Sanjana Bhuwalka, a nutrition consultant from Mumbai, tells us what the best foods are to help your child perform to the best of her ability during stressful exam months. To read more of Sanjana's advice on nutrition for kids during exams, click here.
What are some of the foods that improve concentration?
A great nutrient balance is the only thing that helps the brain function optimally. However, if you are really looking at improving your child's ability to concentrate, then do not underestimate the value of a wholesome breakfast. The first thing you put in your child's stomach (or yours, for that matter!) determines the response and metabolism of your her/his body for the entire day. As mentioned earlier, a good breakfast should have an ideal mix of carbohydrates, proteins and essential nutrients that will provide your child with enough energy and also help with optimal mental activity.
Some breakfast options that you can offer to your child include:
- Whole wheat peanut butter sandwich with a banana and a handful of nuts.
- Cereal with almond, coconut milk and a bowl of fruits like strawberries or papaya.
- Ensure you also pack in some form of dairy with her/his daily breakfast.
What are the foods that improve memory?
Consuming the right amount of good fats is the best thing for a child's healthy brain development. Sources of good fats include nuts, seeds (sunflower, chia, flax, sesame, pumpkin, hemp), avocados, ghee (limited amounts), nut milk, coconut milk, coconut, cold-pressed coconut oil and fish. Some other foods that you can try to incorporate in your child's diet, as they are great for optimal brain function, include broccoli (vitamin K), blueberries, greens like spinach and kale, and even tomatoes. Avocados in particular are considered to be a super food because they are a rich source of good vegan fat. This helps not only in the development of the brain among babies and young children, but also for girls going through puberty and the resultant hormonal imbalance. Just blend it with a little sugar and watch your child enjoy it as a sweet treat any time of the day!
Any other suggestions that will enhance a child's performance and stamina during the examination month?
One thing that I would recommend to all parents is to ensure your child has a few leaves of tulsi every day. It is a great tool to manage stress and also boost the immune system. I would also recommend adding a little raw turmeric or natural turmeric to your child's daily diet, as it is another ingredient to power up the immune system. Having these two ingredients in their diet can greatly reduce their chances of falling sick, as I'm sure it's the last thing you want during examinations.