Making Healthy Brain Food

Make these fun recipes together and sneak in more vegetables!

Published on January 29, 2021

banana sushi

By Mrs. Farnham (teacher, mom, CMoR member)

Why is it so hard to get a toddler to eat? Some nights the only bites my son takes of his dinner are those he can get as he whizzes by on his bike (which is being ridden in circles inside my house). As parents, we know that kids need healthy food. Brain development in the first years of life can be affected by the foods our wild children eat. It is important to get a mix of protein, whole fruits, vegetables, and whole grains into our children’s diets. This can be, however, much easier said than done. 

One way to get toddlers interested in eating healthy foods is to allow them to help in the kitchen. Yes, I hear myself. Toddler cooking=a mess and tears (maybe from the adult). You are completely right and I will not be the person who tells you that this will be mess-free. Prepare yourself for the mess. Embrace the mess. I promise you the kids will have fun. They might also eat some fruit and protein. Deep breaths.

Banana Sushi

Banana sushi is a fun snack or dessert that requires no actual cooking. See? Not so bad. This recipe comes from Weelicious which has some really great ideas for kids food. 


3-4 bananas, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces

½ cup nut butter (peanut, almond, sunflower)

½ cup whipped cream cheese

Popsicle sticks

Topping ideas (but just see what you already have!):

Crushed cereal

Chia seeds

Cinnamon sugar mix

Shredded coconut

Small chocolate chips or chopped chocolate



Cover the banana pieces in a nut butter or cream cheese using a spoon or butter knife. Then, roll the piece in a topping until all the way covered. My kids had trouble holding the banana pieces so we stuck the popsicle sticks into one end of the banana to make it easier to roll. After the piece is covered, eat it! These are super fun to eat as you make them.

Sneaky Vegetables

Perhaps, like me, you are also looking for ways to get your children to eat more vegetables. Time to kick the kids out of the kitchen so you can get dinner made! My go-to recipe for sneaky vegetables is Veggie Nuggets from Real Mom Nutrition. These nuggets are tasty and quick. Plus, they sneak carrots, broccoli, and eggs into my toddler with little resistance. We are sure to serve with dipping sauces (honey mustard, ketchup, and barbeque) that he gets to pick from. Dipping sauces are a major parenting secret, in my opinion. Somehow having a sauce makes everything more appetizing to my kids. My son even gets off his bike when he gets to help put the sauce on his plate. Whatever it takes!

Cook at CMoR

If your child enjoys cooking, be sure to visit the Diner exhibit at either of CMoR’s locations – downtown or Chesterfield. My kids love to pretend to cook and serve meals. I love getting to sit back and watch without having to clean a kitchen afterwards.

Be sure to share this post and your kitchen creations with us on Facebook or Instagram. I can’t wait to see what you create!