Brain Food

With school starting, choosing foods to pack for your children’s lunch is likely a hot topic of discussion. This year, in addition to packing tasty snacks, choose ones that help fuel the body and the brain to help stay focused and retain information better. With so many added benefits, these snacks are sure to find their way into your lunch bag too!

  1. Blueberries
    Blueberries contain a variety of antioxidants, some of which have been associated with increasing the ability to focus, retain information, and even fight off certain diseases. Though blueberries can be a part of  any lunch box as a stand-alone snack, they can also be added to  a serving of oatmeal for a healthy breakfast for you and the kids.

  2. Dark Chocolate
    There is some research that suggests the flavanols found in cocoa may increase blood flow to the brain, to help support brain activity (3).. Dropping a few pieces in you or your child’s lunch box may help with  feeling more focused and attentive throughout the day (and of course, who doesn’t like to have a little chocolate with lunch?).

  3. Omega 3 Fatty Acids
    Omega 3’s are healthy fats that support and are essential to proper brain function. Fish and seafood are a particularly rich source of omega 3’s, but may not be an ideal lunch entree. Serving fatty fish a few times per week for dinner, however, can help contribute to your body’s necessary supply of omega 3’s -meaning you’ll still be able to focus and retain information throughout the day. As for lunchtime solutions, nuts are also a great source of omega-3s (particularly walnuts), and can serve as a stand-alone snack, or as a mix in with  your favorite dark chocolate.  

  4. Green Tea
    While this may be adults only, caffeine can help the brain focus in class or at work.  Green tea is also a great, mild alternative to coffee in the morning. If hot drinks aren’t your cup of tea (so to speak), try blending some matcha powder in a smoothie and freezing it overnight so that it defrosts by the time lunch rolls around. Or try this kid-friendly matcha pound cake.

Sources

  1. http://www.cosmopolitan.com/food-cocktails/a6923/matcha-recipes/

  2. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1212579/A-bowl-blueberries-day-keeps-brain-active-afternoon.html

  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16794461

  4. http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/omega3-fatty-acids

  5. http://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/ss/slideshow-brain-foods-that-help-you-concentrate