3 Healthy Ways to Help Your Kids Excel in School | Reader's Digest

3 Healthy Ways to Help Your Kids Excel in School

Powerful brains come from healthy bodies. Follow these golden rules to help ensure that your kids succeed this school year—and beyond.

By Reader's Digest Editors

School Kids© Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Thinkstock
Mark Fenske, neuroscientist and co-author of The Winner’s Brain: 8 Strategies Great Minds Use to Achieve Success, explains that powerful brains come from healthy bodies.  Follow these golden rules to help ensure that your kids succeed this school year—and beyond.

1. Add exercise to their routine.
Math homework? Check. Reading? Check. Frisbee tag? Um… According to recently published research, the parts of children’s brains that are associated with memory and cognitive function are larger in those kids who are more active. Additional studies have shown that children who participated in increased physical activity improved in math, reading, and spelling. In other words, if you want your kids to more easily be able to remember what they’re learning, to be more focused while they’re learning it, and to get better grades as a result, make sure to schedule in frequent exercise along with piano practice and Mandarin lessons.

 

2. Feed them healthy food.
Children’s brains are still developing. Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids and antioxidants are crucial to the health and maintenance of kids’ growing lobes, neurons, and synapses. A significant amount of fish, eggs, nuts, berries, fruits, and vegetables in your kids’ diet will lead to well-nourished brains as well as bodies. Cutting down on sugar is key to helping them regulate their behavior, too. Limiting sweets prevents sugar rushes and low-blood-sugar crashes that can cause kids to become distracted and behave erratically.

 

3. Make sure they get a good night’s sleep.
While their bodies are asleep, children’s brains are hard at work going over the new information they’ve acquired that day and cementing it into memory.  Kids who don’t get enough sleep or are frequently interrupted while sleeping have been shown to have difficulty retaining what they’ve learned in school. Helping your kids wind down in the evenings and go to bed at a reasonable hour will go far towards helping them be at their best throughout the school day.

 

Source: The Globe and Mail

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