Archive for July, 2009

Five Back-to-School Nutrition Tips for Feeding the Brain

A healthy diet is just as important for children as it is for adults. When a child doesn’t eat enough healthy foods, his or her ability to learn may suffer. Imagine sitting in school all day when your brain and body is starving for good nutrition.

  1. Make sure your child gets in the habit of eating a healthy breakfast rich in whole grains, fiber, and especially protein.  Research suggests that a good breakfast helps a child do better in school. A study, published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, showed that children who ate breakfast regularly had higher reading and math scores, lower levels of depression, anxiety, and hyperactivity, better school attendance, improved attention spans, and fewer behavior problems. A study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research with researchers at George Washington University tested three breakfast types (high-carbohydrate, high-protein, and no breakfast at all) on 39 children with ADHD and 44 kids without the condition. For the hyperactive children, performance on several tests, including a test for attention, was significantly worse with the high-carbohydrate breakfast, as compared with the scores of the children who ate the high-protein breakfast. High-protein breakfast ideas might include natural peanut butter on whole grain bread, eggs (to save time, make hard-boiled eggs the night before) or a smoothie made with high quality soy or whey protein, yogurt and fruit.