Good health, nutrition, mental health and fitness, add up to a healthy child with an increased potential of doing well in school.
Experts say that children who eat right tend to score better on tests, have better school attendance and have fewer classroom behavior problems.
“As you eat, so shall you think,” says LeAnn Nickelsen, M. Ed., a Learning Specialist, Certified Educator, Administrator, & Brain Research Trainer who travels across the U.S. speaking to educators and parents.
To function at its best, the brain needs nutritious food, as well as lots of water, exercise and a good night’s sleep. And a healthy breakfast is key, according to Dr. Nickelsen. Research has shown students skipping breakfast have a shorter attention span and become impulsive.
Adding urgency to the importance of good nutrition, as well as exercise, is the fact that the number of overweight children has about doubled over the past decade, and related diseases like Type II diabetes, normally seen only in adults, are being seen in children.
So how do you plan nutritious meals? A good place to start is ChooseMyPlate.gov which uses a place setting for a meal to demonstrate the five food groups—and portions–that should be included. You’ll also find a variety of other tools and tips to make it easier to eat healthier.