Today, I am so excited to introduce Brenda Janscheck, owner and founder of Brenda Janscheck Health & Lifestyle. To me, Brenda is the epitome of a superstar mom. She runs her own business, has a family and still finds time to take incredible care of herself. What I am in awe of most, is how she takes care of her two kids. She is an expert in kids’ health and I am so excited for you to read the interview below. Whether you have kids now, want them one day or know anyone who does; this interview will shed some light on how to best care for them. Nutrition is of utmost importance in a kid’s life even from the time they are born. And I’ll give you a hint; mainstream media has most likely thrown you way off and is steering you in the opposite direction you want to go. Keep reading to find out more!
Hi Brenda. Thank you so much for being here today! Let’s get right into it.
1. What do you think is the biggest problem when it comes to kids’ nutrition today?
The biggest problem to my mind is that so much of the food our children eat is actually completely deficient in nutrition. Parents are so busy that they are reaching for convenience foods, which are highly processed, contain bad fats, are full of additives, colours, preservatives, refined sugars/ flours and rancid oils. These foods are contributing to a dramatic increase in serious illness and disease such as obesity, Type 2 diabetes, cancer, attention disorders and more.
I consider every bite of food an opportunity to properly nourish our bodies, mind and soul, and so many children are missing out on these opportunities each day.
“Let food be they medicine and let medicine be thy food” as Hippocrates said.
2. How do you do such an amazing job adequately nourishing your kids so that their mood & blood sugar levels are stable and their energy stays constant throughout the day?
I know how to create well-balanced meals (protein, good fats and complex carbohydrates) which cover the main food groups. Providing this balance allows my children to stay focused and energised through the day and eating this way will bode well for their future health. I make sure their meals are nutrient dense and I pack them very healthy homemade lunches. It takes me a bit more time, but my children’s health is a priority.
3. Why is it, do you think, that many parents don’t think the same nutritional rules apply to kids the same way they do to adults?
Parents (and children) are bombarded on a daily basis with advertising for “healthy” kid’s food, like breakfast cereals and muesli bars, when in actual fact these products are mostly very high in sugar and highly processed. A little education in this area can go a long way in improving our children’s health.
For some, particularly those that are busy (which is every parent I know!), there is so much misinformation clouding the real value of our food that they just give up and accept advertisements and mainstream information as fact.
4. How do you deal with your kids being exposed to toxic, processed foods when they’re at friends’ houses and school?
I find this quite frustrating, and obviously I wish that this wasn’t the case, but I have chosen not to create stress around this for my family, as stress itself is detrimental to our health.
My children have a very healthy, 80% healthy wholefoods organic diet, so I know their bodies can handle “sometimes” food on those occasions. Lots of mums in my community have attended my healthy kids’ workshops, so bit by bit I am noticing the pleasing ripple-effect of change. I also hope to do more work in schools to educate children, parents and teachers about the importance of healthy eating.
5. What are your main suggestions for people with newborns and toddlers?
Obviously, breastfeeding is optimal for a minimum of 6 months, but so many mums have issues with this, I advise them not to be too hard on themselves if it doesn’t work out.
And when introducing first solid foods (approx 4-6mths), be wary that mainstream experts suggest rice cereal or grains as the baby’s first foods, but these are in fact not ideal ,and can compromise your child’s gut health, leading to future issues. Stick to fruit, veges and protein. Here is a great guide for babies and early toddlers
And just a note on pre-conception, the health of the parents ova and sperm play a very important role in determining the healthy of the fetus and future health of the child.
6. Approximately how much sugar do your kids consume daily? How do you think this differs from most kids?
My kids consume natural sugar each day, mainly in the form fruit, and a healthy treat in their lunchboxes. The sugar they have is unrefined (eg raw honey, Canadian maple syrup, dates or coconut sugar). These types of sugars still have many of their vitamins, mineral and enzymes intact.
If they are having sugar, I try to accompany it with a healthy fat and protein which helps to slow the absorption of the sugar, and therefore helps to avoid the nasty blood sugar spikes it would otherwise cause. Refined sugar is an addictive poison deplete of any nutritional value and which, in fact, strips their bodies of existing nutrition.
7. What are some small things that can be done about kids nutrition?
I always recommend implementing small changes slowly. Some good places to start would be for parents and children to learn how to read ingredients lists on packaged foods.
Meal planning is a great method of ensuring time is allocated to cooking home-made meals and avoiding last minute take-out or packaged meals. Also, eliminate all nutrient depleted/deficient foods from the pantry, and replace with fresh wholefoods.
I always recommend that my clients focus on the foods that their children love to eat, and I guide them on how to create the most delicious nutrient dense version possible!
Encouraging kids to help in the kitchen is a great idea too. Studies show that they are more likely to eat what they create.
8. Favorite healthy treat to prepare for your kids:
I love healthifying recipes, which is exactly what I did with this very popular version of my “Notella”
We all know and love the scrumptious spread Nutella. But when you consider there are 5 teaspoons of sugar in each two-tablespoon serve, you wonder if there’s a better way.
Well, there are a few healthy versions of the Nutella recipe floating around, and I’ve played around with them and tweaked the living daylights out of these recipes to finally create my family’s favourite version.
We all think it’s much tastier than the commercial Nutella, and it’s much healthier too, using healthy oils and no artificial flavours. What’s more, sugar is not the main ingredient in this version.
We love our Notella:
spread on sourdough toast for breakfast or a snack
spread over apples or bananas
mixed with natural yoghurt
spread on spelt and buckwheat pancakes
mixed with warm milk for a hot chocolate
eaten straight out of the jar with spoon
With regard to the hazelnuts in Notella, I always recommend activating them the night before by soaking in a water and acid medium (like Apple Cider Vinegar) and rinsing well in the morning. This makes the nuts much more digestible.
- 1 cup hazelnuts
- 2 tablespoons cacao powder
- ½ cup pure maple syrup or brown rice syrup or raw honey
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla powder
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
- 1-2 tablespoons macadamia oil
- Place nuts in a food processor and blend until smooth.
- Add cacao powder, maple syrup, brown rice syrup or raw honey (or a combination), vanilla and coconut oil.
- Whizz up all ingredients. It will be a little thick so add in macadamia oil as required and whizz until smooth.
- Store in a glass jar in the fridge.
Brenda Janschek is a qualified health coach, supporting busy mums to raise happy, healthy families through preventative health She is a speaker, wellness blogger, and a busy mother of two.
She is an avid spokesperson for children’s health, nutrition and family wellbeing, passionately bringing scrumptious goodness & positive well being into the homes of families throughout Australia.