by Nancy Cohen, Nutritionist
It’s that time of year - the clothing is ready, the back packs are packed, the schedules are posted and our children are returning to their routines of school and after school activities.
Let’s add something new to the back to school list this year. Let’s add the winning CPF strategy of feeding our kids for optimal focus, fitness and fun! Fun? Did I say fun? We all know as parents that there is nothing worse than a grumpy, hungry kid. Imagine that if you knew the secret formula for lasting energy- there could be more laughter, better attention and better self-esteem associated with making great breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack choices!
What is CPF?
CPF stands for Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats. Using this threefold formula can make any meal or snack have greater duration, steadier blood sugars and assists in less hunger and dare I suggest moodiness?
So how do you implement such a plan? At every meal or snack you match a starch or a fruit with a protein and a little fat. So let’s have some simple examples:
Cheesy Egg sandwich with juice or fruit.
Sliced Apples with nut butter and a glass of milk
Waffle or toast with nut butter or chicken pork/veggie sausage and fruit.
See the pattern? (Of course you can substitute gluten free and vegetarian options along the way).
A great Snack might be: nut butter on crackers, a string cheese with fruit or a rolled up piece of turkey in a small pita or slice of whole grain bread. You could also send a yogurt with nuts or granola and a spoon. The idea is to pair the carbohydrate with a protein.
Become the “coolest lunch packing parent” ever!
Sandwiches always work, salads with protein in them or yogurts with cereal or fruit.
A smoothie is a good choice if it is dairy or protein based or has protein powder or yogurt in it. Be careful to look out for smoothies that have unnecessary added sugar and are as sugar loaded as a Slurpie or canned soda.
Slip in veggies and dips - and so many other ways to bring in those necessary vegetables.
The science behind this tasty formula is that when we overload our children with starches or fruit without a protein source, then the blood sugar stands to drop sooner than if we add protein or fat to any meal or snack. So bring on the fun! Make a breakfast burrito with eggs, beans or cheese. Be clever, be consistent- the same for after school but rename it to something fun.
Repeat the same for dinners. Use your new CPF guide. It’s simple, straight forward and takes the guess work out of meal planning for good health. We love our kids, we want the best for them and we want it to be another great year full of good work, good times and great accomplishments. Their nutrition does make a difference. You now have the winning strategy to make it all come to life.
For more Nutrition Guidance and Nutrition Counseling contact Nancy Cohen RDN LDN at www.feedingthebodyfeedingthesoul.com or 970-875-7114. St. John County.
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