Proper Nutrition: Important Factor in Academic Performance

There is currently a lot of focus on standardized tests and students’ test performance. Many schools start prepping students in September for the spring standardized tests, and parents hire tutors to work on test prep with their children. As you send your children to school, remember that proper nutrition is a very important factor in academic performance. Studies have shown that children who eat healthy breakfasts and lunches are more alert during the school day and get higher grades than those who have an unhealthy diet.  Many students don’t eat breakfast, and this can have a negative effect on their academic performance. For example, if  a student doesn’t eat lunch until noon, and hasn’t eaten anything since the night before; they are literally “running on empty”. You wouldn’t take a road trip without filling up your car’s engine with gas, and as a concerned parent, you should consider your child’s eating breakfast as important as getting a good night’s sleep and remembering school supplies. Evidence suggests that eating breakfast actually helps children learn. After fasting all night, a developing body (and brain) needs a fresh supply of glucose, (blood sugar) which is the brain’s basic fuel. If your son or daughter doesn’t have much of an appetite in the morning, a yogurt, or even a half a banana is better than nothing. I like to put peanut butter on a banana and roll it in raisins or grape nuts cereal. (a fun suggestion to get your child to eat in the morning) You can also prepare fruit smoothies, using fresh or frozen berries, which are loaded with antioxidants. Muffins are another great way to get your child to eat breakfast; you can bake them from scratch, or buy some healthy muffins that aren’t loaded with sugar, to give your child a good morning boost.

 A lot of children not only skip breakfast, but lunch as well! This is usually because they don’t like what is on the school lunch menu. I would encourage you to go against the current trend of school lunches, and brown bag your child’s lunch. Not only can you include healthy sandwiches on whole wheat bread and wraps, but you can include healthy finger foods like cheese sticks, baby carrots, and sunflower seeds as snacks. Most importantly, you will know that your child likes what is on the menu, and will have enough energy to get through the long school day.

Remember the importance of good nutrition and its effect on proper brain functioning and academic performance. Encourage your child to eat a healthy breakfast and lunch so that he or she will be able to focus on their school work, and do the best that they can do.

Proper Nutrtion Helps Academic Performance




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