With back to school upon us, now is the perfect time to make sure students are eating the most nutritious and brain-growing food possible. What better food to kick start a developing mind than superfoods?

For the unaware, a superfood is defined as “a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being.”

While there is no set criteria for what defines a superfood, generally they tend to be plant based and are more nutrient dense than typical foods.

Start the year strong with these superfoods sure to get your kids off on the right foot.

Kale

Along with being packed with vitamin A, vitamin C, Vitamin K, protein, and Calcium, kale is busting at the seams with antioxidants. In fact, kale is a leading vegetable in the ORAC ratings. Oxygen radical absorbance capacity, or ORAC, is a way of measuring antioxidant levels in various foods.

Mix up a traditional garden or Caesar salad with kale instead of lettuce. Kale chips have grown in popularity recently and offer a healthier alternative than chips (baked chips included).

Greek Yogurt

Not just packed with protein, Greek yogurt is a great source of probiotics. Also called “good bacteria”, probiotics help with breaking down nutrients and fighting off viruses. Even better, swap in Greek yogurt to replace sour cream or mayonnaise. Kids can be picky when it comes to fruit so offering some yogurt to dip fruit in can help to win over picky eaters.

Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a great superfood because you can prepare it so many ways. Mix it with Greek yogurt (see above) to make protein-dense overnight oats or add some cinnamon for a sweeter treat.

oatmeal - superfood

With 4 grams of fiber per serving, oatmeal has been shown to lower cholesterol and reduce heart disease. While those might not be pressing concerns for most students, the fact that it can be served hot or cold, sweet or savory, or anything in between makes oatmeal a low cost, low headache superfood.

Pumpkin

Tie this superfood in to your holiday meals as a seasonal treat. Much like carrots, pumpkins contain beta-cartone, a carotenoid essential for eye health. You’ll be happy to know that even canned pumpkin offers 7 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein per cup.

Don’t forget the seeds. Make an activity out of scooping the seeds then serve them baked the next day for lunch.

Cauliflower

Like oatmeal, cauliflower can be a sneaky shapeshifter. With a little work, cauliflower can be turned into everything from pizza to brownies.

Cauliflower mashed potatoes can be a great way to add extra vegetables to students’ diets while at the same time offering them a food item they love.

Interested in sharing your school’s menu while letting parents see everything front nutritional information to ingredients and allergens? Click on the button below and see how SchoolCafe makes menu publishing as simple as a click.

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