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Perth Nutritionists

Corrin Ainley
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Super Smart Smoothies

by on 07 October, 2014

HELPING KIDS GROW STRONGER, SMARTER AND HEALTHIER.

Smoothies can provide a quick and easy, nutritious breakfast. They also make a great after-school snack and make a great alternative to fruit juices or sugary soft drinks. Kids love smoothies and they can be a hidden treasure trove of nutrients.

Vitamin and mineral deficiencies and low protein intake can greatly affect a child’s health, brain function and physical growth. Kids with learning difficulties, poor concentration, hyperactivity, fussy eating and children with low body weight often need extra nutritional support. Like a seed planted in nutrient rich soil will blossom into a vibrant, thriving plant when children are given all the right nutrition they will excel.

Giving Kids the Best Start.

Kids who skip breakfast tend to be more irritable, easily distracted and hyperactive; they simply do not have resources needed for the day. Unfortunately most common breakfast foods like cereals and toast won’t provide the brain-nutrition and sustained energy kids need. The key to a super smart breakfast is protein! Having a protein rich breakfast is especially helpful for kids with learning disabilities, ADHD and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). So why not make a protein rich smoothie to get the day started right!

The Essentials to Making Smoothies.

To make a smoothie, you can use any milk or substitute. Your choice may depend on your child’s health needs, special diets, allergies and taste preference. Options include almond, rice, oat, cow, goat and coconut milk, or coconut water.

Adding a protein powder is very helpful for kids who won’t eat meat, eggs and other protein rich foods. Whey protein is an excellent option, choose a good quality brand that has been obtained from grass-fed cows.  For children with allergies and dairy intolerance pea or rice proteins are good alternatives.

Bananas provide creaminess and texture; they are high in fibre as well as vitamin B6, essential for brain health, and potassium, which can help support the nervous system.

Blueberries are high in antioxidants, which are important for immune support and protecting the brain from oxidative stress.

Mangoes are high in antioxidants and a great source of fibre, vitamins A and C, which support the immune system.

Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which are great for brain health. They are also a good source of fibre, important for gut health, and high in protein and antioxidants.

Kale and spinach are high in minerals such as calcium, magnesium and iron, which can provide energy along with support for the nervous system to help alleviate anxiety and stress. They are also high in phytonutrients which provide antioxidants.

Avocado is a healthy fat that can make for great brain food, plus fibre and vitamins and minerals. Avocado gives smoothies a creamier texture.

Coconut oil is a medium chain triglyceride which is easily digested, can support brain health, the immune system and provide energy.

It can be fun to experiment and you can get very creative with your combinations. Don’t give up if children reject the first smoothie you make, it can take a little trial and error to match the flavour combination to their taste. You can keep it simple or go all out by adding in any superfood powders.
Here are two recipes to get you started.

Blueberry Blast with Veggies
½ cup frozen blueberries
Handful of spinach or kale
¼ avocado
200ml rice milk
1 scoop protein powder  

Bananarama Superfood Smoothie
1 medium banana
50g mango
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp chia seeds
200ml almond milk/ rice milk/ cow’s milk
Option: 1 tablespoon high quality protein powder
You can add in any powdered supplements.

Adding a daily smoothie is wonderful, however many children will need a personal consultation to address specific health issues. These can include the treatment and management of allergies, food intolerances, addressing specific nutrient deficiencies, toxicity, digestive problems, ADHD, ASD and improving fussy eating.  A qualified and experienced practitioner will request the appropriate tests, provide special diet plans (gluten free/casein free, specific carbohydrate diet etc.) and prescribe nutritional supplementation when needed. If have any questions or require support you may wish to contact us through the website.

 

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