Is this the answer to school pick-up meltdowns? They’ve been holding it together for the entire day with ALL the feelings. It’s very common for kids to have a super large meltdown at the end of the school day.
Did you know that chewing is one of the quickest ways to relieve and dissipate stress in the body? So on the way to the playground or before you’re able to get home to your trampoline or chill-out zone, try giving them something to eat that is crunchy or sucking a drink through a straw. This can really help to regulate their nervous system.
Along with considering the textures and chewiness of the food I offer after school, I am always thinking about getting in some protein, fat and fibre into their after-school snack to balance blood sugar and avoid a sugar crash 2 hours later.
I use bento boxes so I can always offer something they like along with a new food without it being super overwhelming. This is especially helpful for anyone with picky eaters.
I often get asked what’s in my lunchboxes (from @yumboxlunch) so here goes:
Kid No 1: high fat, protein + fibre cacao biscuits (recipe below), 92% dark chocolate, pecans, walnuts, crunchy breadsticks, seaweed + berries.
Kid No 2: sourdough bread, crunchy breadsticks, chewy dried mango, cashew nuts, seaweed + berries.
The benefits of adding protein, fat and fibre with every meal for blood sugar balance are important for kids for their mood & energy. It's also essential for us Mamas in perimenopause as this is a time where any stress (including blood sugar spikes) put on our bodies and that can really impact our hormone health.
Blood sugar spikes and crashes can lead to a variety of symptoms, including cravings, fatigue, hormonal imbalances, and unfortunately increased risk of chronic diseases.
Carbohydrates, Protein, Fat, and Fibre
Carbohydrates are an essential part of our diet, but it's important to choose complex carbs over simple carbs to avoid rapid blood sugar spikes. Pairing carbs with protein, fat, or fibre slows down the absorption of glucose, promoting balanced blood sugar levels. Complex carbs such as sweet potatoes, root vegetables, and whole fruits are gentle on blood sugar.
Protein plays a crucial role in blood sugar balance. Aim for 1 gram of protein per kilogram of ideal body weight and prioritise high-quality sources like meat, fish, eggs, nuts and organic dairy products. Consuming enough protein for breakfast can help maintain balanced blood sugar throughout the day.
Contrary to historic beliefs (influenced heavily by marketing from the food + sugar industry), fats are not the enemy. Healthy fats are essential for hormone production and overall health. Avocado, fatty fish, nuts, and seeds are excellent sources of healthy fats. Avoid refined and hydrogenated vegetable oils found in processed foods and opt for unrefined oils like olive oil and coconut oil.
Fibre is an often overlooked nutrient that plays a significant role in blood sugar balance. Consuming a variety of plant-based foods rich in insoluble and soluble fibre, such as root vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds, can support healthy blood sugar levels. Adding a tablespoon of freshly ground flaxseed to your daily diet can also aid in healthy oestrogen detoxification.
Strategies for Supporting Blood Sugar Balance
In addition to making informed food choices, there are other strategies that can support blood sugar balance:
Chewing and Stress Relief
Chewing is a powerful stress-relief technique that can quickly calm the nervous system. Kids often experience meltdowns after school due to pent-up emotions, and offering them crunchy foods to chew on can help dissipate stress. Incorporate crunchy snacks such as breadsticks, nuts, or carrot sticks to help regulate their nervous system.
Vinegar has been shown to be effective in reducing blood sugar spikes when consumed before a meal. Adding a tablespoon of vinegar to a glass of water or using it as a dressing on a vegetable starter can lower the glucose spike of the meal by up to 30%. Vinegar contains acetic acid, which slows down the breakdown of starch into glucose and encourages muscle uptake of glucose.
10 mins of movement within 90 mins of eating can reduce your glucose spike significantly. This can include anything from unpacking the dishwasher to going for a walk or raising your heels up and down while sitting at your desk.
Power Hour with a Women's Hormone Health Coach
For personalised guidance and support in maintaining blood sugar balance, weight management and overall hormone health, I offer a 1:1 Power Hour for under £100. As a women's hormone health coach, I can provide tailored strategies + support to help shift you + your family's health in a positive direction. Join the waitlist here.
The combo of healthy fats + protein from the almond flour plus the fibre from the wholegrain spelt and the antioxidants from the cacao plus xylitol is beneficial for teeth by preventing cavities.
I’d give this cookies to my kid over cornflakes any day....
Protein Packed Cacao Cookies
180g wholemeal spelt
50g ground almonds
3 tbsp cacao
1/2 tsp baking powder
5 tbsp of melted coconut oil
Good quality salt
Blend oats in a food processor until they look like breadcrumbs
Add all other ingredients and blend until sticky
Roughly shape into balls (I used a tablespoon measure as a scoop) & flatten with a cookie press or a fork
Bake at 175 degrees C for 10 mins
Add a thin layer of salt and leave to rest
Extra yummy breakfast or pudding idea:
Layer full fat greek yogurt, crumbed cookies and raspberries in a glass.
The combination of protein, fat + fibre kept my glucose reading super steady after eating this (I was able to check using a continuous glucose monitor). It's so yummy!
Maintaining balanced blood sugar levels is instrumental for our overall health, and especially so when we're thinking about hormone health. I recommend my clients to always pair carbohydrates with protein, fat, or fibre, choose healthy fats & consume a variety of plant-based foods.
If this resonates with you, I'd love to hear from you. You can email or book in a free 15 min clarity call to find out how a women’s hormone health coach could shift your funk (for you and your family). If you'd like more detail on what a 1:1 Power Hour with me entails, my blog post 'What is a Power Hour' may answer some of those questions.
Let's take care of you.
Big love ❤️