In fact, research shows there are key factors that help rev up a child’s brain to maximize learning. Let’s take a look.
Start with a good breakfast
According to The Wellness Impact: Enhancing Academic Success through Healthy School Environments, developed by the National Dairy Council in partnership with the GENYOUth Foundation, American College of Sports Medicine and American School Health Association, skipping breakfast and hunger have an immediate negative effect on learning ability.
“Over half (62 percent) of all teens come to school without breakfast each day,” says Karen Kafer of the National Dairy Council. “Breakfast-eaters have better attention and memory than breakfast-skippers.”
Quick breakfast ideas include cut-up fruit, whole-grain cereals (with less than 5 grams of sugar) with milk, boiled eggs, yogurt topped with fruit, and baked goods made with whole-grain flour and added fruits and veggies.
Provide a nutrient-rich diet
Children (and their brains) need nutrients to grow and thrive. According to The Wellness Impact, better diet quality is linked to superior academic performance.
“Parents want to maximize nutrition at every meal and snack by focusing on food groups,” says Jill Castle, MS, RD, and co-author of Fearless Feeding: How to Raise Healthy Eaters from High Chair to High School. “Main meals should have three to five food groups (whole grains, fruit, vegetables, dairy and non-dairy alternatives, healthy fats and protein) and snacks should have two to three food groups.”
So instead of the same old goldfish or crackers for a snack, try whole-grain crackers with cheese and some fruit.