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Keri Glassman offers the best foods to boost your kid’s brain power for back to school.
Breakfast: Whole Oats Mania
Whole Oats Mania is really easy to make. Mix whole oats, cinnamon, chopped walnuts, and milk. Place in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, add ¼ cup fresh pomegranate seeds when serving. These complex carbohydrates like oats, cause your brain to produce the “feel good” hormone, serotonin. Serotonin has antioxidant qualities and generates a soothing feeling so you are able to relax and overcome daily stress.
Lunch: Chicken and Avocado Wrap
A chicken and avocado wrap is a great brain food to pack for kids. Use mustard, honey, and plain nonfat yogurt to create a homemade honey-mustard. Drizzle over whole wheat or corn tortilla. Prepare a grilled chicken breast by cutting it into 1” chunks. Place on top of the avocado, wrap and serve. Avocados have the ability to enhance blood flow and promote proper brain cell activity by lowering levels of “bad” cholesterol and reducing risk of plaque buildup. Though they are high in fat, they contain the good-for-you monounsaturated fat, which contributes to healthy blood flow.
Snack: Apple Fries with Yogurt Dip
Here we have apple fries with yogurt dip. You can make this dish hot or cold. Cut apples into thin slices (like fries) and sprinkle cinnamon. The dip is made of blueberries and plain low fat yogurt. If you want to serve them warm, put cut apple pieces in the oven for about 35 – 40 minutes, until tender. Blueberries help protect the brain from oxidative stress and studies show that they boost memory, cognition, and balance by reducing inflammation in the body.
POPCORN! Four cups of unbuttered air-popped pop is only 100 calories. They're great for munching on between classes, before practice, and when studying late at night. Grains like whole wheat, wheat germ and bran that contain a high percentage of folate like popcorn can boost blood flow to the brain.
Dinner: Salmon Burger
Salmon burgers are easy to make. Buy a salmon cake and serve it with sautéed spinach on a homemade burger bun or whole wheat English muffin. Wild salmon is rich in omega-3, which is essential for cognition functioning. Research suggests that diets lacking omega-3 fatty acids may cause the brain to age faster.