A child’s diet is usually one of the most neglected aspects by parents during their exams.
As a parent, you want your child to do well in school and pass their exams. However, for this to happen, it is important that your child eats the right diet as nutrition is also a contributing factor in how well they do in exams.
In addition, because the mental faculties of children work at a marathon pace during examinations. Children need to improve their intellectual endurance and for this they invariably require good nutrition throughout this period.
So what are the best foods to feed your child during this exam season?
1. Oily fish
Do you know that salmon, sardines and mackerel are amongst the healthiest types of fish. Why? Because they contain lots of protein and omega 3, which is essential to keep a functioning brain working well. Incorporate any of these fish into your child’s diet during exam season to boost their brain power.
Whether fried or boiled, eggs are healthy and good brain food and are an excellent choice for breakfast during exam time. Eating the first meal of the day, will help them stay alert and is a good fuel for the brain. Breakfast can help children concentrate, recollect and reproduce information.
A breakfast rich in protein like eggs increases tyrosine (an amino acid) levels in the blood and brain which help nerve cells manufacture chemicals which keep your kids alert and active.
3. Vegetables & fruit
Vegetables and fruit provide much-needed minerals, ions, vitamins, liquids and can give your child an energy boost when they are revising, since they contain fructose and healthy sugars their body can convert into energy. Top snacking fruits during exam time include: apples, bananas, avocados, oranges.
Anti-oxidants like vitamins A, C and E reduce damage to brain cells due to increased stress by fighting the free radicals. They also help increase the body’s immunity and help reduce chances of the child falling sick during exams.
Avocado is a brain-boosting food that contains monounsaturated fats, omega 3, and omega 6 fatty acids. These increase blood flow to the brain, lower cholesterol, and aid in the absorption of antioxidants.
5. Beans and Legumes
Beans and legumes are excellent sources of complex carbohydrates. These complex carbohydrates are also mixed with fiber that slows absorption, giving a steady supply of glucose for the brain without the risks of sugar spikes associated with many other sugar sources. Beans and legumes are also rich in folate—a B vitamin critical to brain function—and essential omega fatty acids.
Nuts e.g. cashew nuts, groundnuts, walnuts and almonds, are extremely good for the brain and nervous system. They are great sources of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, vitamin B6, and vitamin E. Vitamin E has been shown to improve brain power.
When kids sit in the comfort of their room and probably with their AC on, they do not feel thirsty and hence end up drinking very less fluids. When dehydrated, the body and mind are dazed, restless. It is hard concentrating on studies. If they do not like drinking water that much, give them fresh fruit juices to keep them going.
Note: Avoid eating outside food during exams
Exams being times for high-stress and low-immunity, children are highly prone for infections. So, avoid eating outside food as much as possible. If your kid really wants to eat, make sure you only buy food you have tried before from trusted restaurants.