Besides water, our brains are composed of mostly fat. They need both to properly transmit signals. When these signals are weak, it becomes more difficult to concentrate, remember things, and to control moods.
Omega-3 fats play an important role in allowing brain cells to transmit signals. They also help the body to release serotonin, which can improve moods and relieve depression.
Children’s brains need omega-3 fats to help them stay calm and focused in the classroom.
Wild-caught fish like salmon, sardines, and mackerel are excellent sources of healthy fats. Avoid farm-raised fish. If you choose to take a fish oil supplement, buy one that’s certified mercury free. I buy Sunshine Heroes Omega-3 with DHA to give to my grandkids.
Avocados contain omega-3 fats. Serve slices with eggs for breakfast, or send some guacamole in your child’s lunch. By the way, omega-3s are in the yolks of eggs, so if you’re just eating egg whites, you are throwing away “brain food”.
Nuts and seeds are easy and convenient sources of omega-3 fats, especially walnuts, hemp seeds, flax seeds, and chia seeds. Create your own trail mixes for school lunch boxes. I fill a shaker bottle with raw hemp seeds to sprinkle on waffles, pancakes, peanut butter toast, oatmeal, etc. My grandkids love them and call them “sprinkles”.
Flax Pancake (one serving):
1 egg (from pasture-raised chickens)
2 tablespoons ground flax seed
1 tablespoon unsweetened full-fat yogurt (with live probiotics)
1/2 teaspoon unsweetened almond extract (or vanilla)
a dash of mineral-rich salt (optional)
Whisk ingredients together and cook in a little unsalted organic butter, ghee, or coconut oil over medium heat for about 3 minutes on each side. Top with some pure maple syrup, hemp seeds, walnuts, berries, yogurt, applesauce, almond butter, cinnamon, etc.
Note: You can substitute the yogurt with applesauce or plant milk (hemp, oat, almond, etc.). It can be a little tricky to flip, so check for doneness on one side before you turn it. Also, slide the spatula fully under the pancake and turn it quickly.
Variation: Use 2 eggs and an additional tablespoon each of ground flax seed and yogurt.
Everyone needs omega-3 essential fatty acids, not just kids! I often take a flax oil supplement, which is an incredibly rich source of omega-3s and has also been shown to help balance hormones.
Keep learning to be healthy!
Lisa Hernandez, Certified Nutritionist, CNHP
1 Corinthians 10:31– “Whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for God’s glory!”
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. It does not take the place of any medical care that you may need. Consult your health care provider about making dietary and lifestyle changes that are right for you.