Parker County Today October 2016 - Page 43

Kick Off A Healthy and Nutritious School Year Brain-powering breakfast and lunch options your kids will love By Jessica Williams, DO • 2-3 slices of organic turkey or chicken breast on whole grain bread • Kid-friendly ‘salad’ with sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, chicken bites; dressing or dip based with olive oil, avocado or sour cream • Whole grain crackers with salsa, guacamole or nut butter; side of tuna or chicken salad • Bowl of chicken, bean or sp lit pea soup with crackers (if your child has access to a microwave) • Gluten free pasta or three bean salad; fun pasta shapes make a fun lunch for younger kids. Many kids have after school activities that require physical stamina, so make sure what they eat for lunch helps them maintain energy mentally and physically throughout their day. If your family does not have a physician, visit www. or call 817-489-7450 to find a physician. Jessica Williams, DO, a Farwell native, earned her medical degree from Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine. She then completed her family medicine residency from McLennan County in Waco. She is a member of the American Academy of Family Practitioners, Texas Medical Association, and the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Dr. Williams chose to practice medicine because “it allowed her to practice humility in teaching, learning, serving others, and leadership.” She is proud to serve the residents of Parker County and surrounding areas. When she is not working she enjoys spending time with her family, the outdoors, traveling, and staying fit. To find a physician close to you, visit Weatherford Regional Medical Center’s online Physician Directory at PA R K E R C O U N T Y T O D AY About Lone Star Medical Group Lone Star Medical Group is an affiliate of Weatherford Regional Medical Center encompassing over 25 employed physicians offering primary care, medical, and surgical specialties. Lone Star Medical Group serves the healthcare needs of Parker and surrounding counties with multiple clinic locations. OCTOBER 2016 Many studies over the past two decades show sufficient intake of healthy food is essential to brain function – especially for children. What children eat for breakfast and lunch on a school day has a direct impact on their focus, comprehension and application in learning. “As adults, we know intuitively that what we eat has an impact on our performance at work and in our social lives,” said Jessica Williams, D.O., Family Medicine. “The same is true for children, whose brains are still growing and developing at a rapid pace. The proper balance of nutrients and hydration is critical during the school-age years.” Four areas of nutrition are essential to the ‘student body’ – fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats. Also, specific vitamins can be incorporated to enhance specific cognitive functions. For example, to improve memory, add foods rich in lecithin, such as peanuts, soy beans, and wheat germ. Potassium aids in energy and brain functioning and can be found in oranges, bananas, apricots, avocados, melons, peaches and nectarines. For a healthy breakfast on a hectic morning, consider one of the following options: • one hard-boiled egg and one sliced apple with peanut/almond butter for dipping • bowl of cereal with high protein and low sugar count; ½ cup almond, coconut or organic whole milk • ½ cup steel-cut oats with berries, Greek yogurt and local honey; mix all ingredients in a bowl and store in fridge overnight Many schools have made changes to lunch offerings, reducing or eliminating processed foods and fatigue-inducing high-sugar and high-carbohydrate meals. If you pack your child’s lunch, here are some easy and nutritious choices: 41