Eight Foods That Will Give You Enough Energy to Keep Up With Your Kids


Are you a mom who has

  • a newborn who keeps you up all night?
  • a toddler who finds every potentially dangerous object in your house everytime you blink?
  • a two-year-old? That’s all. 
  • a strong-willed preschooler who exercises her right to say no every chance she can get?
  • a sensitive child who melts down every single time you get her dressed? How dare those clothes manufacturers put seams and itchy or too-tight material in their products? Does he turn into an exorcist when you strap him into his car seat?  How dare you put all your energy into keeping him from flying out of the car in case of an accident?!
  • an elementary student who is struggling with his homework? Let’s be honest, you are struggling even more because you can’t figure out how to help him with simple math you learned 25 years ago.
  • siblings who cause a scene and fight over everything? Seriously, EVERYTHING. And especially on those rare occasions when you are actually trying to socialize?
  • a teenager? Period.  
  • a teenager with a drivers license and a boyfriend or girlfriend? I’ll be honest, I can’t even go there yet.  

If you answered yes to any of these, you need loads of energy to get you through the day! When you feel like you could easily fall asleep sitting on the toilet, it is time for you to get some nutrient-dense foods in your system.

Foods That Will Give You a Quick Boost of Energy Without the Dreaded Crash


Oatmeal is one of the easiest and most delicious meals ever. Oatmeal contains the healthy type of carbs that are a great source of energy. They help metabolize the energy in your body by providing nutrients like vitamin B, thiamine, folate and niacin. Oatmeal is personalized energy! You can throw in whatever ingredients you like. To enjoy a warm bowl of delicious oatmeal, try this recipe:

Boil two scoops of oatmeal in a pinch of salt, a cup of water, and two tablespoons of peanut butter. Cook until the water is absorbed and it looks a little soupy. You can even sprinkle some black pepper on the top for additional taste and seasoning.

We are heading into (at least I hope) warm weather and hot oatmeal might not be your thing right now. No worries! You can try the trendy overnight oats. A simple Google search will give you more recipes than you’ll know what to do with.  

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are loaded with protein, fiber, and healthy fats. They will fill you up without making you feel bloated and give you tons of energy.  

Try to avoid processed nuts that have been roasted, salted and sugared. The processing ruins most of the vitamins and minerals, and the added salt and sugar is just not good for you.  uy them raw and roast them yourself with sea salt and black pepper. If you want to add a little sweetness, use maple syrup or coconut sugar. They are healthier alternatives to processed white sugar.  

If you don’t like the taste of whole, raw nuts and you have no desire to roast them yourself, try chopping raw nuts up and adding them to foods you already eat. Sprinkle chopped nuts on oatmeal, yogurt, baked goods, and salads for a little crunch and nutritional boost.  

If you really want some tasty nuts that have been perfectly seasoned and roasted and are completely averse to DIY, try freshly prepared nuts. Whole Foods has a great selection of freshly roasted nuts to choose from.


Yogurt may be an easy thing to snack on, but it also provides your body with an incredible amount of energy. It’s milk, lactose, and low sugar levels are responsible for the energy, and the protein helps slow food digestion so you can store the energy for a longer period of time.

Avoid flavored yogurts that are full of sugar and artificial ingredients. These added ingredients will zap you of energy and slow you down. You need all the speed you can get when you’re chasing your toddler!

Start with plain yogurt (organic is a better choice) and add some honey or maple syrup for sweetness. Then add your own favorite toppings like fresh fruit, granola, chopped nuts and seeds, and maybe a few dark chocolate chips.   


Ok, water isn’t a food, but it is equally important. Dehydration causes fatigue. Did you know caffeinated drinks like coffee, tea, and soda actually dehydrate you? 

I would never tell a momma to give up her cup of joe! But I would tell her to chase it down with a glass of water.  

Do you think water is boring and tasteless? Try adding some lemon, lime, cucumber or mint to your water. They not only make your water tastier, they add nutrition (and energy) to your water. Win-win!


This Mediterranean dish is made from various herbs, spices, and chickpeas. It also contains olive oil, lemon juice, and sesame seed paste. These ingredients provide the nutrients and healthy carbs needed to fuel your body during those long, exhausting days. They also contain healthy fats and protein, which means that you will be able to store that energy for a longer period of time.  

You just never know when you’re going to need an extra dose of energy. It might be when you are having fun at the park with your 4-year-old and she starts spitting on the kids on the merry go round. I’ll just say that’s a hypothetical and was never in that situation (insert winking emoji).  


Strawberries contain natural fructose, which gives you a quick yet sustainable boost of energy. You can eat them raw or add them to your oatmeal, acai bowls or smoothies.

We can include all berries here. Berries are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. The natural sugars in fruit provide much-needed glucose to your overworked and fatigued brain.  

It is almost berry picking season here in Columbus. Check out some local farms and get ready to take your kids berry picking. Eat your fresh picked berries to your heart’s content. Although, I would wash them off first. Berries are heavily sprayed with pesticides. You don’t want toxic pesticides messing up your system. 

You can also get fresh-picked berries at the local farmers’ markets. Check them out!


Mitochondria are the powerhouse of cells. Spinach contains nitrates that are responsible for improving the efficiency of mitochondria, helping provide energy to your cells.

Spinach is low in calories and full of nutrition that gives your body tons of energy.  

Try adding spinach to your salads and smoothies. I like to use frozen spinach in my smoothies. Fresh spinach goes bad quickly, and stinky, slimy spinach leaves are a huge turn off! Frozen spinach adds some creaminess to smoothies and the taste will be undetected, especially when mixed with berries.  

Got picky kids who gag at the sight of anything green? Try chopping spinach up really tiny (a food processor works great for this) and add to ground beef, soups, and pasta dishes. You can also puree spinach and add it to baked goods.  


Bananas not only provide your body with energy but also help in storing it. They make a perfect snack before you head to the gym. They are also great for a post workout pick me up.

Like other fruits, bananas are loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants (aka anti-aging), fiber and healthy sugars that fuel your brain and body. They are more filling than other fruits, making them a perfect snack.  

Bananas are inexpensive, easily accessible, and easy to tote around. Keep them on hand for emergency snacking needs.  

Bananas are a great addition to any smoothie. You can also make “ice cream” out of frozen bananas. When your bananas are about to go bad, freeze them instead of tossing them. When the craving for ice cream hits, add some frozen bananas and fruit to your blender with a little bit of liquid (water, milk, almond milk, coconut milk) and whirl away. Jazz it up with honey, vanilla, cocoa powder, chocolate chips, chopped nuts, etc. You will need a high-speed blender for this.  

Try adding some of these foods to your diet and see what happens to your energy levels. You’ll be outperforming your kids in no time!

And don’t forget, to help keep your kids off the naughty list, fill them up with healthy foods. Artificial ingredients in processed foods have a huge impact on growing brains and behavior patterns.

Notice I said “better” behaviors, not perfect.  These are my 3 little ones. They are force-fed lots of healthy foods and they constantly remind me to fuel up and gear up for a long day.  

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Shellie is an Occupational Therapist and Lactation Counselor turned Health Coach. She grew up in Youngstown and moved to Columbus to attend The Ohio State University. Columbus has been her home for the past 25+ years. She has 3 jobs, 1 husband, 3 kids, and 1 fur baby. When she’s not momming or working, she is researching all things related to nutrition and natural health. For that matter, she has an unhealthy relationship with her iPad and is not setting the best example for her kids. Her passion is to help busy moms transform their lifestyles so they can raise strong, healthy and happy families. She blogs about nutrition and natural health at Shelli Bolyard.