Energy-Packed Local Foods For Your Kids
In the right amounts, nutrients give your child energy to grow, learn, and be active. Calories are the amount of energy in the foods and drinks your child takes.
If your child isn't as energized as she used to be, it may just be that she is low on energy. Nutritionists say the types and the amount of food we eat play an important role in our daily energy levels. For instance, did you know that eating a plate of beans will leave your child more energized than eating four slices of bread? Maybe not. But food experts note that not having the right food on one’s plate can deplete energy levels and predispose one to chronic stress and fatigue. Not to worry, these are some energy giving Nigerian foods for your kids.
Nutritious Nigerian Foods And The Importance Of Breakfast
Expert nutritionists say that some solid high-energy carbohydrates in the Nigerian diet are actually not. The best way to ensure that your child is energized all day is making sure she has breakfast.
Do you recall how you suddenly feel tired towards lunchtime on days you did not have breakfast? Experts say that this sensation shows that the body and the brain are running low on energy. And this has negative effects on your mental and cognitive functions. Food eaten in the morning restores glucose levels, an essential carbohydrate that is needed for the brain to function.
Breakfast is the meal that provides the body and brain with fuel after an overnight fast. That's the idea of the phrase breaking the fast! When you don’t eat in the morning, you're effectively running on empty. That's like trying to start the car with no fuel!
Eating breakfast improves your memory and concentration levels. It can also make you happier, as it boosts your mood and lowers stress levels.
Eating breakfast is important for everyone, but it is of utmost importance for children. Several studies among children show that those who ate in the morning had higher grades than the kids who did not,” the nutritionist notes.
Also, those who had breakfast grew and had healthier weights, compared to kids who had been denied breakfasts in the study.
Nutritious Nigerian Foods Packed With Energy For Kids And Toddlers
Just like any organ in the body, the brain needs energy which comes through food to work at its best. It is also through the diet that children get the nutrients that they need to grow.
Children do not store up as much calories as adults do, so they especially need to eat early in the morning to help them function as they should throughout the day. Else, they get cranky and throw tantrums. Growing children who are more active would require a lot of energy. As such, they should never skip any meal, either breakfast, lunch or dinner.
To stay alert all day, start by making smarter choices about what your child is using to fuel her body. Below are energy-dense foods that will give a powerful boost if you include them in your kid's daily diet.
Fruit offers a significant dose of glucose, in which children's bodies can easily metabolize into energy. Most fruits are digested in under half an hour, which makes them a quick, nutritious way to get a burst of energy.
Bananas: Because they are composed mostly of sugars (glucose, fructose, and sucrose) and fibre, bananas are foolproof energy food. Top them with peanut or almond butter for a well-rounded snack, or slice one into your child's morning cereal for an extra boost that will keep her going until lunchtime.
Apples: Not only will an apple a day keep the doctor away, but it’ll also give your child a powerful jolt of energy. High in fibre, apples take longer to digest. So they’ll give you a more prolonged lift than many other fruit picks. Snack on apples with cheese for an especially effective pick-me-up.
Oranges: High in vitamin C, potassium and folate, this citrus fruit rations out energy steadily over time instead of giving kids a quick sugar rush. Peel and eat an orange whole to benefit from the pectin and fibre in its membranes.
Foods we get from plants
Foods that come straight from a tree or plant will help kids maintain their energy levels. Certain vegetables have all the protein, carbohydrates and good fats they need to keep going all day. Plus, if you include them in their diet, they won’t zap energy like acid-producing foods. But they will instead help to regulate their protein intake. This helps to protect your kid from obesity.
Both a protein and a complex carbohydrate, beans are a must for both carnivores and vegetarians. Apart from beans pottage and Agonyin beans, toss a cup into spinach salad or enjoy a bean burrito with the kids.
Salmon and Titus fish
Salmon has been receiving a lot of hype lately for its high content of omega-3 fatty acids. This can lower cholesterol and reduce your child's risk of heart disease. But this pink fish also contains protein and vitamin B6, niacin and riboflavin. All of which help convert the food you eat into energy. Top a spinach salad with salmon, or serve it with a side of brown rice and veggies for a power-packed lunch or dinner.
They contain the highest complete form of protein in any food. That's a whopping 97 percent of it is absorbed by the body! Eggs provide 30 percent of your daily value of protein. All of the essential amino acids that your body uses to rebuild muscle are found in eggs. Whether your kids eat them boiled, scrambled, baked, fried or as an omelette, don’t overlook the power of the incredible egg.