Lutein is a powerful antioxidant that promotes healthy eyes.
Lutein filters the light from digital devices, such as
tablets, computers, and smartphones, that kids are exposed to every day. Lutein
can also help strengthen glare tolerance. Leafy greens are high in lutein, but, unfortunately, they’re not frequently eaten by children. One way to change that
is by making kale chips.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Remove the leaves from the stems, and cut the leaves into bite-size pieces. Rinse, and spin dry. Drizzle with olive oil and salt, then bake for 10-15 minutes. Kale chips are a kid-friendly, crunchy snack that can be eaten as is or with salsa.
Vitamin A promotes healthy vision by supporting the retina and helps our eyes adapt to light changes, especially in low light conditions. Kid-friendly foods high in vitamin A include carrots and cantaloupe. It’s important to note that vitamin A content is reduced in foods when cooked, so try to incorporate raw fruits and vegetables whenever possible. Dairy is also a very good source of vitamin A. Yogurt or cottage cheese served with sliced cantaloupe is a good vision-healthy snack, as is raw carrots with spinach dip.
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that can protect against free radicals. Foods rich in vitamin E include nuts, seeds, and avocado. Guacamole is a great way for kids to get vitamin E. Try including onion and tomato in the guacamole, and even pine nuts or sesame seeds, to give it a nice crunch. Baby carrots are great for dipping.
Zeaxanthin protects the eyes from eyestrain that occurs from overuse of computers, tablets, and smartphones. This carotenoid also protects the macula, the part of the eye that allows us to see things in detail such as written text. Spinach and pumpkin are great sources of zeaxanthin. Try including them in a healthy smoothie along with other previously mentioned foods.
This smoothie recipe makes a great afternoon snack on a hot summer day.
VISION HEALTH SMOOTHIE
- ½ Cup pumpkin puree
- 1 frozen banana
- ½ an avocado
- 1 cup of fresh spinach
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice powder
- ½ cup of milk
Blend all ingredients until smooth. If you prefer a thicker smoothie, add ice.