Out of answers for “What’s for supper tonight?” Check out the following energy-boosting dinners, perfect for when your little athlete or budding scholar needs a brain and body boost.
1. Turkey Burgers and Sweet Potato “Fries”
Fatigue-fighting sweet potatoes are a high-quality carb rich in vitamin C and beta-carotene. They’re irresistible when you cut them into strips, coat with a drizzle of olive oil and salt, and bake them until crunchy and golden outside and soft inside. Plate with turkey burgers and steamed broccoli, for a healthy version of a fast-food dinner.
2. Sage-Rubbed Boneless Pork Loin
Sage contains compounds that are important for optimal brain function, and it pairs deliciously with pork. Rub a boneless pork loin with sage, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder, and roast at 350°F for an hour or until desired degree of doneness. Serve this tender, flavorful meat sliced thin with steamed green beans and steamed new potatoes.
3. Flank Steak and Snow Pea Stir-Fry with Brown Rice
Cook up a big batch of brown rice at the beginning of the week and serve it with several dishes, including this quick, easy, and colorful stir-fry. Make this dish with flank steak—slice it thin into 2-inch strips. Use snow peas or any fresh veggies you have on hand. Keep the Asian theme going at the end of the meal with a fortune cookie and fresh fruit (go with your kid’s favorite).
4. Crunchy Chicken Salad with Pumpkin Seeds
Zinc-packed pumpkin seeds are delicious for snacking—but you can also toss them into a main-dish salad to add crunch and color. Use several different types of lettuce; diced, cooked chicken; crunchy cukes; cherry tomatoes; and pumpkin seeds. This is great with a creamy balsamic dressing. Add mini corn muffins and grapes on the side.
5. Garlicky Broiled Flank Steak
Kids love steak, and while you wouldn’t want to serve red meat every night, it is excellent for helping to keep up your child’s iron levels. It’s also high in vitamin B12 and, of course, protein. Treat your child to mashed potatoes on steak night, along with a salad topped with his favorite dressing.
6. Maple-Glazed Salmon
Fatty fish like sardines and salmon are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which may improve mental focus. While not all kids will go for sardines, they love salmon when it’s topped with a maple glaze and baked until flavorful and moist. Its beautiful pink color makes it a lovely addition to a plate. Serve with noodles drizzled with olive oil and a salad made with spinach (loaded with folic acid, which may help with memory).
7. Turkey Meatloaf with Three-Color Savory Pancakes
Beets contain natural nitrates that boost blood flow to the brain. While they are delicious grated raw and used in salads, or oven roasted, a more kid-friendly way to serve beets is in carrot-beet pancakes. Use a basic potato-pancake recipe but substitute grated beet and carrot for some of the potato. Fry the pancakes in olive oil. These are delicious alongside turkey meatloaf and baby carrots with your child’s favorite dip.