Hello Little Tucker Box Family,
If you follow us on Instagram you would have seen in our IG Stories a few months back that we asked you to submit questions you wanted us to ask Clinical Nutritionist Nichola Easton.
**If you don't follow us on Instagram already click HERE to do so or search @little_tucker_box on Instagram**
Nichola has 2 children, and is deep into the trenches of motherhood and packing lunch boxes so we thought she would be the perfect candidate to help us answer some of your fantastic questions. When Asked "Why did you choose Clinical Nutrition?" Nichola replied "I am passionate about helping others, I love food, and I am fascinated in the way the body functions under the right conditions."
** To see more about Nichola and FNQ Health click HERE.**
We had such large number of questions submitted, so we combined similar questions together and then let Nichola choose what questions she felt most knowledgeable about to answer.
Ok lets get stuck into it.....
Q: Healthy foods that will keep kids energy levels up at school and feeling fuller for longer?
- Snacks throughout the day ie. fruit breaks they have at school
- Protein rich foods including nuts (not at school), seeds, avocado, meats, eggs, beans, chickpeas, legumes, ancient grains - buckwheat, quinoa, amaranth.
- Good quality fats including nuts (not at school), seeds, avocado, chia seeds, hemp seeds, deep sea fish, olive oil, dairy.
- Complex carbohydrates including vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, chickpeas, whole and ancient grains
- Nutrient loaded sugars over processed - fruit
Q: Healthy Breakfast Ideas for time poor families?
- Overnight oats - can add things like chia seeds, hemp seeds, a little psyllium husk, fruit (avoid dried), stevia, a little maple syrup, nuts, seeds or spreads, spices.
- One of my favs is apple, cinnamon, maple, and a variety of nuts and seeds. Its like an apple crumble!
- Smoothies - try to add some protein to them, this could be nut spreads or mills, hemp seeds,
- If your in a real hurry a banana and some nuts and seeds
- Pre done breakfast muffins or slices
Q: I can't get my child to eat veggies unless they are hidden, is this ok?
Yes this is fine, if you have worked out a way to get veggies into your kids that works for you go with it!
- Feed them veggies straight after school as this is when they are the hungriest
- Some kids only like raw veg and some only cooked so go with whatever preference your kids have.
- Sometimes I will serve up the vegetables first at dinner time, kind of like a pre-dinner snack, Again picking times where they are most hungry.
Q: 4 year old won't eat much breakfast or lunch but will eat a big dinner, is this nutritionally ok?
- This can be harder on the body in some ways and can spike blood sugar levels. It is nice for the body to have breaks from eating for sure however if this goes on for too long the body isn't as prepared so to speak for the digestion of food.
- Breakfast would be the first one to look at introducing as this often kick starts the appetite. Start small like a piece of fruit, nuts or a smoothie if they're up for it.
- A lack of appetite can be a zinc deficiency, Also try getting some bitter greens into them at dinner time ie. Spinach hinden in spag bol
Q: 4 & 6 year old still wanting 2-3 cups of milk morning and night, is this ok?
- This could be for a number of reasons, thirsty, hungry, or lacking in certain vitamins or minerals.
- It is a good idea to try to reduce this a little as dairy can increase inflammatory responses and will make them feel too full to eat much of anything else
- You could try watering down the milk a little, making sure they have eaten an adequate meal before having a glass of milk.
Q: Best tips for keeping a baby liking all types of food?
- Give them a variety from the beginning
- Avoid added salt and sugar
Q: Best way to keep nutritional intake for fussy night time eaters?
- Fussy eaters usually means they like eating simple carbohydrate foods
- Remember that they won't starve
- Give them a couple of options for example ‘you can choose 3 vegetables you would like to have on your plate (can start with 2)
- Choose the time when they are most hungry ie. straight after school or just before dinner and offer up nutritionally dense meals then.
- Theres nothing wrong with hiding veggies in foods, if you as a parent have good nutrition intentions your child won't stay being fussy forever.
