Back to School: Recipes for Focus and Fun!
Nutrition is one pillar of wellness that can be used as a powerful tool for navigating everyday stress. Fueling children with nutrient-dense foods is essential in helping them find focus and feel their best.
The recipes below are not only easy to make but they highlight ingredients rich in fiber (whole grains, flax seed, and veggies), protein, and healthy fats (cheese and nut butter). Whether you’re looking for a sweet or savory snack, these recipes are a great way to make healthy eating accessible anytime. We know kids are often more willing to try new or different foods if they see where it comes from or how it’s made, and especially if they can help in the process. Since children learn through play it never hurts to offer fun foods too! Read below for a few creative and healthy recipes.
Looking for an edible art project? We’ve got you covered!
- 1 whole-grain English muffin
- 1/2 C tomato sauce, separated
- A variety of raw vegetables for pizza toppings
- 1/2 C shredded cheese (or dairy-free cheese alternative of choice)
- Preheat oven to 350˚F.
- Cut vegetables into various shapes and sizes comprising features of face (see inspiration, below). Set aside.
- Halve English muffin, sandwich-style. Place flat side down and textured side up on plate. Top each side with spoonful or two of tomato sauce. Spread evenly across top of English muffin. Sprinkle cheese or cheese alternative on top.
- Encourage your children to use prepared vegetables to create faces atop pizzas.
- Once faces are complete, place on baking sheet and bake in oven 5-8 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
Pizza Face Topping Ideas
- Hair: shredded carrots, shredded spinach or kale leaves, herbs, or broccoli florets
- Eyes and nose: diced carrots, diced cucumber or zucchini, cherry tomato halves, olives, mushrooms, peas, or corn
- Mouth: shredded carrots, bell pepper strips, thin avocado slice, sliced beets, or green beans
Pumpkin Power Balls
Back-to-school season and fall pumpkins are the perfect pair! Children can easily prepare this lunch-box-friendly recipe themselves (with guidance).
- 1 1/2 C rolled oats
- 1/2 C 100% pure canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 1/2 C nut or seed butter (almond, sunflower seed, peanut butter, etc.)
- 1/4 C pure maple syrup or pure local honey
- 1/4 C ground flaxseed
- 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp dried ginger or 1 Tbsp fresh ginger
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 C raisins (Optional)
- 1/4 C semisweet chocolate chips (Optional)
- 1/4 C unsweetened coconut flakes (Optional)
- 2 Tbsp chia seeds (Optional)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (Optional)
- Add oats to large bowl and add each additional ingredient one at a time, stirring with spoon between each addition, until all ingredients are mixed.
- Once mixture is uniform, use your hands to shape it into balls.
- Serve immediately. Store leftovers in airtight container for up to one week in refrigerator.