While testing time is a particularly stressful time for students and parents- eating the proper foods can make all the difference. Certain foods are better than others when it comes to fueling our brains. That is why emphasis on nutrition during this time should not be overlooked. Brain-boosting foods provide energy and allow for concentration and focus. Giving students the added edge they need to be successful!
COMPLEX CARBS: The brain is picky when comes to its fuel. It prefers steady and consistent energy. This stable energy comes from complex carbohydrates. This means, avoid eating cookies, cakes and muffins during exam week. These will leave the brain feeling tired and unfocused! Instead, get carbs from fruits, veggies and whole grains!
PROTEIN: Protein provides the brain with important amino acids. These amino acids are needed to send signals and so the brain can perform its fundamental functions. It is best to get some protein into every meal!
Don’t forget to add a little fat! It is not the amount of fat but the type of fat. Fried foods and hydrogenated oils are types to avoid. Get fats from natural sources like seeds and fish.
The perfect meal includes a balanced combination of protein, carbs and fat.
Energize your brain with these top brain foods!
Fruits: grapefruit, apples, cherries, pears, grapes, and oranges
Whole grains: oatmeal, rice, pasta, and cereal
Vegetable: leafy greens, broccoli, and cauliflower
Legumes: beans, peas, lentils, and chickpeas
Seafood: salmon, tuna, sardines, and cod
Dairy: yogurt, fat-free milk, and cheese
Seeds: flaxseeds, sunflower, pumpkin, sesame seeds, chia seeds, and walnuts
Brain food should start at breakfast! Consuming the right foods in the morning will make a significant difference in behavior and a student’s ability to learn. Use this sample menu for guidance during testing week!
Oatmeal with fresh sliced fruit
Fruit will just enough sweetness to make a delicious breakfast. Sprinkle their favorite seed over the top to add healthy fat. Oatmeal is filling and easy to make. The perfect way to start the week!
Scrambled eggs with whole-wheat toast
Eggs are a great source of protein. Whole-wheat toast is the perfect complex carb to keep full longer.
Black bean breakfast burrito
Uses a whole-wheat tortilla, fill with eggs and black beans. Add in any extras- avocado, salsa, and sour cream. This is the complete combination to give lots of energy during a crucial time- the middle of the week.
Fruit, yogurt with granola
Incorporating carbs, protein and calcium. Satisfied your taste bunds and brain!
Treat a working brain to some tasty pancakes! Add peanut butter and banana or fresh fruit to add extra fuel.
Remember to also-
Get plenty of sleep- rest your brain the nigh before, student’s need energy from food and sleep.
Avoid over eating- getting adequate calories is great but feeling like you do on thanksgiving is not.
Pack a snack– even after a filling breakfast; a snack will give students the boost they need.
Study- starting practicing the information well in advance and avoid cramming.
Eat lunch– When the middle of the day hits, student are in need of extra energy to finish the day strong. CUSD Nutrition provides nutritious meals to do just that!
What does your family do to get through testing time? Share your tips and ideas!