Brain Food Tips

We just wrote a post about the importance of feeding your kids brain food. Here are some tips for getting these foods into your family's food life: 

The food itself:

  • Plan ahead. Foods on the go are less likely to be brain healthy. Make sure you have fruits, veggies, and whole grains on hand.
  • Buy frozen fruits or veggies when you need convenience.
  • Puree veggies and put them in sauces, soups and other meals.
  • Cut back on processed, prepackaged foods. 
  • Give your kids water or a small glass of 100% fruit juice instead of sport drinks, juice, or soda.
  • Choose a rainbow. Mix the colors. Try something new!
  • Feed your kids breakfast or make sure they are getting a nutritious breakfast at school.
  • Keep trying. Introduce foods to picky eaters again a couple of weeks later.
  • Read about the "bottom line" foods in this post and work them in to your family's diet.

Improving your family's "food life:"

  • Model healthy eating.
  • Make small changes. You don't need to change the entire family's diet all at once.
  • Try not to set up a pattern where you use food as a reward or as a way to make your kids feel better. 
  • Talk to your kids about why brain food is important.
  • Start a garden. Get your kids connected to a community or school-based garden.
  • Raise cooks. Involve your kids in meal planning, cooking, and, of course, doing dishes!
  • Avoid food wars and becoming the "food police." Encourage healthy eating but don't be afraid to find middle ground.
  • Enjoy meals together. This isn't just a time to feed kids brains, it is also a time to connect.
  • Be food and body positive. This is about taking care of healthy bodies, not avoiding getting fat. There is nothing wrong with occasional treats.
  • As your kids get older, talk to them about food advocacy and food access! This is a great way to get teens engaged in food politics and nutrition.