These days, it’s hard enough to keep kids focused with so many distractions stealing their attention. From phone screens to TV, students struggle to stay focused and grow the length of their attention spans. Cutting down on screen time might not be the only thing holding your student back from better concentration at home and in school, though. Did you know the food your child eats could affect their ability to think clearly? Below we have four suggestions to help give your child some literal brain food.
Foods rich in protein – like yogurt – provide amino acids that are essential in the creation of dopamine and serotonin in the brain (two neurotransmitters that help regulate your child’s mood and keep them alert). Greek yogurt is even higher in protein than regular yogurt. Just be mindful of the amount of sugar – some brands of yogurt contain over 20 grams of it!
The perfect seasonal snack, pumpkin seeds, are rich in zinc which aids in the development of the brain’s learning and memory center (the hippocampus). It also helps regulate neurotransmitters that are vital to focus. During the fall, pumpkin seeds abound in snack bars, cookies, and salads, but if you can’t locate a good source, any zinc-rich food will do.
Likely already a staple in your home, cereal is a good source of carbohydrates, which convert to glucose and feed the brain so it can focus better. Cheerios are particularly great for their low amounts of sugar and high fiber. Added bonus? One serving of Cheerios provides 25 percent of the body’s daily need for B12 – a vitamin essential to helping the brain learn and understand new things.
Peanut Butter & Bananas
Together, peanut butter and bananas don’t only make a delicious treat – they’re rich in magnesium as well. Magnesium is a nutrient that makes brain activity easier, but also has a calming effect on the central nervous system. This means PB and bananas are the perfect go-to solution for your child struggling with hyperactivity or lack of focus.
Use these four foods to boost your child’s concentration. With a variety of recipes out on the web, there’s no doubt you’ll be able to create exciting snacks your child will love while making sure they have the food they need to fuel their attention, learning, and memory!
At our Polk County Catholic schools, we foster an atmosphere of care and an environment of high expectations and effective discipline. To learn more about our Catholic schools in Polk County, contact us at 407-246-4800.