CHICAGO (WLS) --Don't think just because the shopping is done and all the lists for books, laptops and clothes are finished, kids are ready to excel in school. How well they do in school is not just about being gifted, or having a great tutor.
Balanced nutrition is essential for proper growth and development in kids. That includes academic performance. Registered Dietician Pat Baird has some advice.
Start with the Basics: Eat a Better Breakfast!
- Breakfast has many advantages (sample meals shown)
- Good way to ensure overall nutrition: start with fiber, vitamins, minerals, etc.
- People lose weight more efficiently; maintain it better
- Studies show breakfast eaters have: sharper memory, better grades, higher attendance, even improved mood
Nature's Superfood: Fruits & Veggies:
- Over 75% of Americans don't eat the recommended amounts the of fruits & veggies say latest Dietary Guidelines; most fall short of whole grains too
- These foods provide vitamins, minerals and fiber for health and energy
- Give your health an extra boost with legumes - beans, peas, lentils
- They pair well with whole grains + are an excellent source of protein and iron
Power Up with Protein:
- Protein helps boost focus and concentration, strengthen the immune system and keep muscles strong
- Have smaller portions of "high-quality" protein (all the essential amino acids) and choose lean meat and seafood
- Be sure to include protein in snacks
- Seafood has the added benefit of omega-3 fatty acids
Get More Sleep:
- Research shows adequate sleep (7-9 hours for adults; 10-12 for kids!) is essential to better health
- Lack of sleep contributes to weight gain, absenteeism, lack of focus, etc.
- Set a routine for the family
- Monitor electronics; kids: no texting under the covers!