Grab Your Lunchbox and Get to the Head to the Class!
by NatureBox Health Writer Jenilee Matz, MPH
Helping your child study and hiring a top-notch tutor aren’t the only ways to give your son or daughter the academic edge. A nutritious breakfast helps kids perform better on tests and reduces the risk of behavioral problems during the school day. A well-balanced, wholesome lunch is key for keeping energy and blood sugar levels steady all day long. Eating regular, healthy meals and snacks means blood sugar levels won’t fluctuate, so your child stays more alert and in a better mood.
Serve up these kid-approved foods to help your child reach the head of the class:
Not only are eggs a protein powerhouse, but they’re high in omega-3 fatty acids to boot. Omega-3s help cognitive ability and may lower the risk of attention- deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Eggs also contain choline, which improves memory and concentration skills.
Whole grains are high in fiber so they take longer to digest, helping your child stay focused and energized. Studies also show that oatmeal boosts kids’ short-term memory and helps them pay attention. Choose old-fashioned oats made with skim milk and topped with nuts and fresh fruit over pre-packaged varieties to avoid added sugar.
The antioxidants in berries help improve a child’s memory and brain function. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are naturally sweet and most kids love to snack on them.
Whole Wheat Bread
Not only are whole grain breads high in fiber, but most are also fortified with the B vitamin folate. Folate has been shown to help memory and alertness. Make a sandwich for your child using 100% whole wheat bread and peanut butter, hummus, or lean lunch meat.
Toss a carton of Greek yogurt in your child’s lunch sack. Greek yogurt is packed with protein and calcium. Plenty of calcium is a must for children because it helps build strong bones and regulates energy. Opt for the plain variety since it’s lower in sugar. Sweeten the yogurt naturally by topping it with fresh berries.
Spinach aids in learning and memory. If your child turns up his or her nose at the leafy green, simply add spinach to a smoothie. Blend a cup of milk, a frozen banana, a spoonful of peanut butter, and a handful of spinach to make a delicious and nutritious breakfast or snack. We promise your child won’t even taste the spinach!
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Jenilee Matz, MPH is a medical writer, health educator, and runner based in Charlotte, NC