In the last post, we gave you our ultimate ‘to-do’ list ahead of the start of the school year. So you now have that down to a ‘T’, the next concern would be to make sure your child copes with the workload, this academic year. You may have got the extra workbooks and the tutor/tuition centre sorted but did you know, you could also make that difference with the food your child eats?
Yes...that little change in your child’s diet could make all the difference in how your child performs (academically) in school.
We have put together some brain-boosting foods that you can either pack in your child’s lunch box, or incorporate into your child’s diet at home.
It is common knowledge that berries, in general, are just as tasty as they are healthy. They have also been shown to be one of the healthiest foods on the planet, but the blueberries, in particular, are the antioxidant powerhouse and studies have shown that they may actually improve brain function, short-term memory and hand-eye coordination, so definitely not one to be overlooked. Get creative with this wonderful fruit and incorporate it into some of your snacks or dishes for your child. Don’t just stop there, mix things up, using the other berries as well.
Salmon is rich in Omega 3 and contains fatty acids, which are essential for brain growth and function. So, a yummy salmon sandwich for lunch while aiding brain growth and function; a win-win situation.
Egg yolks are an important source of Choline, which is an important part of cell membranes and will, therefore, account for a high percentage of brain mass. Choline is also important for brain and memory function. Please note, that even though choline amounts are more in runnier eggs, it is advisable to make sure that eggs for young children are properly cooked, to avoid food poisoning.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are generally good for brain and heart function but should be eaten moderately, if there are weight concerns. If your child’s school operates a ‘NO NUTS’ policy, then let your child have the pleasure of dealing with them at home, as they make great snacks for in between meals – as long as your child does not have a nut allergy. Get creative and try out seasoned pumpkin seeds instead of crisps, or mix them into sweeter ingredients.
A packed lunch treat in the form of dark chocolate wouldn’t hurt, as studies have shown that eating dark chocolate can actually boost brain power by increasing blood flow to the brain, which in turn would make your child more alert and able to retain more information. The downside being, dark chocolate can be quite bitter and most will prefer milk chocolate, which (unfortunately) does not possess the aforementioned properties. Again, get creative by adding them to cookies, flapjacks etc
These are quite good at alleviating stress and anxiety, thanks to the minerals and vitamins present in these yummy things.
This might be a tricky one to get creative with so, have a look at this link for ideas:
Yoghurt is also up there with avocados when it comes to calming moods, stress etc, so pop a pot of Greek yoghurt into your child’s lunch box. Or even better....sprinkle a couple of blueberries on top, for even greater effect.
Just had to put this one in, even though most of the nutritional benefits (reduced stroke, type 2 diabetes, heart disease etc) may not be of immediate consideration for your child, but they will keep your child fuller for longer. They are like fuel for your body, giving you the energy – for much longer.
Examples of whole grains include: oats, brown rice and popcorn
Note: Whole grains should contain the entire grain (bran, germ and endosperm)
This is another brain boosting and anxiety reducing food which is also tasty. If your child is tired of simply biting in to an apple, get inspired with the recipes in the link below:
Fruit and vegetables
Go for those with rich colours or the dark green veggies as they are usually rich in antioxidants and minerals.
Although not food, water is quite essential for hydration. It maintains the blood flow and transports oxygen to all the parts of our body. On that basis alone, we should be able to reason out the consequences should we not have enough water in us. Water might seem a bit boring to children but you can bring a little zing to the drink by infusing it with fruits, which will give it a more interesting taste as well as that added nutritional benefit. Do away with the fizzy drinks and get creative with water.
There’s still time before school starts, to shake things up on the diet front and what’s good for the goose is also good for the gander right...?
So don’t single your child out when overhauling the menu, do it for the whole family, as we all can benefit from all of the above and it’s more fun that way.
Just a quick disclaimer here:
The content above is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers, with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you may have read on this website.
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