing /resistance exercise/ to join my local gym or buy some resistance weights I can use at home or do push-ups & sit-ups)——————————————————-

And then start the 12- step process above again for measuring that mini goal. Until eventually you will be on the path of achieving all 5 of your Moving Forward Changes.

Don’t dive straight in and try to achieve all 5 Moving Forward Goals at once, start with the easiest one first then, once you feel you are in good stride with that mini goal move onto the next, ideally leaving two weeks between them.

Don’t forget to keep a journal or diary of- your goal, your progress, your setbacks and success!

Let me know your goals moving forward, you can tweet me #My5MovingForward or DM me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. When you share your goals, you make then real and commit so share with your friends and family too

Or if you’d like 1:1 help in achieving your goals email me today emma@happychildcare.club or take a look at our  Mumatherapy page for more information. link here

Until next time Stay Present,

Em x

Photo by Yukie Emiko Obi Onyeador Louis Hansel @shotsoflouis Rawan Yasser Yulissa Tagle on Unsplash