Goblins, Witches and Bats OH MY!

What could be scarier than Jason from Friday the 13th?

How about trying to get a child to sleep who has been trick or treating since the end of September and is in the middle of a candy rush?

Ring a bell for anyone?

We have all been there and we know that no matter how hard you try to dodge it, candy consumes everything during the month of October. Talk about terrible timing; school has just started, the holidays are approaching and homework is in full force! A candy overload is never healthy for anyone. Not only does it serve to spike energy levels, it leaves us feeling sluggish and crashing before the afternoon hits.

NOT TO FEAR parents because there is a solution!

Exchange candy by replacing it with healthy snacks and meals. How do you do that? Start feeding your household brain food. This simple switch can add food choices that will help to boost the production and contribute to the overall health of the brain. What is brain food? It may sound like a five star zombie feast but it’s just the opposite!

Brain foods are categorized into one of four groups; fats, proteins, carbohydrates and antioxidants. That’s right folks – we said fats and proteins in the same sentence! These options can consist of eating eggs, fish or cooking with canola and soy oil. The benefit of increasing fats into a diet is that it maintains mood balance while proteins help to preserve neurotransmitters in the brain.

Of course you can’t forget about carbohydrates and antioxidants! These options can consist of increasing our intake of vegetables including; cooked carrots, corn and leafy greens. The benefit of adding carbohydrates to the equation is that it allows us to get the energy needed without the sugar crash and helps to regulate the body’s glucose levels. Antioxidants in fruits, primarily berries help us to sustain memory, while also serving as an excellent source of anti-aging and cancer fighting agents.

One important meal to consider making the switch to brain food is lunchtime.  Do the foods inside your child’s lunchbox serve their need of memory retention while giving them energy to carry through the remaining day? If they don’t, here’s a treat for you!

Some simple do’s to remember:

  • Balance your child’s lunch with the food pyramid but don’t forget snacks.
  • Choose water or milk and leave out soda or high-sugar fruit juices.
  • Add in a dip for fruits and veggies like ranch, peanut butter or salsa.
  • Satisfy a sweet tooth by making a fruit salad instead of packing cookies or candy.
  • A simple swap from white to wheat bread can help compromise a favorite such as PB&J.

With all the energy gained by eating healthier this Halloween, your children will have more time to tackle the things that really need their attention like cobwebs, bobbing for apples and most importantly carving pumpkins!