This is the last in a series of posts on Food for the Brain. Part 1 covered foods that are good for brain health, including a fun round-up of Healthy Breakfast Recipes for Kids; Part 2 featured a round-up of creative Healthy Lunch Recipes for Kids. Today, in Part 3, we’re wrapping up our Food for the Brain series with a round-up of Healthy Snack Recipes for Kids.
I hope you all have enjoyed this series of Food for the Brain posts featuring recipes from some of my blogging friends. When I first reached out looking for healthy recipe ideas, I didn’t know what to expect, so I was pleasantly surprised to be inundated with so many healthy recipes that also contain brain-boosting ingredients. In fact, I received so many wonderful recipes that I ended up breaking them into three parts – Breakfast, Lunch and Snacks.
There’s no doubt that breakfast is the most important meal of the day to get your kids off to a good start each morning, but their brains and bodies need continued fueling to get them through the day. A healthy brain-boosting lunch gives your kids the pick-me-up they need to get through the school day, but then, they need another fuel-up by the time they get off the bus.
When my kids were young, I actually used to feed them dinner between 3:30-4PM because I knew they were starving and would eat a good dinner at that hour. Now that they’re older, I try to give them a healthy snack as soon as they get home to tide them over until dinnertime.
Planning ahead is probably the best way to ensure you have a healthy snack waiting for your kids when they get home. Refer to Part 1 for a list of foods that are good for the brain when considering snacks for your kids.
Most kids come off the bus looking for a snack, so what better time than this to feed them a brain-boosting snack as soon as they walk in the door. Instead of mindless snacking, be deliberate about what your kids snack on.
Most kids love fries so why not make these baked Parsnip Fries from A Thought for Food seasoned with a little chili powder or smoked paprika. Parsnips are a good source of folate, which is crucial for proper brain function and plays an important role in mental and emotional health. You’ll make your kids feel extra special with a little bit of effort.
If your kids like guacamole, I’ll bet they’ll go for this Avocado and Edamame Spread from The Perfect Pantry. Offer your kids two different ways to enjoy this protein-packed dip or spread. Create a pretty display of fresh carrot sticks, broccoli florets (lightly steamed if your kids prefer), and red bell pepper strips. On another small plate, lay out some whole grain crackers or toast.
Here’s another protein packed dip – this creamy White Bean Dip from Avocado Pesto would be perfect served with some whole grain pita bread and fresh vegetables.
For a quick pick-me-up if your kids are headed straight to soccer practice, try these No-Bake “Clif” Bars (gluten-free), packed with whole grains, flaxseed, dried berries, nuts and nut butter.
These Crispy Roasted Lime Chickpeas from Inspired Edibles would be fun to munch on in the car on the way to after-school activities too.
If you’re planning a late dinner due to after-school activities, try these Mini Buffalo Chicken Meatballs from Whipped that use whole wheat breadcrumbs for some whole grain goodness. To make these even healthier, leave out the butter.
These 4 Ingredient Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies from Real Mom Nutrition are packed with protein and whole grains and are only made with 4 ingredients.
If your kids are chocolate lovers, these Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Bites from Keep It Sweet Desserts will give them a little afternoon energy boost and satisfy their chocolate cravings.
Here’s another fun way to get your kids to eat fruit for a snack – these Fruit Kebabs by Shockingly Delicious entice kids to eat all their fruits before they get the treat at the end of these kebabs.
For even more Healthy Snack inspiration, check out this Healthy Snacks for Kids board on Pinterest.
I hope you’ve found some fun inspiration for preparing healthy, brain-boosting breakfasts, lunches and snacks for your kids. I know I have as I researched all the health benefits behind these brain-boosting foods.
Kid’s Brain Foods, Prevention
Foods That Boost Brain Power, Eating Well
Foods That Boost Brainpower, Prevention
Eat for a Sharper Mind: 5 Brain-Boosting Foods, Eating Well
Brain-Boosting Food for Kids, What To Expect
Folic Acid, University of Maryland Medical Center
Health Benefits of DHA, NCBI
Nourishing Your Noggin, MedicineNet
Iron in brain function and dysfunction with emphasis on Parkinson’s disease, NCBI
10 Foods To Help Boost Your Brain Power, CNN
An Apple or Two a Day Can Save Your Brain - The Buffalo News