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Conquering Fussy Eating

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Fussy eating comes in a variety of forms in children.

The types of food, textures and even meal time environments can affect how children will respond to the food.

No matter if you’re the top chef giving Jamie Oliver a run for his money, or a reluctant home toast-burner, every cook in the kitchen knows the toughest critics are usually under four feet tall with a vocabulary understanding of about 1000 words.

A nutritious and healthy diet from a young age is very important so that a child’s brain is properly developed, and that their energy levels and overall health can be at their peak! At Piptree Eight Mile Plains Early Learning Centre, we encourage healthy eating habits and instil such core values from a young age to pave the best possible future for your children.

Here is a list of 5 nutritious foods that your child will love: Read more

Foods to Minimise Stress

There is no magic button to help our busy and sometimes stressful lives, but if we try and eat healthy and follow the research there are some foods which seem to help:

1. Blueberries

Identified as one of Mother Nature’s healthiest foods, blueberries are loaded with antioxidants (molecules that stop free radicals damaging healthy cells), so they work to protect and repair your body from the deleterious effect of too much stress. They are also bursting with vitamin C, which has been shown to reduce the production of cortisol, a stress hormone that, if left unattended in the brain for prolonged periods of time, can permanently deteriorate cognitive health.

2. Organic yoghurt

Yoghurt most notably contains a high amount of calcium and is also great for neutralising too much acidity in the gut, which is often a by-product of too much stress. Researchers from the University of Toronto also demonstrated that when Lactobacillus Casei (a pro biotic found in some yoghurt’s and supplements like Yakult) was given to people with chronic fatigue syndrome on a daily basis for two months, their feelings of anxiety significantly decreased.

3. Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate has long been understood to be a great mood elevator. It contains phenylethylamine (PEA), which stimulates the production of endorphins, a feel-good chemical released in the brain that makes you feel happier. PEA is also the same chemical your brain releases when you feel like you’re falling in love. In addition, dark chocolate contains high levels of magnesium, a natural muscle relaxant that helps soothe and calm fragile nerves. A 2009 study found strong evidence that consuming 40 grams of dark chocolate per day for two weeks significantly lowered cortisol levels in healthy volunteers who had rated themselves as highly stressed.

4. Almonds, walnuts, & pistachios

Almonds, walnuts and pistachios are all highly nutritious stress-soothing snacks and great sources of magnesium, zinc, and vitamins B and E. Both E and B vitamins bolster your immune system, which counteracts the weakening effects of stress. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps kill free radicals associated with stress and studies have shown it also assists in the prevention of heart disease. B vitamins are important for the body’s production of energy, and so any deficiencies will leave you feeling weak and fatigued.

5. Dark green vegetables

Spinach, broccoli, kale, brussels sprouts, green peppers, green beans, peas, and zucchini – all of these dark green veggies contain B-complex vitamins, essential for the production of serotonin, a mood-enhancing neurotransmitter. High amounts of potassium are also typically present in these dark green vegetables, which studies have shown to be ideal for calming nerves.

So what’s for dinner at your house tonight?

Serving Size for Young Children

Young children need between 2½ to 4½ serves of vegetables per day (depending on age) but what is a serve size?

1 serving of vegetables is:

  • ½ cup cooked green or orange vegetables (such as broccoli, spinach, carrots or pumpkin)
  • 1 cup green leafy or raw salad vegetables
  • ½ cup sweet corn
  • ½ medium potato or other starchy vegetables
  • 1 medium tomato
  • ½ cup dried or canned beans, peas or lentils

At Piptree Eight Mile Plains, we offer morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea, we try very hard to add as much vegetables and fruit into the children’s diet during the day as we know nutrition is foundation to a healthy life!