A Pinkfarm Pack-a-Punch Lunch is full of nutrient dense food options which provide optimal fuel to ensure our children thrive. So what are nutrient dense foods?
Nutrient dense foods are unrefined, unprocessed and made from whole food ingredients. They pack a punch by giving the most bang for their buck. They are loaded with vitamins and minerals, and are often rich with protein and fat providing essential fuel for the body. When choosing food for lunches we believe it is more than just providing energy and curbing hunger for our little ones. More importantly, it’s about nourishing their body on a cellular level to optimize growth, vitality and performance.
Unfortunately many children today are overfed yet undernourished. When observing the school playgrounds it is obvious that we are in an epidemic of childhood obesity and chronic disease; diseases that were once only aligned with adults. Humans are resilient and children are existing on empty caloric, sugary junk foods. But we want our children to do more than just survive. We want them to thrive.
Without key nutrients, full development may be delayed, interrupted or never realised. We want to provide our children the best possible start in life, optimising their physical, mental and emotional development. Packing a nutrient dense lunchbox is essential in providing these building blocks for a child to thrive. As mentioned, nutrient dense foods are often high in protein and fat. Eating protein, especially from animal sources, means increased energy levels, sharper focus and feeling full for longer. The protein boosts the body’s energizing neurotransmitters Dopamine & Acetylcholine. The neurotransmitter Dopamine is synthesised from Tyrosine in high protein foods and it is Dopamine that gives us the ability to focus & improves our mental clarity and drive. Eating protein also boosts Acetylcholine and this in turn enhances memory and brain function. A protein filled lunch box that can provide energy, nourishment and better concentration- what more could we want for our children?
Including healthy fats in our children’s lunchboxes is also an essential component of a lunch to thrive. These fats from animal sources such as pasture raised meat, eggs, full fat dairy, wild caught fish and traditional fats like butter, lard, tallow & coconut oil play an important role in our body chemistry, particularly for growing children. Saturated fats are an important source of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E & K. These nutrients maintain a healthy immune system; help build strong muscles and bones; protect against infection; promote normal cell function & are essential for lung, heart and kidney health. Read more about healthy fats.
Consuming healthy fats will contribute to more improved and predictable behaviour in children by stabilising blood sugar levels for longer periods throughout the day. This helps prevent sugar highs and lows which in turn maintains more stable moods and leads to less erratic behavior patterns. In addition to providing essential nutrients and stabilising blood sugar levels, healthy fats are also satiating and provide a sustainable energy source.