To keep your child’s brain and body functioning at an optimal level for hectic school days, fortunately there are a few key “superfoods” to help you out. If there was a magic pill for good health, it would already exist. Not only can superfoods help promote weight control, but they taste good for kids, provide disease-fighting nutrients, fill your child up without excess calories, and are easy to add to family meals. Let’s look at a few a super foods that are easy to find and cost-friendly.




Quinoa: Nourishing whole grains are a great source of vitamins, minerals, and cholesterol-lowering fiber. Quinoa is an ancient grain that is easy to make, high in protein and fiber, and is a good source of iron. Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) also has plenty of zinc, vitamin E, and selenium to help control weight and lower your risk for heart disease and diabetes. It’s available in most supermarkets. Tip: Quinoa is as easy to prepare as rice, cooks quicker, can be eaten alone or mixed with vegetables, nuts, lean protein, and even served cold in yogurt at breakfast.




Spinach: Popeye knew what he was doing! Spinach is a powerhouse. The rich, dark color comes from phyto-chemicals (plant chemicals that have protective or disease preventive properties), and vitamins and minerals, including folate and iron. These minerals are very helpful in protecting against heart disease and preserving eyesight. Tip: try spinach in salads or cook them with onions and veggies to add greens in your evening meal.




Salmon: Packed with healthy omega 3’s, the “good fats,” salmon helps to reduce inflammation and plaque inside the arteries. The Food and Drug Administration and American Heart Association advise eating salmon and other cold-water fish at least two times per week Salmon is low in calories (200 for 3 ounces) has lots of protein, is a good source of iron, and is very low in saturated fat. Tip: You can grill or bake it, top it with salsa or other low-fat sauces, or serve it on top of salads. Canned salmon can be used for school lunches when you are in a pinch for time.




Berries: Powerful antioxidants, which are good for your heart, and fiber, which aids in lowering LDL cholesterol, can be found in berries. Blueberries and raspberries also contain lutein, which is important for healthy vision.  Raspberries, blueberries, strawberries and cranberries are widely available fresh, frozen, or dried. Tip: Berries can add flavor and nutrition to numerous dishes, from salads and cereals to baked goods and yogurt.




Eggs: Versatile, economical, and a great way to fill up on quality protein is eggs. Studies show if you eat eggs at breakfast, you may eat fewer calories during the day and lose weight without significantly affecting cholesterol levels. Eggs also contain 12 vitamins and minerals, including choline, which is good for brain development and memory. Tip: Enjoy them at any meal or hard-boil eggs to carry with you as a portable snack.




Nuts:  People tend to shy away due to their high fat content, but nut protein has heart-healthy fats, high in fiber and antioxidants. The key to enjoying nuts is portion control. All nuts are healthful in small doses and studies show they can help lower cholesterol levels and promote weight loss. Whether you prefer pistachios, almonds, peanuts, walnuts, or pecans, an ounce a day helps fill you up. Nuts also add texture and flavor to salads, side dishes, baked goods, and entrees. Tip: Try putting together a single-serving bag of nuts for easy and portable snacks.




Recipe Corner

Two quick recipes, hot and cold, using the super foods above.


Two handfuls of spinach (washed)

½ cup walnuts

1 cup berries of choice (use with cold dish only)

4 ounces salmon

1 egg (does this make ½ cup?)

½ cup of quinoa

Salad dressing (cold dish only)

2 tbsp olive oil (hot dish only)


Spinach & Quinoa Salad with Salmon – served cold

  1. Cook salmon on stovetop until light pink, or in oven at 375 degrees for 20 minutes
  2. Boil water and cook quinoa on stovetop as directed on the box. Let cool.
  3. Wash spinach and chop in to smaller pieces, set aside
  4. Chop walnuts to desired consistency and set aside
  5. Wash berries and set aside
  6. Hard boil an egg for 5 minutes, cool, and peel. Break up to desired consistency and set aside.
  7. Take quinoa out of fridge
  8. Create salad using spinach as the base, topped with ingredients above
  9. Sprinkle with quinoa as desired


Top with the salad dressing of your choice— Just oil and vinegar work wonders!




Spinach & Quinoa Stir Fry – served hot

  1. Cook salmon on stovetop until light pink or in the oven at 375 for 20 minutes
  2. Boil water and cook quinoa on stovetop as directed on the box. Let cool.
  3. Hard boil an egg for 5 minutes, cool, and peel. Break up to desired consistency and set aside.
  4. Wash spinach. Using two tablespoons of olive oil, cook on low heat until dark green Chop walnuts to desired consistency and set aside
  5. Place quinoa on plate and top with other ingredients as desired.