With the arrival of fall, cold, grey days are sure to follow. Fall also heralds the return of runny noses…especially when you have children in daycare! However, by adopting good eating strategies, you can face this change of season full of energy and health.
Breakfasts that kick-start the day
Breakfast sets the tone for the day and helps to break the night’s fast. A well-nourished body will be physically and mentally ready to perform well throughout the morning. Feed it the ultimate energizing and satiating trio: carbohydrates, protein and fibre. Indulge in some high-fibre cereal with a piece of fruit or a bagel with peanut butter and a glass of milk. Don’t feel hungry in the morning? Opt for a piecemeal breakfast that’s office-friendly, like a homemade muffin, yogurt and fruit.
Nutrients that fight germs
Some nutrients help our immune system work properly, including zinc (e.g., meat, seafood, nuts, whole grains, lentils, peas), selenium (e.g., Brazil nuts, offal, meat, fish, seafood, legumes) and magnesium (e.g., legumes, green vegetables, nuts and seeds, whole grains, fish). In terms of vitamins, remember to get enough vitamin C. Happily, many fruits and vegetables contain it, including many fresh fall items: beets, broccoli, carrots, cabbage, squash, parsnips, turnips, etc.
Eat light meals, and eat more often
A practical strategy to avoid fatigue during the day is to eat light meals combined with snacks. This strategy will provide your body with a constant supply of energy so that you don’t run out of fuel. If you tend to run out of energy in the afternoon, eat a less copious lunch. As soon as hunger strikes, often around 3:30 p.m., have a snack, such as a piece of cheese, a small fortified soy beverage, a fruit or a handful of almonds. Also remember to include enough protein in your meals (e.g., eggs, legumes, fish, poultry, Greek yogurt).
Mood-boosting and comfort-food dishes
In the fall, soups, gratins and simmered dishes make a big comeback. That’s great news since these comforting dishes will help you cope with the greyer days.
Here are three recipe ideas to start fall on the right foot:
- Apple and Thyme Squash Soup
- Cabbage Gratin with Beef
- Two-bean chili in the slow cooker
Serve up variety again and again!
To keep your body working at its full potential, feed it a variety of nutritious foods. Remember that by combining fresh and varied foods with each meal (vegetables and fruit, whole grains and a source of protein), you maximize your chances of maintaining a good energy level throughout the day. To refuel, without being overfilled, listen to your hunger. Rest, exercise and enjoy stress-reducing activities, and drink enough water. These are the key elements to promoting health and energy all year round!