Nuts are a great addition to your child's diet, and not just for their delicious taste! They are packed with essential nutrients that support healthy brain development and cognitive function.
The brain develops rapidly during the first few years of life, and proper nutrition is essential for healthy brain development! Essential nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, vitamin E, and iron play a crucial role in brain development and function. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats can support brain health and cognitive function – in fact nuts are especially nutrient-dense when it comes to brain food!
This post will expand on the nutrition benefits of the top four brain-boosting nut butters for kids: macadamia, pistachio, hazelnut, and almond butter, along with some fun and easy snack ideas that your kiddos will love!
Macadamia butter is a rich and creamy nut butter that is high in healthy monounsaturated fats, which are essential for brain development and function. Macadamia nuts also contain magnesium, which is important for supporting healthy nerve function and promoting relaxation, in addition to Vitamin E, manganese, and thiamine.
Macadamia Butter Kid-Friendly Snack Ideas
- Spread macadamia butter on apple slices or celery sticks for a delicious and healthy snack.
- Mix up a batch of these macadamia cookie dough bites
- Blend up a macadamia cookie dough blizzard
- Strawberry cheesecake fruit dip with macadamia butter... made with 5 simple ingredients!
Pistachio butter is a delicious and nutritious antioxidant-packed nut butter! Antioxidants help to protect the brain from oxidative stress and inflammation. In addition, pistachios are also a good source of vitamin B6, which is also essential for healthy brain development.
Two carotenoids - lutein and zeaxanthin are responsible for the green hue of pistachios, along with chlorophyll. Lutein and zeaxanthin help to support eye health, but have also recently been found to support cognitive health by increasing blood flow to the brain. (source)
Pistachio Butter Kid-Friendly Snack Ideas
- Spread pistachio butter on whole-grain toast for a quick and easy breakfast or snack.
- Mix up this chocolate pistachio butter pudding – made with 5 simple ingredients, this healthy pudding is packed with brain-boosting healthy fats thanks to the the pistachios and avocado!
- Add pistachio butter to homemade basil pesto – serve on chickpea pasta for a boost of plant-based protein
Hazelnut butter is a rich and creamy nut butter that is high in healthy fats and antioxidants. Hazelnuts are also a good source of vitamin E, which is important for healthy brain function and development.
The skin of hazelnuts is one of the best sources of polyphenolic compounds, which have 25 x the antioxidant capacity of blackberries, 10 x the antioxidant capacity of espresso! A diet rich in antioxidants reduces oxidative stress, lowering the risk of chronic diseases later in life.
Hazelnut Butter Kid-Friendly Snack Ideas
- Spread hazelnut butter on rice cakes and top with sliced bananas for a healthy and delicious snack.
- Mix up a batch of these refined sugar free and gluten-free hazelnut butter brownies
- Hazelnut butter banana muffins made with almond flour and sweetened with banana and maple syrup – snack time doesn't get any more delicious than this!
- Craving nutella? Try this hazelnut butter chocolate chia pudding!
Almond butter is a nutritious nut butter for kiddos as it is high in healthy monounsaturated fats and protein. Almonds are also a good source of vitamin E, which is important for healthy brain development and function.
Almonds are also a great source of magnesium - with one ounce providing 80 mg of magnesium. This essential mineral is needed in over 300 chemical reactions in the body. It is involved in muscle function, maintaining blood pressure, bone growth, producing energy, DNA synthesis and more. Magnesium helps to transport calcium and potassium across cellular membranes and is therefore directly involved in conducting nerve impulses to the brain, as well as muscle contraction!
Almond Butter Kid-Friendly Snack ideas
- Spread almond butter on celery sticks and top with raisins for a fun and healthy snack that kids will love.
- This high protein chocolate fruit dip is vegan, gluten-free, paleo and most importantly delicious. Kids will love dipping fresh fruit and berries into this chocolaty snack!
- Need a fun + healthy birthday dessert? Try these chocolate almond baked donuts!
- These chocolate almond butter cups are a classic – easy, delicious, and they can be customized with your favourite nut butter such as pistachio, hazelnut or macadamia nut butter!
Incorporating these brain-boosting nut butters into your child's diet can help support their cognitive development and overall health. Remember to choose natural or organic nut butters without added sugars or oils for the most nutritional benefits.
Try out these delicious snack ideas, or get creative and come up with your own nut butter creations! We'd love to see how you incorporate our single-ingredient organic nut butters into your kiddo's snacking routine. Be sure to tag us @nomz on social media to share your healthy kid-friendly snack ideas with us!