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Nutrition for Cognition

Proper nutrition is essential for the brain to perform at its peak, no matter the age. It then would follow that the food kids eat fuels not only their body, but also their minds. “Research shows that healthy eating can improve children’s concentration and help them do better in the school,” says Janice Baranowski from Baylor University in Houston. “Getting proper nutrients is especially important for young brains that are still growing and developing. The modern paradox, however, is that for all of our modern conveniences and technological advances, children are more unhealthy and deconditioned than ever, and if not managed properly, this can easily lead to unhealthy minds and bodies. The following tips will help start you off in the right direction in giving your kids a healthy, balanced life:

  1.     Make good choices. It stands to reason that what we put into our kids’ bodies is directly linked to how well their minds will grow and operate. To this point, consider a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean protein and dairy. So, forgo the fast food and sugary drinks, and instead re-direct your spending on food that is good for you and your family.

Below are some ideas for lunches and snacks that are sure to give your child’s mind a boost:

  • Sliced cucumber and peppers.
  • Whole grain crackers and low fat cheese
  • Trail mix (mix of whole grain cereals) and milk.
  • Peanut or nut butter on half a whole grain bagel
  • Hummus or other bean dip and whole grain crackers and/ or veggies.
  • Boiled egg with a couple of slices of lean meats.
  • Tortilla wrap with slices of lean chicken, beef or ham, cheddar cheese, lettuce, grated apple, banana and or 100% orange juice.
  • Bean and veggie burrito, milk and an apple
  • Whole grain bagel with tuna salad and chocolate milk.

(*Please make sure to find out if your child’s school has a policy in place to protect children with allergies)

2.   Get your couch potato off the couch. If you want your kids to put down the video games or tablets, insist the whole family get moving. Exercise, such as going for a bike ride or a walk, or simply chasing each other around a park, has been shown to give the brain a boost.

3.   Drink more water. An obvious statement that is often forgotten!  Water is crucial to maintaining overall health. Water quenches thirst and keeps children from getting dehydrated, allowing cells to flush out the toxins within. Adding water to your child’s fluid intake will allow for a natural boost of energy and alertness allowing for more mental clarity and better daily performance, both mentally and physically. Best of all, it is the least expensive and most convenient drink of all.

Always remember it’s the small changes that sets you and your child on the right path to better physical and mental health.   Talk to us for more information!

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