Hello parents!  It’s school interview season and the pressure is on!  As a nutrition coach, I want to share some tips on what your child should eat on the day of school interviews to be in top form, prevent meltdowns and mood swings. First things first — the food/ mood connection is very real!  And it’s so easy to experiment with your kids to see the impact.  We used to never give our daughter sugar (I’ve loosened up a little now).  When my parents would come to visit, they would take her to the park and she was a total angel.  Then they would bring her for an ice cream and she instantly turned into a little whining difficult monster.

I’m SURE we’ve all seen this phenomenon at kids’ birthday parties too.  The good thing is, you can use the food/ mood link to your strategic advantage! All you need to know is how to feed your child so their blood sugar is balanced.

 

Our interview experience
We just had a big school interview at 1:45pm on a Saturday. That’s a tricky time. Leela (age 3.5) could easily get pretty tired from the morning, it’s before her nap, and if she eats the wrong foods in the morning it would throw her off. So we made a plan that my husband would take her to the park in the morning, go for breakfast, and then we’d try to have her take an early nap, or at least rest.

 Before my husband took her out, I talked to him in detail about what they should eat. He has a habit of getting treats for the kids on the weekends, like milkshake or ice cream or waffles.  Things that I never give them during the week!

 I told him – don’t do any milkshakes or even juice. No sugar foods or beverages. I told him – she will spike and then crash, her mood and behavior will be impacted, and the interview will be a disaster.

 I could see his wheels turning and he told me, “ok we’ll get an omelet.”

 And let me tell you the story of what happened that day.  She went to the park, had an omelet with veggies, took a little nap, got dressed, drove 45 minutes to the school and did GREAT on the interview. Yay. Then we were all so happy it was over, we wanted to “treat” her.  So we brought her to my husband’s office and gave her juice, chocolate, biscuits.  Guess what – after that she was a little monster. Whining, not listening to us, not behaving, didn’t want to put her shoes back on. An exhausting and exasperating kid!  It gave me such a clear example of how important it is to feed our kids well.  And also how much EASIER I can make my job as a mom by keeping her blood sugar balanced.  For us, it’s the difference between great behavior and tantrums.

 So the nutritional principle you want to think about is feeding your child protein, fat and fiber.  This is how to eat for balanced blood sugar.

– Protein could be eggs, unsweetened yogurt, chicken, fish.

– Fats are avocado, nuts, nut butter, oils, fish oil.

– Fiber is vegetables and some fruit.

And you want to absolutely stay away from the sweetened drinks.  

 

Here are some examples:

– Eggs with avocado and veggies.

– Yogurt with fish oil and fruit on the side (we have a lemon-flavored fish oil that my daughter’s love).

– Chicken with veggies and avocado.

– For vegetarian, you can have dal or channa but do make sure to have veggies as well and some healthy fat is great.

I think this is a huge parenting tool and secret weapon to keep in mind.  Please try it out and let me know the results.  I hope this is helpful!

P.S.  A teacher who is brilliant on the topic of helping kids have a healthy relationship with food is Maryann Jacobsen. You can see her most popular blog posts here.

 

Sign up here: The Health Nut’s Guide to Mumbai (and Beyond!)