Power Foods for Families On-The-Go

By Patricia Jean-Vézina on September 8 / 2015

[Families, Nutrition, Recipes]Comments

It’s that time of year again! With the end of summer comes the end of holidays and getaways – and a return to the hectic everyday schedule of school and activities.

And for many families, it’s also the start of long weekends (for tryouts), extra-early mornings (for practices), shopping excursions (to replace equipment that doesn’t fit since the last growth spurt), and the endless challenge of balancing drop-offs, pick-ups and everything in between.

Add that to the constant struggle of trying to keep your kids healthy and energized when your family is always on the go – and that’s a lot to have on one plate!

To make things a little easier – and to make sure that everything on your plate powers up the whole family – here are four quick and tasty snack recipes packed with protein and other superfoods! They can even be prepared ahead of time and enjoyed in the car on your way to the next game or practice.

Bonus: these recipes are simple to make and created for your kids to enjoy – so enlist the help of your athlete and sneak in a little quality time!




Power Morning Muffins

chia muffins

I love this recipe for energy-boosting breakfast muffins.  So easy and quick (I even make them in the morning before work). Also make for a great post game snack!

  • ¾ cup gluten free oat flour (basically just take whole rolled oats and put them in the blender and process until they make a flour)
  • ½ cup chia seeds
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup non-dairy milk (or regular milk)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 300*F. Line 6 muffin cups with parchment paper or silicone inserts. In a large bowl combine oat flour, chia seeds, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Add maple syrup, milk, vanilla and stir until combined.  The batter will be runny but this is normal. Spoon the batter into muffin pan filling to the top of the cavity.

Bake for 22 to 26 minutes, until firm to the touch. A toothpick should come out clean.

Cool the muffins in the pan for about 10 minutes, and then invert onto a cooling rack (I don’t actually do this and it’s fine.  Just let them cool enough for them to pop out)

Enjoy with a homemade and healthy jam or some nut butter.

What’s so great about chia?  High in good fats, they help to lower muscle soreness after a tough workout.  They also keep your blood sugar in check so that you’re not moody or craving sugary foods.  High in anti-oxidants, they help your body fight off any nasty cold or allergies that might be coming your way!  Add them to any of your salads, yogurts or smoothies for extra protein.



Chocolate Maple Energy Balls

Try this simple-to-prepare and balanced sweet snack to keep your energy lifted and your mind at ease knowing that you’re eating a healthy alternative to store bought desserts.  These are so easy that my kids even make them with me! You can change them up a bit by using other nut butters, adding a 1/2 cup of cocoa or using different seeds.

Tahini is a paste made from ground sesame seeds and oil (preferable olive oil).  You can make your own or find it in the international aisle of your grocery store.  It’s also available in health food stores.

  • ¾ cup cashew coconut butter
  • ¼ cup tahini (sesame seed butter)
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup oat bran
  • 1/2 cup ground flax seeds
  • 1 cup sesame seeds
  • ¼ cup chocolate protein powder (I used Hemp protein)
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut (optional)

I generally like to keep things simple so I just combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well with my fingers (lots of fun – good stress relief – great with kids).  Then roll into bite sized balls that you can just pop in your mouth for a quick snack!   Keep refrigerated in a closed container for up to 2 weeks.

Recipe adapted from How it All Vegan?


Protein Power Smoothie

Hemp Seeds are a great wchocolate hemp smoothieay to power up your protein! 3 Tablespoons contain 10 grams that can be added to any smoothie, salad or even on top of popcorn! This smoothie is combined with healthy fat from coconut oil to help keep you feeling balanced!

Fun tip: you can easily turn these into smoothie-pops by pouring the prepared mixture into a popsicle mold – or you could even use an ice cube tray and popsicle sticks!

Prep. Time: 5 min. | Cook Time: 0 min. | Total Time: 5 min. | Servings: 2 | Serving Size: ~2 cups

  • 5 cups water + 4-6 ice cubes “”
  • 6 Tbsp. hemp seeds or 1 scoop protein powder (I like the Vega line of protein powder – available in most grocery stores)
  • ½ cup almonds (*soaked 30 minutes +, optional)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2-3 dates or 2 tbsp maple syrup (optional)
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (optional)

Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.  Add more water or ice to create your desired consistency.  Enjoy!

Note: Soaking your nuts & seeds (the longer the better i.e. overnight) helps to activate them, making them easier for your body to digest.


Health By Chocolate Cookies

double chocolate cookies


Spinach… in my cookies? Not to worry, you won’t taste a thing.  And spinach makes you strong!  Filled with B vitamins, vitamin C and iron – it’s a superfood to make you feel super every day!

Step 1 – Purple Purée
  • 3 cups raw spinach
  • 1 ½ cups fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 3-4 tbsp water


Bring spinach to a boil and simmer on low heat for 10 minutes. Drain and press out excess water.

Fill blender with blueberries, cooked spinach, lemon juice and water and puree on high until smooth.  Add more water if needed.

Will store in refrigerator up to 2 days or you can freeze in ¼ cup portions.

Step 2 – Health-by-Chocolate Cookies
  • 1 cup brown rice flour (or your choice – I used Bob’s Mill All Purpose Gluten Free Baking Flour)
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 8 tbsp unsalted butter or coconut oil
  • ½ cup organic cane sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 6 tbsp Purple Purée
  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Optional: ½ cup dried blueberries or chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 375*F.  Remove butter from refrigerator to let soften.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter (or coconut oil) and sugar until creamy.  Beat in egg, vanilla, and Purple Purée.  Mix in dry ingredients on low speed.  Stir in chocolate chips (and optional ingredients).

Make two-bite cookies by dropping rounded half-teaspoonfuls, spaced 2 inches apart, onto nonstick or parchment lined baking sheets.

Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until golden brown.  Let cool on metal rack.

Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature.

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