Kids & Nutrition

When my child was in preschool, she used to eat everything. Fast forward a couple of years, and the healthy foods we offered were met with pouty defiance. I can’t even blame Happy Meal marketing or commercials for dinosaur nuggets (those would be a favorite later) because we had ditched cable. Somehow and suddenly, any food that contained a measurable amount of nutritional value was given a thumbs down. How did this happen?!

I don’t know the answer to that, but these days I put my energies into finding healthy foods that my child won’t veto. What I’ve discovered is that there’s a sweet spot somewhere in between presentation and content. In other words, the food has to be visually appealing as well as flavorful. Bonus points for giving her options (think: toppings) to choose from. 

One of our go to lunch dishes is homemade ramen. In fact, my child will often make this for herself for breakfast! And when I say “make this for herself” I mean that I do the entirety of the prep ahead of time, and she puts the ingredients together. Just to be clear. Because teenagers, bless their hearts, are Captains Of Convenience.

The beauty of ramen is that it’s flavorful, noodle-y (this really should be a word), and—with quality ingredients—healthy. It’s also pretty to look at when it’s done. So, it checks a lot of boxes, besides being easy to put together.

The basic idea is this: a nutritious bone broth (vegan option: miso or vegetable broth), noodles (GF peeps can use rice noodles), numerous colorful raw veggies sliced thin, and a sliced hard boiled egg (or cubed tofu) for extra protein. The deliciousness of the seasonings and the allure of warm noodles outweighs my child’s general distaste for vegetables. Also, raw veggies seem to go over much better than cooked in my experience, so this dish is actually one of her favorites. 

Maybe your kiddo will give this a try…please let us know!


Shopping tip: 

  • Your local Asian food market will have better prices on certain ingredients like tamari and dry noodles. 


Prep tips:

  • Slice up enough veggies for a few servings and store in a container in the fridge so you can grab and go during the week. Ditto on the eggs—boil and peel. With the prep done in advance, this meal is done within five minutes.
  • If you sauté fresh garlic and ginger rather than using powdered, the dish will be yummier, but for teenage cooks—or if you’re short on time—powdered may be more realistic.


Kathryn’s Kid-Friendly Ramen

(Makes one serving)

Ingredients: (seasonings are adjustable +/- according to preference)

  • 1 serving dry Asian style noodles*
  • 1.5C organic bone broth^
  • 1 tsp low sodium tamari or coconut aminos
  • A couple of sprinkles (about 1/8 tsp) of Trader Joe’s “Mushroom & Company Umami Seasoning Blend”
  • A couple of sprinkles of ginger powder (or 1/4 inch fresh peeled & minced ginger)
  • A couple of sprinkles of garlic powder (or 1 small clove fresh peeled & minced garlic)

* GF option: rice noodles (King Soba makes an organic brown rice ramen.)

^ Vegan option: vegetable or miso broth

Toppings: (Can be presented in ramekins or arranged on a tray so that your child can choose their own)

  • Assorted raw vegetables, sliced thin: Carrots, celery, mushrooms, red pepper, snow or snap peas, bean sprouts, broccoli, baby bok choy, shredded red cabbage, baby spinach…
  • 1 stalk chopped green onion
  • A drizzle of dark sesame oil
  • 1 peeled hard boiled egg, sliced in half (vegan option: cubed tofu)
  • Black sesame seeds


  • Ramen bowl (any deep soup bowl will do)
  • Chopsticks (There are training chopsticks for kids or adults like me who haven’t mastered regular ones.) 


  • In a small saucepan, heat broth on medium heat. (If you are using fresh ginger and garlic, sauté those in a small amount of sesame oil for 2-3 minutes prior to adding the bone broth to the pot.)
  • Add Umami seasoning blend to the warm broth. If you going with powdered garlic and ginger, now is the time to add those as well.
  • Once broth comes to a boil, add dry ramen noodles and cook according to package directions. (Usually about 4 minutes, depending on thickness)
  • When the noodles are done, turn off heat and stir in tamari.
  • Pour into a deep bowl, add a drizzle of dark sesame oil and let your kids arrange their veggie and protein choices on top.
  • A dash of black sesame seeds and green onion add fanciness, if your child approves.


-by Kathryn Yingst, QFH Front Desk


Get Ready For Back to School

Could it really be that our children, teens, young adults and even some of us adults/parents will be headed back to in person learning? I hope so! Currently, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all kids 2 years old and up return to in person learning for the fall. At this point they are recommending everyone be masked regardless of vaccine status, but stay tuned…

How do we prepare our children and ourselves for the return to full week in person learning? I want to take a minute to acknowledge with gratitude my families and all they have accomplished this last year, the good, the not so good and the fantastic! I am proud of all of us. I am a believer in mindfulness and mindset to bring a positive outcome. To start this we begin to dialogue with our children/teens about all that we have to look forward to, new friends, sports, clubs, learning, time at recess, new teachers…

Then we move to specifics:

  • How can we improve our general health and immune function?
  • How can we improve our energy?
  • How can we help our kids focus during in person learning?

All three of the above questions can be answered by improving sleep, eating a whole foods based healthy diet and exercising every day.



Begin to adjust your sleep schedules the week before going back to school (see tips below from Dr. Christoforou).


Eat a healthy, diverse diet every day, even when time is limited. Start coming up with breakfasts, lunches and dinners that incorporate 5-7 servings of vegetables and fruits daily. That means every meal, snack and treat counts: a breakfast with a solid amount of protein, some whole grains, a vegetable or a fruit. Increasing protein, fiber and healthy fats at breakfast will help our kids sustain their brain power and mood while at school. School snacks should be healthy- avoid processed foods and look to apple slices with a cheese stick, or berries and almonds. Excellent nutrition throughout the day will help focus, energy, mood and immune function

Exercise: Stay active, get outside for playtime, stay in a learning, growth mindset every day. Sports are a great way to help your kids stay healthy, happy and engaged. 


For children, I recommend a good quality multivitamin daily and with the start of the cold and flu season. 

I like using some elderberry syrup with a powdered vitamin C mixed in water for a breakfast drink. 

I recommend fish oil daily for focus and immune health.

I also recommend vitamin D as they return to the classroom this fall. Vitamin D should be 1000IU/30lb until you reach 5,000IU. I like to cap it there for daily intake from September-June.

I recommend Zinc daily during the school year, 10-15mg. This is often supplied in a multivitamin, but if you’re using one not on this list, check to see if additional zinc is needed.

In addition to exercise, a low sugar & healthy diet, and plenty of sleep, I recommend  L-theanine before school if additional support for focus is needed

Click here for our generic Pediatric protocol on Fullscript

Click here for our generic Teens protocol on Fullscript

What about COVID?

We have learned a lot this past year and we recommend kids return to school, get plenty of exercise, fresh air, water and eat with health in mind. Decrease the sugar, the processed foods, and sedentary/screen time. Be sure they take their vitamins, including the list above. If your child or teen gets covid, be in touch. Most children have mild cases that look like a common cold.

           Yours in health, 
           -Dr. Quinn