I'm running another workshop this week about children and I want to focus on the nutrients that are absolutely essential for brain health.
Omega 3 fats, or the essential fats, aren't always easy to get in our kids. The main sources are oily fish (mackerel, sardines, salmon, trout, herring) which can have a strong taste, & unless you have insisted they eat them from a young age, it is known to be an area of extreme fussiness...
Salmon is one source of omega 3 fat that kids eat more regularly in my experience. But as prices rise & quality is sometimes unclear, it is great to know there are other sources of these essential fats available, which are easy to incorporate into everyday snacks & meals.
Chia seeds are all the rage & if you don't know much about them, here are some top facts:
1) Unusually for a plant source, they are packed with omega 3 fats, so are important for brain health in our children
2) They contain plenty of calcium for bone & teeth health
3) They form a great protein source & specifically contain the amino acid tryptophan which helps regulate appetite, sleep & improve your mood
4) They are full of fibre
5) They provide more texture than any specific taste
So on that note here is my enticing Chocolate & Chia Seed Cookie recipe:
Melt the wet ingredients gently in a saucepan:
- 25g coconut oil
- 60g butter
- 50g brown sugar
- 30g honey
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
In a bowl mix together the dry ingredients:
- 120g wholemeal spelt flour (or wheat flour if you have that)
- 50g oats
- 50g chia seeds
- 30g ground flaxseeds (optional but gives an added nutritional boost!)
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1tsp cinnamon
- 10g cocoa powder
Add dry ingredients to melted wet ingredients & mix well.
Spoon teaspoonfuls onto a baking tray covered with grease proof paper & flatten slightly with back of the spoon
Bake in preheated oven at 180 degrees C, for 12 mins
When cool sprinkle with icing sugar or melt 50g dark chocolate & drizzle over cookies
Chia seeds can be bought in almost all health food shops nowadays & in some supermarkets.
Other ways to use chia seeds is to sprinkle on foods such as salads, porridge, cereals & add to yoghurt. They look a bit like large poppy seeds & do have a crunch to them, but absorb a lot of moisture so become softer when used in cooking.