brainy foods

I recently received a goodie box from Brainiac and I couldn’t wait to try it all with Maelle!

I love foods that pull double duty–pouches, bars and nut butters are all great snacks, but Brainiac made them even better by adding brain-boosting nutrients! AND they are all conveniently packaged for grabbing on the go–I’d call that TRIPLE duty! (All corniness aside, now that I’m a mama, I REALLY appreciate healthy foods that are easy to store, pack and eat. Fresh fruits and veggies are great, but not always practical. I can’t stash a baggie of grapes and cheese sticks in my stroller as an emergency snack and leave it there.)

As a dietitian and also someone who is just ‘into’ healthy foods, I know a little about which nutrients help our brains. Healthy fats, like Omega-3s, help our brains develop, think and even regulate our mood. Common foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids that you probably already eat are salmon, walnuts and flax seeds. Other nutrients, like choline and lutein, help your brain (and eyes!) and are most commonly found in eggs. In fact, the timing of Brainiac’s box was pure serendipity; I JUST wrote a column for our local paper about eggs, and it mentions choline. You can read it here.

I could spend lots of my precious free time (also known as naptime) brushing up on all the details about the nutrients that help our brains, and precisely how they do that. BUT I DON’T HAVE TO! Brainiac already did, and their website is excellent. They have a team of dietitians (!!!), medical doctors, PhDs, research scientists, etc and the information they present about why Brainiac’s ‘brain fuel’ mix is so important is second-to-none. It’s easy to read and understand (for the readers who want just the bottom line), yet comprehensive and sufficiently ‘science-y’ enough to please those who want to know the how and why.

My box included applesauce pouches in three flavors (plain, strawberry and cinnamon), nut butter pouches in two flavors (honey peanut and chocolate peanut), bars (chocolate chip) and some fruit and vegetable pouches. Maelle and I sampled them before our weekly run group!

Maelle devoured it all! I knew she’d like the pouch, but wasn’t sure about the bar. (She tends to eat most things, and likes bars, but she’s a toddler so…) She ate every last bite! I slathered some of the honey peanut butter on a piece of bread for a wholesome snack that would help me last until after I finished running. It was delicious.

A quick word about pouches: Now that Maelle is older, I don’t offer pouches that often. In order to promote eating more ‘whole’ foods, I limit them to when we’re traveling and she has to eat in the car, or perhaps if she’s in the stroller. That being said, pouches find their way into her hands fairly often 🙂 So, when I buy pouches for her, I make sure they are packed with nutrition. That could be protein or fiber, or something like what Brainiac is doing–adding additional nutrients that can otherwise be hard to get in a toddler’s diet.

This is definitely a product I would purchase in a store and/or online. The bars, nut butters and applesauce pouches are available on Brainiac’s website, and the applesauce pouches are also available on Amazon. When I corresponded with their marketing rep, she said the bars would be back on their website in April (they are currently sold out), and on Amazon and at Walmart in June. The nut butters can be found at some grocery stores and on Amazon, and they are partnering with Whole Foods for an almond butter variety in spring. The fruit/veggie pouches, called Little Brainiac, will be at some grocery stores, their website and Amazon in May. They also have Brainiac Kids ‘Smart Tubes,’ which is a yogurt tube, available on their website. I’ll have to do some shopping!

And if you’ve made it this far without going to Brainiac’s website to check out WHY their ‘brain fuel’ is awesome, here’s that link again:

Disclaimer: I was not paid to write this review; all opinions are my own (and Maelle’s!).

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