In a previous post we talked about how important food was for keeping your child ready to study. It makes sense to give them a great breakfast to start the day, and make sure it's the right balance of nutrition. It's not just about 5 a day, although that's a perfect starting point. Here's 7 great food sources and ideas to keep you and them on the right path.
1. Omega 3
Omega 3 acids are widely believed to be one of the best sources of nutrition for brains in children and adults. It can be found in oily fish, some nuts and avocado.
Salmon and tuna are the quick wins for this one, so think about recipes like spaghetti puttanesca (tuna with tomatoes and olives) or salad nicoise (green salad with tuna and hard-boiled eggs). Mashed avocado is an easy one to slip into a sandwich.
Iron feeds energy levels and mental alertness. Leafy green veg such as spinach works well for this.
Try stir frying spinach with tinned tomatoes and browned turkey mince if they're not keen on the flavour. Serve with tagliatelle.
Most fruit and veg contains a wealth of antioxidants, great for the memory. Plop some berries in their morning cereal, or whizz to a smoothie.
4. Whole grains
Complex carbohydrates improve memory and keep energy levels consistent to avoid that mid-afternoon lull. A porridge breakfast can help, perhaps with honey, and if they can't stand brown bread try the half-brown half-white varieties.
Found in eggs and nuts, choline is a great boost to the memory. Scrambled eggs on wholemeal toast is a brilliant breakfast, and you can top many dinners with lightly toasted nuts, e.g. pine nuts over a pasta dish, or walnuts with cauliflower cheese.
Calcium has long been held up the great way to strengthen bones. Dairy is the key here. Some pre-sliced cheese is a quick way to cram some calcium in a sandwich or wrap. Tofu is also a surprising source of calcium, so consider using that in your next stir-fry or spag bol.
Last but not least water is essential for keeping the digestive system fluid and rehydrating the brain. Why not try home-made lemonade? Get them to help too.
Image copyright William Cho. Original image can be found on Flickr here.