Food for thought

28 October 2005

Publication: The Independent (Compact Edition): Mind and Body

With the school holidays a distant memory and the new school term in full swing, parents want to ensure that their little ones get the bets out of their time in the classroom.

Encouraging your child to do well at school is a vital part of parenting but what you pack in your child’s lunchbox could be the key to unlocking their potential.

It’s no secret that a balanced diet full of fresh fruit and vegetables, protein and carbohydrates is essential to keep our bodies in good condition. But did you know that the right foods can make a difference to the way our brains perform too?

A diet rich in the healthy fats found in oily fish, nuts and seeds provide long-chain poly-unsaturated fatty acids (LCPs), which are important for brain and eye performance and could be helpful if you want your child to be on top form this term.

These LCPs come from the Omega-3 and Omega-6 families of ‘good fats’. Research shows that ensuring an adequate intake of these fats can help support learning ability, concentration and co-ordination. To ensure that your children have a healthy balance of these nutrients they should eat between 1 and 2 servings of oily fish such as fresh tuna, salmon or mackerel per week.

It is not always easy to get your children to eat the food that is good for them but help is at hand. A supplement, such as Efalex, is a convenient, every-day way of getting important nutrients in to the diet. Efalex contains fish oil rich in DHA and Efamol Pure Evening Primrose Oil. Taken regularly it provides rich sources of Omega-3 and Omega-6 nutrients, particularly DHA, EPA and AA, which are important building blocks of the brain, nervous system and eye.

Efalex is available in both capsule and lemon and lime flavoured liquid format and now as brand new Wild Berry Blast flavoured Efalex Chewies.

Providing a tasty way to help maintain your child’s concentration in the classroom, Efalex Chewies provide the same essential fatty acids as regular Efalex but in an easy-to-take wild berry chewable capsule. Developed with kids in mind, the juicy new fruity flavour has already been given a big thumbs up by children in taste trials. Packs of 30 Efalex chewable capsules retail at £4.99.

Efalex is available at Boots, GNC, Holland & Barrett, Superdrug, Tesco and Waitrose as well as all good pharmacies and health food stores. For more information about Efalex visit www.efalex.co.uk or call 0870 6060128.

Healthy eating doesn’t have to be dull – there are loads of delicious ways that you can encourage your children to eat for fun and energy. Follow these delicious tips to boost your child’s diet.

For a great start to the day replace sugary breakfast cereals with porridge or bran cereal and add in lots of fruit, nuts or berries.

Making your own fruity milkshakes is a delicious way of combining fruit and milk.

Crunchy carrot sticks or unsalted nuts make a tasty alternative to crisps.

If your children are always hungry when they get home from school give them a piece of toast with a favourite topping such as cheese and tomato.

A portion of vegetables with each meal is really important. Include some cherry tomatoes or cucumber sticks in their lunch box. If they eat in the school canteen encourage them to choose vegetables to go with their meal every day.

As a delicious alternative to sandwiches try some cold meat and salad in a tortilla wrap – it will provide the vital protein boost that your child needs to grow.

Eat fish twice a week: sardines on toast and salmon in pasta are great!

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