Denver - Design District - Alameda and Broadway
368 S Broadway
Denver, CO 80209
Sending kids off to school with everything they need to be successful is every parent’s intention. We go school supply shopping and purchase new clothes or shoes. But it’s what our kids may be exposed to and bring home from school that can keep them from performing their best.
With less time in the sun and fresh air, more exposure to other kids, and the stress that comes from changing routine and being back in school, children’s immune systems can take a hit, and kids can get sick.
Fortunately, supporting children’s immune systems with healthy foods for breakfast can help them stay well throughout the school year. And although the lazy summer day routine is gone, a little bit of planning and prep can make it easy to get these healthy foods into a busier school morning routine.
Starting off the day with protein, vegetables, and healthy fat, and limiting sugar, is vital for healthy immune systems (and for learning and attention too!). Typical commercial breakfast foods have significant sugar, which stuns immune system cells that attack bacteria. This immune dampening effect can last for hours, opening the door to illness. On the other hand, the vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients in vegetables have been shown to support appropriate immune system function. For example, beta-carotene found in carrots and dark leafy greens was shown to increase the activity of natural killer cells, an immune system cell that plays an important role in surveying the body to determine if immune system activity is needed. Some high power immune system supportive veggies include onion, mushrooms, leafy greens, and olives. And don’t forget to add herbs and spices! Oregano is a powerful antioxidant and immune supportive herb that adds a ton of flavor to your breakfast.
In addition to vegetables, quality protein is essential for immune system function. The amino acids that make up protein help to regulate the immune system, and an adequate supply is necessary for optimal function. Healthy fats, including fats in butter and coconut oil, are important regulators of immune system activity and support a healthy microbial balance in the body.
Here are some alternatives to sugar-laden breakfast foods that will leave your family satisfied and ready to face any challenge the day brings.
For days when you want something warm to eat, but don’t have a lot of time, try one of these ideas that can be prepared over the weekend and heated in the oven:
Some mornings call for a quick breakfast that takes very little preparation. Smoothies and yogurt are some favorites to try.
Starting off the school year with health, instead of absences due to illness, can help our kids make the most of their school experience. I hope some of the ideas above can help your family get back to school with health.