Junk food is called that for a reason. It does nothing to help your body or mind. Healthy food is not boring if you have some fun with it.
The following seven foods can help your brain retain information:
The protein and nutrients in eggs help you to concentrate. Try scrambled eggs, egg sandwiches, boiled eggs in salads and fried eggs with mince.
Fat is important for brain health. A full-fat Greek yoghurt (which contains more protein than other yogurts) can help keep brain cells alert when sending and receiving information. Mix Greek yogurt with fruit or chocolate chips, or use it as a dip for vegetable sticks.
Full of folic acid and vitamins, spinach and kale are linked to lowering the odds of getting dementia later in life. Kale is a superfood packed with antioxidants and other nutrients that help grow new brain cells. For some young people, greens are a hard sell. Rather than serving a salad, try this: Whip spinach or kale into smoothies for snack time; Add spinach to omelettes or lasagna; or Make kale chips. Cut kale from the stems, drizzle with olive oil and a bit of salt, and bake. Fish is a good source of vitamin D and omega-3, which protect the brain from memory loss. Salmon, tuna and sardines are rich in omega-3.
Nuts and seeds
Packed with protein, essential fatty acids, and vitamins and minerals, nuts and seeds boost your mood and keep your nervous system in check.
There’s always peanut butter, or you can buy or make sunflower seed butter. Sunflower seeds are rich in folic acid, vitamin E and selenium, and are safe for those with nut allergies. If you cannot get your kids to eat the seeds, use the spread on wholegrain crackers or bread.
Nuts combined with olive oil and dark leafy greens make a healthy and tasty sauce you can serve over wholegrain pasta.
Protein- and fibre-rich oatmeal helps keep heart and brain arteries clear. In one study, kids who ate sweetened oatmeal did better on memory-related school tasks than those who ate a sugary cereal.
Apples and plums
Kids often crave sweets, especially when they’re feeling sluggish. Apples and plums are lunchbox-friendly and contain an antioxidant that may fight the decline in mental skills. The good stuff is often in the skin of the fruit, so buy organic, wash well and put the fruit in a bowl for quick snacks.
Courgette noodles with pesto and green peas