Exams have always terrified me and when I’m stressed I need to munch on something. I think the same genes have carried forward to my daughter who starts exams next week. She keeps wanting a snack break in the middle of some serious studying. But munching on chips or Choco pies are a complete no-no. Good nutrition should be part of their study plan because it’s going to help them ace those exams. The better the fuel their brain gets, the better they’ll do in their exam time.
Here’s what I’ve been making for my daughter to help her get through the exams.
Apple With Peanut Butter
Apples and peanut butter together are quite an interesting combination. The healthy fats from the peanut butter and a serotonin boost courtesy the apple will help keep the kids full and it’s extremely healthy. Just slice up an apple and smear some peanut butter on it. Easy finger food for them to eat while cramming. If your child doesn’t like peanut butter, you could try almond butter. It’s extremely healthy and as tasty.
Avocado Chocolate Pudding
Don’t say yuck just yet. Avocado and chocolate are a match made in heaven. Avocados are superfoods for the brain. Healthy unsaturated fats in avocados help keep the brain cell membranes flexible and contribute to a healthy blood flow; which means a healthy brain. Just what your kids need. And studies have proven that dark chocolate is good for memory too.
No Bake Energy Bites
These little energy bites are super easy to make and can be stored for a week in the fridge. Put it in an airtight container. These bites contain flaxseed which is super rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and is extremely important for the brain. Oatmeal contains glucose which is your brain’s fuel. This is why experts recommend that kids should have a bowl of oats in the morning for breakfast to help them perform better in school.
Ingredients – Makes 18-20 bites.
- 1 cup oatmeal
- ½ cup peanut butter (or other nut butter)
- ⅓ cup honey
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- ½ cup ground flaxseed
- ½ cup chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
Mix everything above in a medium bowl until thoroughly incorporated. Let it chill in the refrigerator for half an hour. Once chilled, roll into balls and let the kids boost their energy levels.
Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are loaded with zinc and boost memory. A perfect snack to help your child retain what they’re reading.
- 1 cup pumpkin seeds, rinsed and dry
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne powder
- ½ ounce olive oil
- Preheat oven to 180° C.
- In a bowl combine all ingredients until seeds are coated well.
- Spread evenly on a baking sheet and bake until toasted and slightly browned, about 15-20 minutes, tossing halfway through. Watch carefully to avoid burning as all ovens vary on cook times.
- Remove from oven, and let cool before serving.
If your child has a sweet preference, you could toss the pumpkin seeds in cinnamon, sugar, and butter and bake.
This snack is really popular with my daughter. Chickpeas are a great source of protein and make a great replacement for chips and salty nuts. This snack has healthy ingredients, is easy to carry around and also really easy to make at home.
- 1 1/2 cups soaked chickpeas
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp sea salt, more or less to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, omit or reduce if you don’t like heat
- Preheat oven to 180° C. Line a large baking sheet with a silicone mat or foil.
- Drain and rinse chickpeas in a colander. Let the chickpeas air dry or pat dry with a towel.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine oil, salt, pepper and spices. Add chickpeas and toss to coat the chickpeas well.
- Spread the chickpeas onto a baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 40-50 minutes until crispy, shaking pan once or twice in the middle of cooking.
- Serve warm or let cool and enjoy! Store in an air-tight container once completely cooled.
Nutty Chia Yogurt & Banana Power Bowl
Bananas are high in potassium, which helps the brain transmit messages, regulate moods and appetite. We all know how their mood changes when they have to study. Chia seeds contain all nutrients needed for brain function and eating plenty of chia can go a long way toward supporting the nutritional requirements of the brain in conjunction with a balanced diet.
- ½ cup yoghurt
- 1 teaspoon almond butter, unsalted
- ½ banana, chopped
- 1 teaspoon chia seeds
- handful of blueberries or strawberries
- Mix almond butter into the yoghurt with a spoon until it becomes a smooth consistency.
- Next, add the chopped banana, berries and chia seeds on top of the yoghurt and your child’s brain-power bowl is ready.
This is what I have been making for my daughter while she burns the “midnight” oil. If you have some healthy snacks that you make for your child, share it with us in the comments below. We would love to hear from you.