Parent Survival Guide: Brain foods to help kids stay sharp

Updated: Jan. 25, 2021 at 2:39 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - With some kids back in the classroom while others are still learning virtually, one thing is for sure, diet and sleep can make a huge difference.

Whether your child is learning in person or in front of a computer screen, good nutrition plays an important role according to Debbie Petitipain who’s a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Petitpain says five specific brain boosting foods can actually help kids stay sharp.

The first power packed food is eggs.

”They have choline and your brain converts choline into a chemical that works as a neurotransmitter or a messenger inside your brain,” Petitpain said.

To help your child stay mentally focused and engaged, greek yogurt which contains more protein than other yogurts can help keep brain cells strong for sending and receiving information.

She says it’s also good to add some fruit like berries; she says a handful of blackberries, strawberries or blueberries are ideal.

“It’s the colors inside of them that acts as an antioxidant and prevents inflammation in the body,” Petitpain said. Also important she says and full of folate and vitamins are super foods spinach and Kale.

Both are packed with antioxidants and other nutrients that help new brain cells grow.

For dinner she says switch it up and add a fatty fish like salmon which are full of Omega 3 fatty acids known to protect the brain.

”Family goals can help hold everyone accountable and its’s more fun when we are all in it together. Plan what your child is going to eat for virtual school the night before and or pack it in a lunch box,” Petitpain said. She says the first sign of dehydration can be a feeling of fatigue and lack of mental focus.

She said drinking plenty of water during the course of the day can help your student prevent brain fog.

Also, during school hours she says it’s good to take breaks at least once an hour to help get the oxygen to the brain and to provide natural mental alertness.

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