I'm at the library the other day for storytime, which is designated for 1 and 2-year olds. Nolan and a couple other children are quietly listening to the teacher read stories and sing songs, while standing or sitting close to mom. About 5 or 6 other children are running around, screaming, while mom does nothing but absently call out, "come over here, so-and-so", and then continues chatting with another mom whose kid is doing the exact same thing. One child runs to the door and starts banging on it. Another has a melt-down in mom's lap and cries hysterically. One boy pushes a kid down, and later pokes a little girl in the face. Another spills his mother's cup of coffee, she yells at him, and then drags him out of the room by his arm while the rest of us try not to stare. Nolan is unfazed by the commotion. He calmly picked out a scarf from the teacher's basket, dances to a song, puts it back when asked and then runs to me with a big "I'm so proud of myself" smile on his face. He shares a toy with a little girl and waves "bye" to everyone when we are done. Part of the class he stays close to me and other times he ventures up to the teacher, dancing and singing with her. As we leave class, almost every child is given a juicebox and cookie by their parent. This is typical for storytime - the usual group and usual behavior. I think to myself, "Nolan has never had a temper-tantrum in class. He has never had a melt-down, hit anyone or displayed unacceptable behavior. He certainly has his moments, usually when he is over-tired or teething. While all these other children are out of control every week, Nolan displays excitement and joy for being there while still being calm. Is my kid unusual?"
Yes, he is unusual. He is unusually advanced for his age, something my husband and I contribute to the foods he eats. He has never had a boxed or canned food. Nothing processed. Always 100% natural, real food.
My conclusion: "What did these kids have for breakfast?" Probably a sugar-coated cereal with milk or a syrup-saturated waffle with apple juice. Or a doughnut, chocolate milk, maybe even candy! And now another sugary snack that their parent was told "it's OK to have a cookie sometimes" and "apple juice is made from fruit, so it's good for them". Sugar, sugar and more sugar! For the most part, kids that are bouncing off the walls are on a sugar high. Then they crash & burn, have a melt-down and require more sugar to balance their insulin levels. This causes kids to literally become addicted to sugar and crave only the taste of sugar. You hear parents say all the time, "My kids won't eat anything but..." and name a high-sugar, sweet food. You can stop this vicious cycle. It will take time and patience. Your kids will not be happy at first. But they will learn, they will adapt and they will love REAL food. Food with a variety flavors. Food that will not cause headaches, dehydration, shaking, stomachaches, constipation, insomnia and fatigue. And these are the immediate benefits! The long-term effects in reducing sugar intake are a decrease or prevention of diabetes, heart-disease, GI problems, yeast infections, skin problems, cavities and cancer.
Our breakfasts usually consist of a high-protein meal such as quinoa and egg, avocado, coconut water and/or a green smoothie (a variety of greens, almond milk or coconut water and half a banana). This type of meal gives you lots of energy, which is burned off slowly (so you are not hungry again within an hour, as you are with a high-sugar meal). It is low-calorie, and highly nutritious, with all the essential vitamins and minerals.
Below are some great books on adding green smoothies to yours and your child's diet. Enjoy!
Green Smoothies Diet: The Natural Program for Extraordinary Health
12 Steps to Whole Foods Complete Course (The complete 12 Steps to Whole Foods with Audio & Videos)
Green for Life
Green Smoothie Revolution: The Radical Leap Towards Natural Health