Back to School Brains

Nope, the zombie apocalypse hasn’t hit my house yet – I’m talking about back to school time! Summer is coming to a close, which is usually a pretty exciting time for parents (and slightly less so for the kiddos!).  School is almost in session, guys! With all of the homework, tests and sports practices coming up, this is crunch time for keeping those little brains powerful. So begins the series on back to school brain food!

Give your little guys the best start possible with a seriously powerful smoothie.

Start-Your-Engines Smoothie



  • 1.5 cups vanilla soy milk (or almond, coconut, or rice milk)
  • 1/4 cup whole oats
  • 1 banana, peeled and halved
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen chopped peaches (or any light-colored fruit)
  • 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup ice cubes
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen baby spinach


Pour the milk into a blender jar. Add the oats and banana and blend on high for 15 seconds. Then add the peaches, honey, and vanilla, followed by the ice cubes and then the spinach. Blend on high until smooth, about 45 seconds.

Drink immediately and get ready to use all 100% of that noggin!

Keep the power going through the school day with this delicious lunch option.

Smarty Pants Salmon Burger



  • 2 ears corn
  • 1 pound skinless salmon fillet
  • 3 green onions
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs, divided
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon chopped basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel (yep, another one!)
  • 4 buns
  • Bibb lettuce, for serving


Cut kernels off ears of corn and place in large bowl. Finely chop the salmon and add to bowl. With a fork, gently mix in green onions, egg white, 1/4 cup plain bread crumbs, salt, and 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel. Firmly pack into 4 patties; dredge in 1/4 cup plain bread crumbs and spray with cooking spray.

Cook or grill burgers 6 to 8 minutes or until cooked through, turning over once. In a bowl, mix mayonnaise, basil, and 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel.

Serve burgers on buns with Bibb lettuce and lemon-basil mayonnaise.

(If you’re going GF on this one, remember to check ingredients on bread, bread crumbs and condiments!)

And here’s a great snack for when the kiddos get nibble-y before soccer or when they get home from school.

Take on the World Trail Mix



  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/4 cup dried banana chips
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup cashew nuts
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 3 ounces chocolate chips or pieces

Mix ‘em all together and enjoy! Perfect for on the go brain boosting!

I’d love to hear about your own energy/brain power-recipes – please share with me below!



Photo credit: GoodnewsfarmEzraPoundCake, Wikimedia.
Gourmet Dad
  • Jun Alapag

    how about i could make hamburger you have on your email for lunch break and the smoothie for after schoolwork while waiting on the MTA bus? sounds good? but lol?