October 22nd, 2012
The nutrition, activities and mental stimulus kids receive when they are young has a big role to play in how the kids will physically develop and also has a direct impact on the learning abilities of kids.
Link between Food and Learning Abilities
Nutrition plays an important role in the development of a child’s cognitive capability such as learning, memorizing and problem solving. Lack of nutritious food during childhood might lead to vision deficiencies, problems with fine motor skills, social skills and language. Nutritionally deficient food might also cause health problems that may carry into adulthood. Research in the field of child nutrition has more than adequately proved the correlation between the diet, quality of diet and the mental performance and learning abilities of kids.
In the modern world we live in, junk food items such as burgers, French fries, soda, pizza and chicken nuggets, high in saturated fats seem to be the staple diet of school kids. Instead of providing energy, these foods for kids lower their ability to concentrate and stay awake in class. Eating these unhealthy foods, kids lack the energy to be active at school; they become irritable and lethargic, and are not able to focus or concentrate on studies.
Healthy Food for Kids
Skipping breakfast impairs your child’s learning ability. A healthy breakfast consisting of the right foods gives children a boost to start their day. They require the energy to function well at school and for this; the body must have an adequate supply of proteins, healthy fats, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins. Whole wheat bread with eggs and a glass of low-fat milk is a better breakfast option than white flour pancakes with syrup.
By lunchtime, your child will be in need of another energy booster. High calorie foods like hamburgers are not the right choice. Salads, soups, vegetables and lean proteins must be included in food for kids at lunchtime. If your kids don’t have healthy lunch choices at the school cafeteria, pack a lunch box for them to take along. An afternoon snack before study time is recommended for school-going kids. Instead of cakes or pastries, give them a fruit salad, a handful of nuts or veggies with yoghurt.
Foods rich in sugars eaten late in the evening might cause sleep disruptions. Your child’s dinner should comprise of appropriate portions of pasta, healthy vegetable dishes combined with lean meats like chicken or fish along with fruits.
Making Healthy Food Choices
Our eating habits develop in childhood. Children emulate parents – they also pick up food preferences from their parents. When parents make unhealthy food choices, naturally the kids follow suit. The wrong choice of food for kids not only causes weight gain, it also impacts their learning capabilities.
Ideally, children should be given small meals and snacks every 3 or 4 hours to maintain energy levels. To improve mental capabilities of your kids, ensure that you give your kids foods rich in lecithin like soy beans, peanuts and wheat germ. Potassium-rich foods like bananas, oranges, nectarines, apricots, avocados, peaches and melons said to help brain functioning and improve energy levels. Incorporating healthy, natural foods in your kid’s diet will promote a healthy body and a sharp mind.