When the kids get home from school they've already had a long day and it's likely been a few hours since they've had lunch. They're probably hungry and looking for a quick snack while they unwind.
However, they also need to get some homework done and / or quickly move onto the next activity.
It can be easy (and tempting) for them to grab a sugary snack or some sort of prepackaged processed carbohydrate.
While convenient, these are not the best option, especially when focus and concentration is needed.
Here are 4 "Brain Boosting" Snack Ideas from the Child Development Institute:
- Like many adults, kids often do not get enough water over the course of the day. Quick sips from a water fountain are not enough, and even mild dehydration can cause the brain to feel sluggish. Moreover, the body often translates thirst into hunger, which can lead kids toward overeating and unhealthy food choices.
- How to Serve: The best approach is to create a healthy water habit in your kids by encouraging them to drink a glass of water before each meal and upon arrival home from school. If your kids find plain water unappealing, try chilling a pitcher of water with an infusion of fruit, such as oranges or strawberries, to add flavor.
- Greek Yogurt
- Fat is key to brain health as it helps keep cell membranes flexible and better able to send and receive information. Full-fat Greek yogurt provides a healthy amount of fat along with protein to boost energy and carry a young scholar through until dinner time.
- How to Serve: Use Greek yogurt in smoothies for a protein boost – combine it with fruits or even greens for greater nutritional benefits. Or serve it up by the bowl and stir in some dried fruit or granola. You can even sprinkle in some chocolate chips – dark chocolate contains polyphenols that help pump up blood flow to the brain.
- Almost any fruit can make a healthy afternoon snack. Melons and citrus fruits contain lots of water to help with hydration. Apples and plums are tasty and contain quercetin, an antioxidant that can protect against cognitive decline. Blueberries and strawberries pack plenty of antioxidants into a serving and are easy to eat by the handful.
- How to Serve: Most kids enjoy fruit on its own. Choose easy-to-peel clementine oranges, tasty Gala apples, or seedless grapes for easy eating. Other possibilities are dried fruit snacks like raisins, unsweetened applesauce, or smoothies made with frozen fruit when fresh favorites like blueberries are out of season.
- Eggs are an awesome little package of nutrition. They provide a full serving of protein along with omega-3 fats, choline, and lutein — all nutrients that are essential to healthy brain operation.
- How to Serve: It’s easy to hard boil a batch of eggs on the weekend and have them on hand all week for quick snacking. Peeled and stored in a sealed plastic bag or container, the eggs will keep for 5-7 days. Older kids can also learn to scramble an egg and combine it with spinach or salsa in a whole-grain tortilla for a tasty snack.
I hope you found this helpful, I know I did.
President, Dragon Gym
"Be The Coffee."
PS. If you're interested in getting your child started in martial arts CLICK HERE to grab our current Back to School Special.
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