We all know that what we eat makes us who we are and that healthy eating plays a crucial role in how we live our lives. Doctors are screaming out the benefits of a healthy diet to combat illnesses and the Government drum into us the importance of our five-a-day fruit and vegetable intake and how important it is for children to follow suit.
Of course it's not the job of a child to decide and insist on what they eat; that's the job of the parent. I'm sure that most parents will agree that if you decide to give a child a "treat", be it a bar of chocolate or a bag of sugar-coated sweets, you see immediate changes in their behaviour. They have a rush of energy usually followed by a mood swing or tantrum. And with so many children filling up their day with extra activities and extra tuition to make sure they stay ahead, the way they snack is critical in how they will perform. So, would it not be better to replace that sugar-rush with a healthy alternative? A piece of fruit, a fruit smoothie or a sugar-free yoghurt? There are many ways to tempt and inspire children to eat healthier and of course the best way (as with most things in life) is by example.
It is so easy for parents to fall into the trap of 'easier' rather than 'healthier'. For example, your child has been working on his science project for the last 20 minutes and needs a break. He tells you he needs a snack and heads straight for the sweet cupboard. It's your job to steer him away and offer a healthy alternative; better still, make sure there is no sweet cupboard! You are guaranteed to be helping his concentration span by making sure his snack is a healthy one, thus guaranteeing a better science project, a happier child and an even happier tutor.
With today's hot focus on education and the growing numbers of children taking extra tuition classes to achieve greater things in life, FirstTutors.com has come up with 7 great tips to help you and your child start eating better and studying brighter:
It may sound cliché but this meal structure has been used for years and is still thought to be the most successful. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Keeping our bodies regularly nourished aids in keeping the brain functioning at its top capacity, even through those extra Maths lessons.
Eating three healthy meals per day is great but this is not to say those hunger pains won't pop up every now and again, especially in children. A piece of fruit, an artificial-free cereal bar, a small handful of nuts or a tasty peeled carrot can make all the difference in keeping those hunger pangs at bay and making sure you are providing the essential extra vitamins needed to keep your child's brain functioning.
It is very easy to wake up in the morning and encourage your child to fill his cereal bowl with pure sugar whilst you drink that delicious Brazilian Bean coffee; breakfast done. Or not! Cereals contain high sugar so always aim for those that are less artificial or opt for a bowl of fresh-fruit muesli. Breakfast truly is the most important meal of the day. It is what kick-starts our brain and fuels our body and organs to begin the day well. Try to get some protein, calcium and fibre in that first meal of the day to really get those brain cells energised.
Water is a secret weapon. As we all know our bodies are made up of more water than anything else. By drinking water we cleanse our internal system and enhance our brain power at the same time. It is essential that children learn to drink water throughout the day and it's our job, as parents, to ensure they do this. Simple things like making sure they have a bottle of water during their football class after school or have an extra bottle in their bag when they are off for their geography lesson with a private tutor! Just as watering a plant can revitalise it, drinking water will revitalise thinking power.
Fruits have natural sugars that offer clean energy so our bodies don't experience the crash that follows the consumption of other sugars. And fruits are ranked amongst the best foods for the brain, plus they are really tasty and there is plenty of choice. If children are reluctant to eat fruit, try cutting them up in a fun way or freezing them into ice-lollies.
Filled with hidden strengths that serve our brain and body like no other food vegetables are full of essential nutrients and eating plenty throughout the day will not only aid in an overall healthier lifestyle but will almost certainly improve concentration. It's so easy to peel a carrot or cucumber and pop it in a small container for your child to carry with her; this is a fun and healthy way for a child to snack in-between meals, be it during an after-school Maths lesson or when following a tutor's lesson during an online class. Tip: the darker the colour, the higher the concentration of nutrients.
Children should be sleeping approximately eight to ten hours depending on their age. Making sure your child has a good routine and gets enough sleep is vital in how their brains will function during the day. Allowing the brain to regenerate and rest will ensure better performance, higher concentration and a happier, healthier child.
Learning to eat healthily is not difficult and becomes easier over time. Getting into a routine of making sure your family are all eating the right things will ensure a happier, healthier and more successful future for you all. It's certainly working for us at FirstTutors.com where we've dumped the sack of chocolate snacks and brought in a basket of fresh fruit instead!
Post By Anna Michaelidou:
Anna Michaelidou has been a private tutor of both English Literature and English Language for fifteen years having taught all levels from nursery school right through to university level. She is a writer, content marketing executive and a busy mother of four lovely children.