Just like an athlete trains his/her brain and body to perform at their best; students need to train their brains and bodies to perform their best at school. For better results start a training schedule several weeks to a month before school starts.
Brain Training Includes:
Get in the habit of serving a healthy breakfast every morning. Include one or more of these 9 brain foods as part of each meal or snack. These foods provide important brain nutrients such as B vitamins, antioxidants and omega 3’s.
- Leafy Greens
- Whole Grains
Complement these foods with a wide variety of other fruits, vegetables and lean meats or meat substitutes. The American Medical Association and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommend that healthy children get their nutrients from foods rather than vitamin supplements.
Brain Training Also Includes:
8- 12 hours a night. Have children practice going to bed and getting up at the times they will when school starts.
Keep kids physically active for a total of 1 hour a day. This can be broken down into (2) 30 minute walks, or (3) 20 minute bike rides, (4) 15 minute runs or dancing to 10 songs on the radio. Any combination of physical activity totaling 1 hour a day is the goal.
If your kids haven’t picked up a book all summer, have them start reading 10-20 minutes a day, then increase the time until they are reading 30-45 minutes a day before school starts. This helps them brush up on reading skills and increases their concentration and attention. Practice a few math problems every day for a few weeks. Book stores and public libraries have a variety of math workbooks to help children brush up on math skills.
Children might respond better to the idea of healthy eating, sleeping and moving, if parents put the desired behavior changes into the context of sports training. Pick their favorite sport or sports player and explain to children that to get good at sports, athletes have to train hard by eating healthy, getting enough sleep, exercising and practicing every day. In addition to being good at sports, student athletes need to keep their grades up to avoid being benched or sidelined. Most professional athletes were student athletes first.
Just for parents
Adults who also follow these recommendations may reduce cognitive decline and the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. The MIND diet for adults is a great reference for feeding your brain.