If our diet lacks essential nutrients, it can hurt our ability to concentrate. Eating too much or too little can also interfere with our focus. Students who are not hungry and are hydrated perform better in the classroom, are less disruptive and have higher levels of engagement and concentration.
Incorporating a healthy snack break into our daily classroom routine is a great way to reset students’ focus as well as increase their fruit and veg intake but what are good choices for brain foods
- All fresh fruit such as bananas, apples, berries or watermelon. These can be whole or chopped up.
- All fresh vegetables such as carrots, celery, some seeds and cherry tomatoes.
Dried fruit in small
amounts (due to its concentrated sugar than can increase tooth decay).
Many berries contain flavonoid antioxidants. Research suggests that these may make the berries good food for the brain
. Antioxidant-rich berries that can boost brain health include: strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, blackcurrants and mulberries.What about pumpkin seeds?
Richer in zinc than many other seeds, pumpkin seeds supply this valuable mineral which is vital for enhancing memory and thinking skills. They’re also full of stress-busting magnesium, B vitamins and tryptophan, the precursor to the good mood chemical serotonin.
Why not prepare some dried fruit snacks the night before or even make up a small selection for each day of the week, this is something your kids can help you with. Since fruit is a natural source of sugars, such an option will definitely satisfy their cravings while remaining on the healthier side. Dried apple, pineapple, and mango are usually very common among students.
Whatever you decide to send to school for brainfood, it should be:
Some things to avoid that cannot be brought as brain foods include:
- fruit or vegetable
- clean and mess free
- cut small and ready to eat
- preferably in a reusable container that would fit unobtrusively on a student's desk
- Fruit products (eg fruit leather, fruit roll ups, fruit bars)
- Fruit canned in syrup or jelly with artificial sweetners
- Fruit jams, jellies, pies, cakes
- Chips, vegetable pastries, cakes, quiches, breads
- All processed/ packaged snacks