Omega-3s are such an important nutrient for all stages of life. They play a crucial role during pregnancy, and are necessary for infants and small children in order for them to develop correctly. Omega-3s also have many benefits for people in later stages of life. They help keep us on the bright side of life, as they help combat depression.
Because omega-3s are such an important nutrient I am preparing a more detailed post about them, where I will discuss what they are and how to make sure we get enough of them. I will post the article later this week, so make sure you come back to give it a read. I think it will offer you some valuable information you can start implementing straight away.
Energy balls for children?
I know, children are in themselves energy balls, so why the need to feed them with “energy balls”? I actually think that these offer a great snack in the afternoon and can help with concentration and allow our children to keep playing with sustained energy. This recipe is easy quick to make and the balls store well in the fridge. Great to include in your Sunday meal prep for the week ahead! 🙂
This recipe is naturally sweetened with dates, and the rest of the ingredients are all good sources of the omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).
I have often mentioned in my classes and to my clients, that small children have different nutritional needs than adults. One of those needs is increased requirements for fats. Children aged 1 to 3 years should get 30% to 40% of their calories from fat. The kind of fat they consume however, is also important. Unfortunately, most of the food marketed for children does not offer a healthy source of fat, but is rather rich in saturated and hydrogenated fats. Not to mention that most packaged food for children is also very high in sugar. This can lead to weight gain, and depletion of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats. ALA omega-3s are essential fats and have many health benefits, including a healthy heart, lower blood lipid levels and anti-inflammatory properties.
ALA is found in plant foods, such as flax seeds, walnuts, hemp and chia seeds. And yes, almost all of these foods are present in the recipe below! 🙂
A fun activity for children
If you have a small child, I invite you to try this recipe with them. They will have fun preparing the recipe as the dough has a similar texture of a playdoh. My daughter really enjoyed rolling the balls and then dipping them in hemp seeds. You can even spread the dough and cut it with a cookie cutter to make different shapes. Unleash your creativity and just have fun.
And here’s how to make these super easy and healthy energy balls:
Omega-3 rich energy balls
- 6 Medjool dates, pitted
- 100g raw walnuts
- 2 tbsp hemp seeds, plus more for decorating
- 2 tbsp ground flax seeds
- 1 tsp cacao
- dash of sea salt (skip if you’re making it for small children)
- Place the dates, walnuts, hemp seeds, flax meal and cacao in a high speed food processor. Blend until a dough is formed. It should stick together in a ball.
- With your clean hands, form little balls and place on a plate.
- Roll the balls in a small plate with hemp seeds.
- Place the energy balls in the fridge to firm up.
- Store for 4 to 5 days in the fridge.