Whether our kids are cartwheeling across the garden, boogying in the kitchen to loud music, racing through the playground or skipping along the pavement, they are always on the move.
However draining that can be for us grown-ups, it’s great for them! We want our kids to stay active, and to encourage them to keep moving and grooving. It promotes healthy habits for life.
Yet, after a tiring day at school or a manic play date, even the most energetic of children can start to flag. So, what can we do to help?
Happily, there are all sorts of delicious, nourishing foods that can help to boost energy– and they’re all child-friendly, even for the fussiest of eaters! Here is our pick of the very best foods to re-energise your little ones.
We all know that bananas are superfoods for the athletes among us. For the same reason, they’re fantastic at re-powering our children and turning them into the Duracell Bunny! Bananas are a great source of slow-release carbs and fibre, plus they’re full of potassium to keep all the cells and organs in the body ticking along and functioning properly.
For a true super-snack, try cutting slices of banana and sandwiching them with a spoonful of protein-rich nut butter. These can then be frozen for a healthy take on ice-cream sandwiches – you can even dunk them in melted chocolate for an extra treat!
OK, so it may not be a food, and it doesn’t come in pretty packaging, but water is one of the fastest energy boosters we can give to our kids. When children don’t drink enough, they can quickly become dehydrated, leading to low energy, grumpiness (and we all want to avoid that!), and difficulty in concentrating.
To avoid this, try to keep a bottle around for each of your children (ideally one that is BPA-free) so that they can sip throughout the day. If they don’t like drinking water, try mixing it up and infusing with their favourite fruits – we love adding strawberry, watermelon and mint, or slices of lemon and lime to ours. You could even try adding a fun straw (paper of course - time to ditch the plastic straw!)
When it comes to energy, fibre-rich, nutritious whole grains (think oats, brown rice and quinoa) truly are the spice of life. You can kick-start your little one’s day with a super-fuelled bowl of porridge with nuts and berries sprinkled on top, or perhaps a few slices of whole grain toast with scrambled eggs for protein.
At the weekend, you could even energise them for all their activities ahead with our award-winning Pancake Mix. These delicious pancakes contain protein-rich buckwheat and quinoa, as well as iron-rich teff, for a super-powered hit of whole grains. They’re also full of vitamins, calcium and iron, and flax seed for a heart-healthy dose of omega-3.
Beautiful, comforting sweet potatoes are one of the most energising foods around and are a perfect choice for kids because of their naturally sweet taste. Full of fibre and complex carbs, as well as vitamin C, beta carotene, magnesium and iron, they make the ideal meal or snack for children.
To make them super kid-friendly, try baking homemade sweet potato fries or even dehydrating into crunchy, delicious crisps. Baked sweet potatoes are also a great meal choice, and can even be turned sweet by adding dollops of nut butter and yoghurt!
Most kids love yoghurt – even the really fussy ones! – and, the good news is, that it’s full of lactose, a milk sugar which can boost energy, and protein to help fuel for longer. As a word of warning, try to steer clear of yoghurts with unnecessary added sugars. We like to feed our little ones Greek yoghurt blended with natural, fibre-rich fruits like blueberries and frozen into ice lollies (works everytime!).
Homemade Trail Mix
When you’re a busy parent, it can be hard to keep kids (AKA seemingly bottomless pits!) full and happy. If their energy starts to plummet, or they’re constantly needing to snack, then it helps to have a simple, homemade trail mix to hand.
It couldn’t be easier to make, either! In a large airtight container, simply toss together handfuls of whole grains (you could make your own granola, for example, or cut up ready-cooked Super Oat Flapjack Mix), dried fruit and nuts for the perfect mix of complex carbs, fibre and protein. For an extra treat, you could even stir in some dark chocolate chips.
Our easy, healthy mixes that will help you keep that energy going a bit longer can now be easily found at Tesco, Sainsbury's and Ocado - YEY!