Feeding growing minds: Below is a list of my stable ingredients use and our Chocolate Balls and the reasoning behind adding it into the mix. Generally, I just add what we have in the cupboard but when making them it is always about what and why I add the food or nutrient that I do. I find it very empowering to talk to the kids about why we eat what we do. I try my best to keep food fun, tasty, exciting and empowering.
- Almond are a rich source of Vitamin E, calcium and magnesium as well as phosphorous, zinc and iron. Vitamin E is an essential antioxidant that can function in both fat and water based substances which is why it is fantastic to help detox the brain. Often vitamin E deficiencies can be linked to slow language development, abnormal proprioception, a high pain threshold, low muscle tone and poor motor control and planning, Kelly Dorfman MD, What’s eating your child?
- Pumpkin seeds are high in zinc, plant based omega 3’s, protein and magnesium. Zinc is fantastic for cell growth, immune function but my favourite being sensory development such as developing your sense of taste and your sense of smell. This is amazing news for all those parents out there with super sensitive smelly eaters!
- Sunflower seeds – again rich in vitamin E, copper, B vitamins and selenium for hair and nail health.
- Sesame Seeds –Vitamin B6 and Folate which improves cellular metabolism, mood and energy as well as aid in the absorption of Vitamin E. Sesame seeds are well balances with calcium and magnesium and are more bioavailable to the body than milk for bone health.
- Dates– delicious and chewy they are also a good source of vitamin A and B complex, while rich in iron, calcium, manganese, copper and potassium making them fantastic building block for nerves and brain development. Dates contain selenium which is vital for bone development.
- Coconut – fibre
- Raw cocoa – Lowers insulin levels and protects the nervous system, boost mood and rich in minerals all mentioned above.
- Dark Chocolate – I always make sure it is soy and palm oil free – anything 75% or above works well with the dates.
- Good quality Salt – to enhance the caramel taste of the dates and fuel the body with electrolytes
- Coconut oil – Health fat no words needed
- Wild blueberries – are 2x higher in antioxidants than normal blueberries
- Dried apricots – have a high concentration of beta carotene. This makes them excellent food for healing lung, skin and stomach illness but also aids in building health eyes.
Putting it all together! Blend, mix all desired dry ingredients. Soaked dates and blend with chocolate add salt to taste.
Combine the dry ingredients and date mixture into a bowl. Add melted coconut oil until the mixture is wet and holds shape when pressed together.
Roll into balls and cover in desiccated coconut (I blend my coconut with wild blueberries to colour)
Like every household we have our ups and our downs, parental wins or losses. Parents aren’t meant to have all the answers, only a wiliness to learn new things. One of the most consisten question I’m asked by parents as a Kinesiologiest is always around a childs food, their diet or lack of one.
Food and nutrition today can be dynamic and more often than not confusing. Now, by no means would I every claim to be a nutritionist, just a facilitator for health education and self-empowerment to be a critical consumer. Over the last 15 years that I have been teaching, nutrition has changed dramatically, science has changed this we now understand and can observe bodily functions at a more micro level. An example of this would be the now universal understanding of gut health, the microbiome.
When it comes to ‘diet’ there has never been a one size fits all….. I’m not sure there will. This nonisistant perfect diet does not consider the whole person it is designed to aid. Kinesiology has taught me that we process more than just food each time we sit down to eat.
I personally suggest looking past any one perfect diet and look more broadly at the consistencies between healthy lifestyles. Focus on knowing what and why you want to eat a food of food family. What can the food offer you, how can you maximise nutrition and what will you gain from eating it? I find that consistently most of the latest lifestyle changes recommend you to increasing the nutritional density of the food consumes, waist less, avoiding pesticides as much as possible, eat hormone and GMO free when possible.
Don’t be fooled by my Instagram lifestyle either, my kids like all kids do have treats! We just chose treats that offer more natural and less chemicals. I read the ingrediences on the back of the packet and teach them how to understand and interpret food lables. But mostly now as the kids get older we just balance out their weekend eating with nutritionally packed food during the week and don’t over consume any food family at any one time.
Both as a Kinesiologiest and a Health teacher my message is to focus not on what not to have or avoid, but relish in what goodness you can always add.