If we can all just focus on breakfast and do away with packaged options in favour of some home-cooked favourites, our kids will profoundly benefit!
We are seriously underestimating the damaging potential of factory foods and the biggest culprits are breakfast cereals. These foods have become daily staples and most kids are consuming them to start their day, and often to finish their day as an after school snack. I’ve seen numerous kids in clinic eat breakfast cereal ONLY for every meal and snack in an entire day and they ALL have had chronic health conditions that have been resolved with a change in nutrition focus! Fortunately the warning bells are getting louder with more scientific research highlighting the HARM being done by our modern diets.
Today it’s an ode to oats! One of the easiest foods to prepare for the best of health for our kids AND convenience to suit our busy lives as mums. I’ve discussed the benefits of oats before so let’s just check out the highlights:
- terrific source of blood sugar balancing fiber (rolled oats are my choice, they contain the bran component and follow a wholefood philosophy)
- rich source of protein
- great source of b vitamins, particularly niacin which keeps cholesterol balanced and supports energy production
- a good source of non-heme iron
- great for supporting nervous system health (they are known as Avena Sativa in herbal medicine and are used to soothe the nervous system, something ALL kids can use in this age of excessive stress)
- great source of valuable minerals such as magnanese and molybdenum
- considered a “healthy heart” food
- cancer protection
- type 2 diabetes prevention
- blood sugar balancer
- a wonderful prebiotic to support a healthy gut microbiome by supporting SCFA’s (short chain fatty acids) which help inhibit pathogenic bacteria
- great treatment for skin disease AND can be used topically to reduce acute skin inflammation and rashes
- shown to be
- immune system support
On that last point, let’s get into some juicy facts! In laboratory studies reported in Surgery, beta-glucan significantly improved the human immune system’s reaction to bacterial infection. Beta-glucans, known as biological defense modifiers, not only helps neutrophils (the most prolific variety of immune cell), macrophages and natural killer cells travel to the site of an infection more efficiently, it also enhances their ability to destroy the bacteria they encounter.
According to researcher Jonathan Reichner of the Department of Surgery at Rhode Island Hospital and Brown University, priming neutrophils with beta-glucan helps these immune defenders quickly identify and track down the bacterial offender within infected tissue. This improvement in speed of response to infection results in faster microbial clearance and healing. Since our non-specific immune defenses, which comprises neutrophils, are the body’s first line of attack against invading pathogens, starting your day with a oats for breakfast may boost your immune response in addition to your morning energy levels.
The trick with oats to amplify their nutrition potential is to soak them overnight before use. This allows the nutrients they contain to be easily extracted for use through digestion AND minimises the phytates. Phytates are inherent to all grains and actually detract from health. Soaking them is as easy as thoroughly covering the oats in pure water with 1 tablespoon of whey liquid, yoghurt, kefir or lemon juice, then rinsing and straining in the morning.
You can make porridge from these, or my famous “Baked Breakfast Cake”, (which also makes awesome muffins)! Or why not try “Porridge Pancakes”.
These pancakes are so delicious and by making a batch you have breakfast for days to come or sustaining snacks for littlies. All you need is:
- 2 cups of oats soaked overnight, rinsed and strained
- 1 egg
- 1 large tablespoon of yoghurt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- grind of salt
- 1/4 tsp aluminium free baking powder
- loads of butter or coconut oil for frying
Mix ingredients together and fry in batches with plenty of butter (or coconut oil) in desired size. Enjoy!!!