Today we have a healthy breakfast recipe for you and your kids! Often in clinic we have parents coming in, concerned that their child has been labelled loud, disruptive, distracted or even aggressive in class. Some of these kids suffer social anxiety, struggle to concentrate and find themselves no longer enjoying school. Many of these parents are hoping there’s a herb or nutritional supplement we can give them as a quick-fix to improve their child’s focus. The first thing our practitioners will do however, is take a thorough case history with a particular emphasis on the child’s diet and sleeping habits.
One of the key things to understand in helping your child reach their full potential is the importance of stabilising their blood sugar levels, as the brain needs a steady, gentle supply of blood sugar throughout the day to function at its best. When we experience highs and lows in blood sugar, our concentration drops and we become anxious or irritable; in children, this often presents as being distracted, disengaged, disruptive or aggressive, think of the temper tantrum in the toddler or possibly the moody withdrawal of a teenager!
Unfortunately, many of the common breakfast cereals do little to prevent these fluctuations in blood sugar levels, and actually make the problem worse. This is because they are high in simple sugars and low in protein, fibre and healthy fats. Jam on toast is another common breakfast choice we hear of in clinic, but unfortunately, this too doesn’t fit the bill. These options rapidly break down, causing drastic surges in blood sugar, before a subsequent crash (and the symptoms that go with it). You can see this on the graph below.
So, what are the alternatives?
Well, to help your child feel their best and function optimally at school, it is fundamental they have something for breakfast that will stabilise their blood sugar levels. This includes foods that are rich in:
✓ Protein (such as nuts, eggs, natural yoghurt and beans), to anchor the blood sugars.
✓ Complex carbohydrates (like those found oats and other whole-grains) for their slow breakdown into energy.
✓ Healthy fats (such as from nuts, seeds or avocado), to nourish the brain and the nervous system.
Today’s granola has been designed to do just that, ticking off all the requirements listed above. It is a healthy breakfast option that is also delicious, versatile and will hopefully satisfy even the fussiest of eaters! Hope you all enjoy, and please stay tuned for some more healthy breakfast recipes in the coming weeks.
3 cups rolled oats (approximately 300g)
1/2 cup shredded coconut (if using flaked coconut, add 1/4 cup extra)
120g raw almonds, roughly chopped
90g raw, pecans, roughly chopped
1-2 tsp cinnamon
Pinch of salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
3-4 tbsp 100% pure maple syrup or honey
- Preheat oven the 125°C.
- Combine oats, coconut, almonds, pecans, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. In a separate mug, combine vanilla extract, melted coconut oil and maple syrup.
- Combine wet and dry ingredients, ensuring everything is well mixed through.
- Spread evenly onto a baking tray lined with baking paper, and bake till golden (approximately 50-60 minutes), stirring every 15-20 minutes to ensure the granola cooks evenly.
- Remove from oven and allow to cook before transferring to an airtight glass or stainless steel container for storage.
This granola is really versatile, in that you can add in different nuts, spices and other ingredients, based on what you have on hand. Some suggestions include:
- Hemp seeds, pepitas or sunflower seeds
- Cashews, hazelnuts or macadamias
- Dried ginger, all spice or nutmeg
- Sultanas, dried apricots or dried figs (if using dried fruit, make sure it is preservative-free, and add it in after baking!)
You can serve this granola with natural yoghurt, coconut yoghurt, on top of a smoothie bowl, or with fresh fruit and our delicious Cashew Milk.
We like to cook the granola at a low oven temperature for longer, to prevent damage to the healthy fats in the almonds and pecans. If you prefer, you can leave the nuts out, cook the granola at a warmer temperature (150°C or so) for less time, and add the nuts in once the cooked mix has cooled down.