Good Mood Foods for Happier Kids
With the onset of colder weather and shorter days, it’s normal if our energy levels may dip and our moods change. But with a little help from nutrient dense foods, you can help your kids boost their mood in the most delicious way!
When you eat a banana, you get a healthy dose of potassium, vitamins A, C and B6 along with a quick energy boost from both the fructose and the fiber. Bananas increase serotonin (aka the happy hormone), helping to regulate mood on a dreary winter day. Magnesium improves sleep and reduces anxiety too!
This is a fun at-home recipe for the kids to make on a snowy day, served up on a Rover Tray!
Nut butter (or sun butter)
Puffed rice cereal
Minced berries, mango, kiwi, etc
Freeze dried fruit, crushed
1. Cut the bananas into 1 1/2-2 inch pieces.
2. Roll in almond butter.
3. Roll in any combination of toppings.
SALMON RICE BALLS
Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, salmon increases the brain's production of serotonin and dopamine. It’s also loaded with vitamin D, which our bodies crave more of in the winter. These balls are the perfect size for any lunchbox!
Makes 6-8 balls
1 cup cooked short grain rice
½ cup salmon, cooked & flaked (use canned or pre-bake fresh salmon)
¼ cup parmesan cheese
Salt, to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
2. In a bowl, combine the cooked rice, cooked salmon, parmesan cheese, egg, and a pinch of salt. Mix well.
3. Use your hands to form the mixture into small, round balls, about the size of a golf ball. Place the balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
4. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the balls are crispy on the outside and cooked through on the inside.
MAGIC SHELL YOGURT DIPPERS
This simple take on the viral magic shell trend will keep energy levels up in the cold winter months. The iron, magnesium and antioxidants in the cacao along with the gut balancing probiotics in the yogurt all boost serotonin, sending positive vibes to the brain!
Makes 1 Dipper shells
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1-2 teaspoons maple syrup (depending on preference)
1 cup of your favorite yogurt
Sprinkles or chopped nuts
1. Melt the coconut oil in a pan.
2. Mix in the cocoa powder and maple syrup.
3. Add yogurt to a Dipper. Pour over yogurt and top with sprinkles or nuts if desired.
4. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes before serving/packing lunch.
SPINACH CREAM CHEESE
Rich in folate, eating spinach supports the production of dopamine - the ultimate mood booster! Make a batch on Sunday and smear it on bagels, toast, crackers, or wraps all week long! Let's hide the spinach and tell the kids they're called "Monster Bagels" or "Monster Snacks!"
4 ounces cream cheese
¼ cup chopped spinach (fresh or frozen, thawed and squeezed of excess water)
⅛ tsp salt
Optional: 1 green onion
Combine all ingredients in a food processor (for a consistent green color).