Proper nutrition promotes learning! Not only does proper nutrition improve the student’s mood, it also promotes alertness, maintaining attention, participating in classroom activities, learning and recalling effectively. In addition, it reduces absenteeism in the education system.
It’s a good idea to start the day with a meal high in protein. Protein rich foods are said to improve cognitive function and help to sustain energy for a longer period of time. Whole grains also help to sustain energy, as opposed to refined grains found in white bread, cereals and pastas. These tend to quickly spike blood sugar levels which is then followed by an energy crash. These grains are also harder to digest, making us feel sluggish or unmotivated. This is why the gluten-free and grain free diet trends have become so popular. If gluten free is not an option, it is important to be mindful of not adding these refined grains to multiple meals each day. Try adding nuts or peanut butter to breakfast smoothies to increase your child’s daily serving of protein. Nuts also provide a convenient and healthy alternative to crackers, chips and sugary fruit snacks. If nuts are out of the question due to allergies, fibrous vegetables such as celery, broccoli, carrots, cucumber and cauliflower, will also keep them feeling full longer and keep their energy reserve going throughout the day.
For children who tend to be hyperactive, reducing sugar can greatly improve their productivity. This helps promote better memory, focus and comprehension. Sugar is fine in moderation, but it is important to be aware of how much is in those fruit drinks and other snacks you’re giving your kids. You might be surprised at the amount of unnecessary sugar that is added to those fruit juices on our grocery store shelves. Try introducing sugar free options without sugar substitutes in them. Moderation is key, and it’s usually better to exchange processed sugars for natural sugars. Fruits such as blueberries and strawberries have natural sugar and are packed with antioxidants and fiber as well.
Water is a highly underrated component to proper mind and body nutrition. Staying hydrated reduces inflammation of the body and brain, controls energy levels, and affects positive mood, memory, and sharpness. Try to get in the habit of providing an adequate amount of H2O every day and to remind your children of the importance of hydration.
Finally, sleep is probably one of the most important components of healthy brain function. Certain foods, such as bananas and other magnesium-rich foods help promote healthy sleep cycles, thus encouraging better concentration for the day ahead. Try to stay on a consistent bedtime schedule to ensure sleep without disruption. When we get a sufficient amount of rest our bodies and minds have time to reset and repair themselves. Overall, with some small changes in lifestyle and good nutrition practices you can improve your child’s attitude and encourage positive learning habits!
If you’re interested in learning more about how proper nutrition can promote learning in the educational system, visit our friends at Virtual Medical Center for a more in-depth look!
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