Q: Severe food aversion - any tips on how to help children get through this?
This one really depends on what type of aversion weather it is the food itself or the texture or more that they have a lack of appetite.
- Bitter foods regulate our appetite so weather you are too hungry or not hungry enough consuming more of these foods will bring you back to a more normal appetite.
- Zinc, found in pumpkin seeds, seafood, legumes and meat play a major role in the way we taste foods it may be a good idea to get their zinc levels checked with your nutritionist as they may be too high or too low. There are many things that can cause zinc levels to be low other than inadequate diet.
Q: Foods to avoid for children psoriasis?
- Avoid Inflammatory foods including sugar, excess meat, dairy and saturated fats
- Gluten and other food intolerances are often associated with psoriasis so it is best to speak to a clinical nutritionist to help identify these
- Increase anti inflammatory foods including fatty fish, chia and hemp seeds, turmeric
- Increase vegetables and fruits especially green leafies to help with liver detoxification and fibre for the gut
Q: Foods to boost immune support?
- Foods containing Zinc - Pumpkin seeds, seafood, meat, nuts and seeds, eggs
- Foods Vitamin C
- Good quality proteins
Do vegetarian children need any additional nutritional support?
- Nutritional yeast - B12
- Plenty of whole grains - B vitamins
- Combination meals - looking at having a variety of foods, I can help with this if you need more support. ( You can contact Nichola through the FNQ Health Website HERE or you can follow her personal IG HERE )
- If it is an option, get a few eggs in a week and even some seafood. Remember that being a vegetarian doesn't mean eating a whole lot of processed carbohydrates, it can take some work to manage a balanced diet however there are many benefits if it is done right.
- Remember your beans, legumes, chickpeas, nuts and seeds, and ancient grains.
Q: Protein lunchbox options for fussy kids that aren't meat or egg based?
- Seeds - pumpkin and sunflower
- Seed spread, on a sandwich or apples/fruit dipped in seed spreads.
- Seeds coated in a little dark chocolate
- Choose carbohydrate products that incorporate seeds
- Chickpeas, beans, lentils - or you can make foods out of the flours
- Look for products with ancient grains in them like buckwheat, quinoa, amaranth, Millet, Sorghum. They are High in protein as well as being a great source of carbohydrates and minerals
- Get the kids involved in meal prep, weather it be a healthy seed and grain bars, veggie slice, or chia puddings kids are more likely to eat it if they feel it is their creation. And at the same to you can teach them about healthy eating and the benefits.
Q: Nutrition and children's behaviour in the classroom, any tips?
This is a great topic and one I could go into great detail about, but for now my tips are:
- Regular snacks
- Avoid sugar - go for more fresh fruits for something sweet or stevia.
- Plenty of protein and good fats.
Q: Fussy Eater Tips
- They won’t starve
- Get bitters in! Including Cruciferous Vegetables broccoli, (Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, radishes), Citrus Peel, Cocoa, Cranberries, Recipe - orange and almond cake, kaleslaw
Q: Keeping kids full
- Good quality proteins with every meal
- Good quality fats
- Nutrient dense carbohydrates
- Getting in bitter greens
- After feeding them nutrient dense food if they are still hungry feed them more they may be having a growth spurt
Q: Protein in lunch boxes
- Leftovers from dinner heated up for a hot meal or used on a sandwich or in a wrap
- Do a cook off of chicken or good quality meat slice and portion up, freeze. Pull out as you need and add to a salad or sandwich.
If you have read all the way through to here I take my hat off to you and pat you on the back for taking such an interest in your children nutrition and health.
A BIG thank you to Nichola and FNQ health for answering all of our questions and assisting us all in helping our children get the most out of their nutrition.
Make sure you are following us on Instagram for fantastic hints and tips, fun food ideas and so much more.
Also, if you could leave us a comment below and let us know your fave tip from Nichola that would be amazing. And don't forget to share with everyone!!