The first week of school is always a little stressful for the little ones, especially when it’s a new big year, early starts once again and  whole days of mental and physical activities that needs their focus and attention. As much as I try and keep the kids healthy throughout the year, it’s natural to let things go a bit in the holidays and I’m determined to keep my kids on top of their game. I’ll be sharing ideas for lunch and break box fillers and how to give them the best breakfast start to the day… feel free to share your ideas with me!

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Besides homework and art projects, what’s your kid likely to bring home during the first few weeks of school? That’s right, a cold. But it’s not just exposure to the germs of hundreds of other children that’ll keep her bed-bound. Creeping stress levels and poor eating habits also are to blame. Of course, apart from putting your kids in a plastic bubble, there’s no surefire way to keep them healthy. That’s why experts recommend that you focus on the tried-and-true, such as managing stress, eating whole foods, and fending off germs. No big surprises there, but for kids, an ounce of prevention matters even more than it does for you. “By the time you’re 20, you’ve been exposed to most illnesses, and your immune system knows how to handle them,” says Kathi Kemper, MD, author of The Holistic Pediatrician (Harper Collins, 2002) and a professor of pediatrics at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. “Kids, on the other hand, are more susceptible to getting sick than adults, because a child’s immune system is still inexperienced.” So what’s a parent to do?  Here’s a few foodie tips to keep those inevitable germs at bay!

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Walnuts

We all know about the health benefits of almonds, but I was really amazed by the health benefits of walnuts!  These are chock full of healthy omega-3 fatty acid that helps your body fights off those germs lurking around the school play ground. They contain a number of neuroprotective compounds, including vitamin E, folate, melatonin and antioxidants. Research shows walnut consumption may support brain health, including increasing inferential reasoning in young adults, which is what we all want for our kids! One small study found omega-3s cut the number of respiratory infections in kids.

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Taste Safari ideas at home!

Chop up walnuts into a hot morning cereal made with oat bran, porridge oats and honey. This is my daughters favorite cereal!

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Sneak these into the kids break boxes. In the morning, heat up a pan and dry roast the nuts, sprinkling over their favorite flavour. My son loves cinnamon – so I toss in some ground cinnamon with a pinch of icing sugar. These are always hoovered up and I tend to have a jar of them lying around the kitchen and it’s a healthy snack for kids to munch on whenever they want.

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Don’t be afraid of topping up the kids milkshakes with nuts and seeds, I always chuck in some almonds or walnuts that grind down very easily. Why don’t you try a banana, yoghurt, walnut and honey milkshake – totally delicious!!

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Photo credits: Featured image: www.livemans.com

1) www.ms363aple.org 2) www.timeoutdubai.com 3)www.kassiagooding.com 4) www.ziziadventures.com 5) www.instructables.com 6) www.walnuts.org

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