Eating smarter makes children smarter

There are many theories about eating and diet - we call it nutritional hype.

It, however, is common knowledge that a healthy diet, comprising foods from a variety of natural sources and a balanced look at nutrients, is the way to go. Children need food that feeds their growing bodies and muscles as well as food that helps build brain power. Nutritionally, they need food for physical energy and also for cognition, focus and memory. Remember learners spend a good deal of their day in a discovery filled environment and there are a few foods considered elite as far as nutritional choices are concerned.

Implement a few of the following suggestions, perhaps they’ll work for your little hero because studies show that eating smarter makes children smarter – and that’s what you want…

We are aware that wilted broccoli with seared trout isn’t going to happen – not in the lunchbox, anyway, so here are a few appropriate ideas.

Studies show deficiencies in Omega 3, calcium, magnesium can prevent a child from learning and can cause learners to fidget in class. But never self-medicate – get professional advice. Apart from taking supplements remember:

  • oatmeal, with many benefits for the developing brain of a young learner, is a good start to the day – and is a good source of protein as well;
  • berries, cherries and grapes contain antioxidants and phytonutrients that have shown to improve blood flow to the brain and increase neural activity, while the dark-coloured berries contain anthocyanins that may improve memory function;
  • nuts – unless your child has allergies – contain essential fatty acids that help with focus, and iron that provides increased oxygen to the brain for better alertness and the ability to retain information;
  • eggs – the bright coloured yolks contain choline, which helps your child’s brain make acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that may be important for memory recall, and they are rich in fatty acids as well as vitamins B12 and D, imperative for cognitive power;
  • dark chocolate, although bitter, entice your child because it increases blood flow to multiple parts of the brain, and has a healthy minimal amount of caffeine that improves brain function in children;
  • fatty fish – often at the top of the list – includes salmon, trout, albacore tuna, herring, and sardines, all of which are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids;
  • broccoli, packed with powerful plant compounds, including antioxidants is also very high in vitamin K;
  • pumpkin seeds, containing powerful antioxidants that protect the body and brain from free-radical damage, are also an excellent source of magnesium, iron, zinc, and copper;
  • green tea – the caffeine boosts brain function, and the L-theanine, an amino acid that can cross the blood-brain barrier, increases the activity of the neurotransmitter, GABA, that helps reduce anxiety.

For years there have been speculations about foods that hinder the brain – we shall highlight those in the next article. Meanwhile keep eating oats, berries, nuts, eggs, dark chocolate, fish, broccoli, pumpkin seeds – and remember that leafy greens and carrots easily fit into a lunch box.

We are not meant to be perfect – we are meant to be whole. Discover the joy of learning with us…

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