It’s the last day of August and it feels like fall has suddenly arrived. There’s a welcome drop in temperature accompanied by autumn breezes bringing clearer skies and welcome respite from air con at night. Summer is fading fast, and many families are either back at school already or preparing to return to school this week. Kids all over Beijing are adjusting to focused, brain-draining school routines. That can mean a sharp shock to the system, so we’re going to show you five everyday foods to fuel them throughout this next semester.
There’s plenty of omega 3 and DHA rich fatty fish in the sea. Serve up your choice of salmon, char, mackerel or sardines for dinner. Omega 3 fatty acids are good fats, and increase brain function, concentration and memory. DHA helps in the transmission of information between brain cells. If your kids don’t like fish, you can supplement Omega 3 and DHA rich fish oils, available here. Read a previous article on Omega 3 here.
A wonderful source of zinc, which boosts the immune system, helping kids to fight infection off as they mix and mingle during the first week back. Zinc also plays a vital role in brain function, and studies have shown zinc has beneficial effects on socialization and hyperactivity in children with ADHD. Pumpkin seeds are also high in tryptophan which is necessary for optimum neurotransmitter functioning. Add pumpkin seeds as a topping on oatmeal or home baked goods, or simply as a snack on their own.
Eggs are chock full of choline which has been nicknamed the “memory vitamin”. Choline increases the release of neurotransmitters which improve how your brain stores and recalls information. Researchers have found that eating protein-rich foods for breakfast improves mental processing throughout the day. How many eggs can you give them? Kids can safely eat an egg a day. Parents suffering from high cholesterol should cut back to two or less per week. You can order local organic eggs delivered here. And do check out this comprehensive post on the pros and cons of eggs in your kids’ diets.
These little green trees are full of goodness. Broccoli is high in potassium which helps maintain a healthy nervous system Broccoli is also high in other compounds which boost thinking and reasoning, including lignans and glucosinolates. An enchanted broccoli forest is a cute, imaginative way to present broccoli at dinner time.
Children are made up of between 65% and 78% water! Water is vital for many body functions, and adequate water intake is critical. If they’re thirsty they’ve already lost around 2-3% of their body’s water stores. But even at 1% dehydration they’ve already begun to suffer the ill effects of dehydration – impaired mental performance and decreased physical coordination. Adequately hydrated brains perform better on tests – it’s a fact! So ensure they get their six to eight glasses a day.
Check out this forum post on a smart snack to serve your kids.
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.