Health, Food & Nutrition

3 Focus-Sharpening Recipes for Your Child

These healthy, easy-to-make dishes are rich in protein and taste appeal. Plus, get a week’s worth of allergen-free menus the whole family will love!

Son Helping Father To Prepare Vegetables For Meal In Kitchen


English Muffin Wake-Up

Serve this tasty English muffin meal with fruit or a small glass of orange or tomato juice. This high-protein breakfast will keep your child alert and calm all morning!


1 100% whole-wheat English muffin
2 or 3 pieces sliced ham (nitrate-free)
1 or 2 eggs, poached
1 or 2 slices cheddar cheese


Split English muffin with a fork and toast in toaster. Fold up 2 or 3 pieces of ham so that the slices fit on the English muffin. Put 1 or 2 poached eggs on top of the ham. Place a slice or two of cheddar cheese on top and put under the broiler until cheese melts. Top with remaining English muffin half.

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Energy-Enhancing Chili

This recipe is quick, inexpensive, and nutritious. The kidney beans, canola oil, and flaxseeds are good sources of essential omega-3 fatty acids. The meat and kidney beans supply lots of protein. Pack chili in a wide-mouth Thermos to keep warm for lunch.


1 pound lean ground meat
1 19-ounce can kidney beans, drained, 2/3 cup liquid reserved
1 15-ounce can tomato puree
1 tablespoon dry minced onion
1 or 2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 cup ground flaxseed (optional)

Lightly brown meat in a hot, nonstick pan; drain off fat. Stir in remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil and reduce heat; cover. Simmer 10 minutes.


Stay-Alert Chicken Nuggets

These crunchy chicken nuggets are baked, not fried. Leftovers can be packed in a lunch bag.


1 cup Grape Nuts®
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 tablespoon canola oil
3 boneless chicken breasts, skinned
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten


Preheat oven to 450°F. Grind Grape Nuts in a food processor until grains are half as large. In a shallow bowl, add salt and poultry seasoning to Grape Nuts and mix well. Put whole-wheat flour in another shallow bowl and beaten eggs in a third bowl. Cut chicken into desired pieces.

Place a wire rack on a baking sheet and spray with canola cooking oil. Dip chicken pieces in whole-wheat flour, then eggs, then Grape Nuts mixture; place on rack. Bake chicken nuggets for 10 minutes; breasts for 15-20 minutes. Wrap leftovers in waxed paper and refrigerate. Reheat in oven.

[How Nutrition Harmonizes the ADHD Brain]

Your ADHD-Friendly Meal Plan

Start you child on an allergen-free diet with a week’s worth of delicious dishes, all free of gluten, casein, soy, corn, egg, and peanuts.

Recipes from Dionne Detraz, RD, University of San Francisco Medical Center


  • Hot rice cereal with almonds, pumpkin seeds, cinnamon, and strawberries
  • Chicken or turkey sausage with sautéed potatoes
  • Gluten-free (GF) cereal with added nuts or seeds, fruit †and unsweetened rice, almond or coconut milk
  • Smoothie with unsweetened rice, almond or coconut milk, fruit, baby spinach, or baby kale plus nuts & chia seeds
  • GF oatmeal with nuts or seeds, cinnamon, and fruit
  • Almond or coconut milk yogurt with GF granola and fruit
  • Breakfast sandwich with Canadian bacon, avocado, and tomato on a GF English muffin


  • Nitrate-free turkey or ham slices with rice crackers, baby carrots and pear slices
  • Nut butter sandwich (almond, walnut, cashew or sunflower seed) and 100% fruit spread on gluten-free (GF) bread with bell peppers and a clementine or mandarin
  • Brown rice pasta with tomato sauce or olive oil and steamed broccoli
  • Tuna mixed with vegan mayonnaise on GF bread or with rice crackers plus cucumbers and apples
  • Quesadilla with rice cheese and rice tortillas plus avocado and baby carrots
  • Lentil soup with a green salad and piece of fruit
  • Hummus with GF flatbread or rice crackers plus olives, cucumbers, and grapes


  • Piece of fruit and small handful of walnuts (or other nut besides peanuts)
  • Baby carrots and hummus* (can use any raw veggie: bell pepper, cherry tomato, cucumber, jicama) *Substitute any bean dip for hummus
  • Sliced apple and nut butter
  • Beef or turkey jerky with sweet potato, kale, or other veggie chip
  • Seaweed and unsweetened applesauce
  • Celery with nut butter and raisins
  • Brown rice cake with nut butter or hummus 


  • Grilled or baked chicken breast with brown rice & sautéed veggies in olive oil
  • Grilled or baked salmon with quinoa and steamed veggies or salad
  • Lean hamburger on a gluten-free (GF) bun (vegan mayo, mustard or ketchup are OK) with baked sweet potato and salad
  • Black bean chili with GF/vegan corn bread (Pamela’s makes a good one)
  • Stir-fry with mixed veggies and shrimp over rice noodles with coconut aminos
  • Roast chicken with roasted potatoes, carrots, and turnips plus steamed veggies or a salad
  • Turkey fajitas with salsa and avocado on GF/rice tortillas with a salad or other steamed veggie


  • Banana ice cream (frozen banana blended)
  • Chocolate pudding (with avocado, honey, coconut milk & cocoa powder)
  • Smores (GF graham crackers, Enjoy Life chocolate, and homemade marshmallows)
  • Fruit crumble (with fruit, coconut oil, brown sugar, cinnamon, oats, and rice flour)
  • Strawberries with coconut whipped cream
  • Rice Krispy Treats (with GF rice crisps, brown rice syrup, sunflower butter and vanilla)
  • Peach Melba (with peaches and coconut, almond, or rice milk ice cream)