Back To School Nutrition
Back to School Nutrition
To get the most out of the coming school year, start it off with good nutrition. A well-balanced and healthy diet is key, but when school, homework and afterschool activities all get going, good nutrition isn’t always a top priority. To make sure your child is getting the nutrients they need for school success, encourage a healthy diet and add in key supplements.
Having a big bowl of sugary cereal in milk or a sweet toaster pastry is how many students traditionally start the day. It’s quick and easy—and really bad for getting the school day off to a productive start. The sugar overload from breakfast will lead to a sugar crash halfway through your child’s morning class. So how to overcome this? Skip the sweet stuff and switch to a breakfast that has protein, fat, and high-quality, whole-grain carbohydrates—a veggie omelet with whole-grain toast, for instance. Your student’s energy and concentration will start strong– and stay strong all morning long.
Multivitamin with Minerals
A high-quality multivitamin with minerals is the basic nutrition insurance. Even if the day starts with a rushed or skipped breakfast, goes on to a fast-food lunch, a sugary afternoon snack, and pizza for dinner, with a daily multi at least you know you’re covering the basic nutritional needs your body requires.
D for Immunity
A basic multivitamin supplement contains more than the daily requirement for vitamins, but especially during the school year, there’s one vitamin that needs additional supplementation: Vitamin D. High levels of this vitamin are crucial for maintaining a strong immune system and fighting off the flu, colds, and other bugs that can rip through a school. Vitamin D is produced in the body when sunlight hits the skin—and now that school has started, students are indoors a lot more. Supplement with 2,000 IU daily.
Attention and Focus
The magic supplement that lets you effortlessly pay attention and remember everything hasn’t been discovered yet. In the meantime, try taking a B-100 supplement to make sure you’re getting enough of all the B vitamins, which are important for neuron strength and connectivity in the brain and aid energy, focus, and alertness. Other supplements that may help include zinc and gingko biloba. Caffeine, in the form of coffee or tea, also aids alertness—but should not be used in children under 18 years of age.
Omegas for Memory
Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fatty fish, fish oil, nuts, and leafy green vegetables, are essential for brain health. Specifically, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a type of omega-3 fatty acid, is vital for brain function and memory. Eating your omegas is always good, but to be sure you’re getting enough on a daily basis; add a high-quality fish oil supplement to your daily routine.
Get Enough Sleep
Supplements can give your focus and memory a boost, but the top way to improve attention and memory is to get adequate sleep. Study after study has shown that lack of sleep sharply diminishes memory and the ability to stay focused, while getting adequate sleep definitely improves not only memory and focus but mood and motivation.