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Brain Food

School days can be long, so give your kiddos the edge to power their brains and stay alert.

We enlisted the help of three healthy-food-lovin-mamas to give you some new menu options and one kid blogger to cook up these three healthy recipes that will give your kid’s brain a power boost.


Local Mom: Kim Dill
Owner of Create Your Nature cafe
Fave Brain Food Breakfast:
Oatmeal Bowl

The Dill household can be a bit chaotic between the kids’ activities and the parents’ crazy work schedules. So finding time for a healthy breakfast means quick, healthy recipes. “We fell in love with açaí bowls while on vacation in Austin, Texas and we found out the açaí fruit provides numerous health benefits,” says Kim, who along with husband Dan will open Create Your Nature Café in Winter Park this summer. “The café features açaí bowls, oatmeal bowls and salads,” says Kim. Their girls Annalara (10) and Chloe (8) devour açaí and oatmeal bowls daily. Here is the Dill girls’ favorite bowl.

Chocolate Crunch Oatmeal Bowl


  • ¼ cup steel cut oatmeal
  • Handful of fresh raspberries
  • ½ sliced fresh banana
  • Handful of mini chocolate chips
  • (warm in microwave if you want them melty)
  • Mini handful sliced almonds


Make steel cut oatmeal. Spoon into small bowl. Top with raspberries, bananas, mini chocolate chips and sliced almonds. Mix it up! Instead of raspberries and bananas, choose another fresh fruit like strawberries or blueberries. 

PLAY Tip: Drop in a spoonful of peanut butter or almond butter for an extra protein kick.


Local Mom: Emily Bose
Owner of Emmabean Lunchbox
Fave Brain Food Lunch:
Power Wrap

Emily Bose, co-founder of Emmabean, a local food company that launched a kid-friendly product called the Emmabean Lunchbox, knows how to pack a lunch with a punch. According to the mom of Xandy (9), Coco (8) and Mickey (6), “I don’t know what my family would do without hummus. It’s a great go-to condiment that provides healthy fat and protein to fuel our kids in a positive way. Our roasted beet hummus is a fun take on traditional hummus. Its vibrant color, natural sweetness and extra vitamins make it a winner all around.”

Beet Hummus & Chicken Wrap


  • Whole grain tortillas
  • Grilled or roasted organic chicken breasts cut in strips
  • Tomatoes, chopped
  • Cucumbers, chopped
  • Lettuce
  • Crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 medium beet
  • 1 15-ounce can organic chickpeas, drained
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 2 tbsp. tahini
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Beet hummus will stay good in the refrigerator for up to one week!

Local Mom: Renee Seltzer
Founder of Feeding My Kid
Fave Brain Food Dinner:
Guac ‘n’ Cheese

Renee Seltzer is the founder of Feeding My Kid, which offers hundreds of recipes that make mealtime planning easier. When her twins, Warren (2) and Nora (2), grew from babies into toddlers, she became acutely aware of how nutrition can affect brain and nervous system development. “I made it a personal mission to reinvent children’s favorite foods into healthier alternatives,” she says. “Brain foods in this delish Guac ‘n’ Cheese recipe include whole grains, spinach, avocado, flax seeds and hemp seeds.”

Guac n’ Cheese (Green Macaroni and Cheese)


  • 2 cups dry, whole wheat or sprouted pasta shells
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup whole milk yogurt
  • 1 cup frozen spinach
  • 1 cup avocado (or guacamole)
  • 1 tbsp. hemp seeds
  • 2-3 tbsp. ground flax seeds


Cook pasta until al dente. Drain but do not rinse. Blend frozen spinach and avocado in a food processor until well mixed. Heat milk, cheese and salt over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until cheese melts and a creamy sauce forms. Add blended spinach and avocado to sauce and mix well. Turn heat to low and slowly add whole milk yogurt. Fold in pasta shells, flax seeds and hemp seeds. Mix to coat well.

PLAY Tip: Pump up the nutritional value of your food with superfood add-ins like flax seeds, hemp seeds and chia seeds. 

Looking for more ideas for healthy recipes? Check out feedingmykid.com and produceforkids.com for recipes, cooking tips and kid-friendly food forums.

Written by
Tracey C. Velt

Tracey C. Velt is a married mom of two children living in Heathrow. She's a UCF graduate and has been the editor-in-chief of regional and statewide magazines. In 2004, she start her own freelance writing and editing business, Tracey Velt Consulting. She's also a regular contributor of PLAYGROUND Magazine.

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Written by Tracey C. Velt


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