According to the YMCA, April 27th is officially Healthy Kids Day®. It’s a day where “Y” organizations all across the country plan activities to help promote active minds and healthy bodies to raise awareness about the importance of improving the health and well-being of all children. If you want to join in on the celebration, please check out your local Y to see what they may have planned.
One way to promote health and well-being in children is through diet and nutrition. Wild Blueberries make a great addition to any healthy eating plan you create for your children – upping the nutrition in foods kids love like pancakes, smoothies, popsicles, and yogurt parfaits. Recent research has shown that the pigments called anthocyanins that make Wild Blueberries purple-blue can help improve memory and concentration in children. They can also boost mood impacting executive function, which relates to decision-making. Plus, Wild Blueberries taste great. Frozen Wild Blueberries are never bland like their fresh counterparts can be and are known for their more intense blueberry flavor that’s part-sweet and part-tang.
To help you step up your child’s nutrition game in time for Healthy Kids Day – and for every day after, here are four recipes that are sure to please even the pickiest of eaters.
Kids love fruit leathers, but if you’re a parent like me, you’re not a fan of the prepackaged options filled with artificial ingredients found in most grocery stores. You don’t have to deny your kids these fun little snacks. Instead, make them at home using this simple recipe from Sally Kuzemchak, MS, RD, of Real Mom Nutrition. To make it even more fun, involve the kids. They’ll feel super special, especially when they share them with friends after school or at practice.
Warmer days are just around the corner here in Maine, which means we’ve started dreaming of refreshing summer treats like these Wild Blueberry Yogurt Pops from Lindsay Livingston, RD, of The Lean Green Bean. Made with yogurt, frozen Wild Blueberries, lemon zest, maple syrup, and chia seeds, you can turn the sweetness dial-up or down based on the yogurt you use. This recipe includes a protein powder to give you extra energy, but it’s an optional ingredient. Now, name one kid who doesn’t love a popsicle. They’ll be screaming for more of this pretty, fro-yo popsicle treat.
Smoothies are an easy way to get more nutrients like calcium, fiber, and vitamins in your kids. All it takes is having a few key ingredients around to create delicious, easily portable smoothies your children will love. This Kid-friendly Wild Blueberry & Kefir Smoothie recipe from Sally Kuzemchak, MS, RD, of Real Mom Nutrition is one of our favorites. It uses fiber-rich Wild Blueberries and pro-biotic kefir to help take care of little tummies, and a handful of iron-rich spinach that disappears because of the incredible color of the wild blues. We love Sally and her words of wisdom, ‘how did people feed their kids before smoothies came along?’.
Get even the stubbornest of sleepy heads out of bed in the morning with this Wild Blueberry and Chocolate Skillet Pancake. Danielle Omar MS, RDN of Food Confidence created this easy-to-make recipe using frozen Wild Blueberries (and dark chocolate) that’s tasty and rich in flavonoids. Research has documented the positive effects of flavonoids on brain health – flavonoids as part of a healthy, mixed diet might help prevent low mood and depression in young people. Wild Blueberries are loaded with a type of flavonoid called anthocyanins that gives them their deep blue pigment. And about that dark chocolate… its full of flavanols that can help raise serotonin – the “feel good” neurotransmitter. The kiddos will love how delicious this pancake is and you’ll love knowing that you’re giving them a good start to their day.