As a parent, you want to give your child every advantage to learning while he is in school. The best way to do this is to make sure your child is eating brain foods. No, not animal brains, foods that fuel the brain and help it focus and concentrate. Feed your child a good breakfast, pack a healthy snack and/or lunch and make sure dinner is healthy as well.
- Because a little caffeine is good for the brain, melt a square or two of dark chocolate and stir it into a glass of milk. Don't use liquid chocolate syrup. It has high fructose corn syrup, something you want to avoid.
- The brain needs the kind of sugar found naturally in fruits and carbs. An orange and a half-cup of blueberries make good additions to breakfast.
- Cauliflower resembles the brain for good reason. It is good fuel for the brain. Most kids won't eat it cooked, but cut up pieces dipped in ranch dressing are great for lunch or dinner. When making creamed potatoes, substitute half the potatoes with cauliflower. Just cook both and cream together. Kids won't know the spuds contain a great vegetable.
- For kids who love nuts, walnuts, almonds, pecans, hazelnuts and macadamia nuts make great take-anywhere treats.
- Serve more fish for dinner. Brains need the omega-3 fatty acids that fish provide. Salmon is best, but often expensive. Other options are tuna, ocean perch, rainbow trout and grouper. Never purchase fish from China, Thailand, Vietnam or other Asian countries.
- Serve more juices and less sodas. Sodas cause obesity, hyperactivity and sugar crashes. If kids just won't drink anything except sodas, buy the Mexican brand made with real cane sugar, not high fructose corn syrup.
- Avocado supplies the body with good fats that promote blood flow to the brain.
- Broccoli is another vegetable that helps fuel the brain. Kids also love these in ranch dressing.
- Egg yokes are very good for the brain. Egg whites aren't bad either, so boil a few eggs for breakfast.
- Flax seeds are another source of omega-3 fatty acids. Sprinkle a little on yogurt or add a fourth-cup to the muffin batter.
The less processed foods kids eat, the better for their health in general. Chips, sodas, cookies and snack cakes provide empty calories. These foods are bad for teeth and cause sugar crashes, making kids feel sluggish or tired. Every little bit helps when it comes to learning. Make sure you are fueling your kid's brain for optimal learning experiences. Don't forget KIND snacks and the chance to win some free.