Brain boosting lunch boxes

High sugar and simple carbohydrate snacks and lunches have a negative impact on a child’s learning and development in school. Try adding the following foods to your children's lunchboxes to support their overall development and help them to stay focused and attentive throughout the day.

Omega 3 rich foods: Salmon, trout, mackerel, and sardines are the best sources, but if your children will not eat fish they can also get omega 3 from flax seeds, walnuts, and Omega 3 fortified eggs. Omega 3 fuels the brain and keeps it working at its best.

Lunch box idea: Add flaxseeds or walnuts to yoghurt or homemade flapjacks or muffins.

High antioxidant foods: Such as berries, tomatoes, cauliflower, cabbage, and broccoli. These foods help to keep blood flowing through the brain, necessary for optimal brain function.

Lunch box idea: Cauliflower rice - chop or use a food processor to cut the cauliflower into small grains. Stir fry in low sodium vegetable stock till tender.

Vitamin B6 and B12 are involved in many brain functions as well as preventing nerve damage. Foods such as fish, meat, whole grains, eggs, and nuts are high in B6 while eggs, fish, and meat are high in B12.

Lunch box idea: Homemade chicken egg fried rice cooked in coconut oil.

Lunch box tips:

Offer only water to drink instead of fruit juices which can be loaded with sugar.Vary the food offered and allow your child to get involved in choosing and preparing his/her lunch box.

Load lollipop sticks up with squares of cheese, meats, and wholemeal bread instead of the traditional sandwich.

Fill cupcake cases with nuts and chopped fruit, berries, and vegetables.

Chicken veggie patties

These are high in B vitamins, omega 3 ,and rich in antioxidants.

1/2cup grated courgette

3 broccoli florets, grated

2 small bell peppers, chopped

1/4 cup cooked chicken, chopped finely

1/4 cup green onion, chopped

1/4 cup of ground flaxseed

1 egg

Coconut oil for frying

Mix all the ingredients, apart from the coconut oil, in a bowl. Heat a little coconut oil on a frying pan.

Mould the patties into desired size and fry in the coconut oil until brown on each side.

Can be stored and eaten cold.

Train at CNM for an exciting career in naturopathic nutrition, herbal medicine, acupuncture and homeopathy. Join the next open evening — for details see www.naturopathy.ie or call 01 672 5036.

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