Do you know what food does in your body? Why your child is full of energy and bouncing off the walls one moment, and whinging and tired the next? Food has a huge impact on the energy levels and mood of your child.
1. The impact of refined sugars
Children are constantly tempted to eat sweets, biscuits, lollipops, ice lollies and cakes. These products contain a lot of sugar and very little fibre. So they are quickly processed by the body, releasing sugars into our blood which cause our blood-sugar levels to peak.
The result? A large amount of energy is released in a short time, which the body wants to use. So your little one starts running around, screaming and bouncing off the walls. The fast energy is quickly used up, and the rest is then stored as fat. After the sugar high comes the sugar low. Your kid wants another snack, or becomes very tired.
2. The impact of intestines
95% of hormones are produced by bacteria in our gut. These hormones send messages to our brains, which can make us feel happy as well as sad.
It's important to look after our intestines. Our gut microbiome gets developed over the first three years of our life. This is a complex mix of bacteria, fungi and other microbes will largely influence how your little one will respond to food throughout their lives.
3. The impact of fibres
Dietary fibres can be found in fruit, vegetables and wholemeal grains. These are substances that your body cannot process. They remain undigested until they end up in your intestines where they feed (good) bacteria. These bacteria turn these fibres into nutrients for cells in the lining of your gut, for example. This in turn is important for a healthy intestinal flora and a healthy intestinal flora ensures that your child feels full of energy.
These dietary fibres also make sure there is enough hydration and our stool has the right texture. Eating fibres helps to avoid blockage or cramping in our gut.
Children between 1-3 years old should consume around 15 grams of fibres a day. An unpeeled apple weights about 150 grams and contains about 3 grams of fibre. A slice of wholemeal bread (approximate 30 grams) contains about 2 grams of fibre. So it's important to pay attention to your child's fibre intake.