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List: Posted: 08/02/11
In order to do well in school, kids need to eat the right kinds of food at the right times throughout the day. Studies show that the correct food choices keep youngsters alert and focused, while other not-so-healthy foods undermine their attention span and ability to concentrate. Teachers can often tell which kids have eaten smart breakfasts and which kids are hungry, undernourished and inattentive. So what kind of food or foods should you feed your child to improve his or her academic motivation?
Fortunately, the formula for brain food is simple. By combining a protein with a carbohydrate at every meal, your son or daughter will have the sustained energy they need to get through the day. It goes without saying that whatever you've read, you should never cut out carbs from your child's diet in the hopes that you are helping them control their weight. Carbs are the 'burning blocks' of your kid's energy, and children need them to fuel their muscles and brains for periods of sustained concentration (such as in the average classroom.) For example, a breakfast of whole wheat toast and eggs is just the right food combination, while a lunch of peanut butter on whole wheat bread is simple and delicious. Eggs and nuts also both contain choline, which is vital for memory function.
Many studies have shown that oatmeal is a great brain food, so if your son or daughter doesn’t like eggs, oatmeal alone is better than many other options. Processed cereals offer little nutrition and pack a huge dose of sugar with every serving, so look for foods that contain 100% whole grains and are sweetened with honey rather than cane sugar. With a little experimentation, you’ll find nutritious food choices that your kids love.
At dinner, make sure that plenty of veggies and fruits are incorporated for nutrition. A dessert of plain sliced strawberries in creamy milk is just the kind of food that kids love, and berry antioxidants help protect the brain and restore it after a long day of learning. And although milk is not necessarily a brain food, the calcium helps contribute to improved blood sugar levels for overall better health. In addition, milk contains large amounts of the amino acid tryptophan, which makes you child feel sleepy - great for helping get them to bed!
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