By Arati Shah
Co-Founder and Principal Nutritionist of Cafe Nutrition
KEEP CALM… AND EAT ON
Stress, lack of sleep and irregular food habits are a perfect recipe for poor performance when preparing for exams.
Our top nutrition tips for those taking the exams:
- Do not go more than 4 hours without refuelling the body. So, plan in advance what best can be given to the children. Do not encourage skipping meals.
- Make sure the kids have a good filling breakfast everyday especially on the exam days. A well – nourished brain will keep them focused during the crucial study or examination hours.
- Food needs to be a healthy balance of the complex carbohydrates, good quality proteins with a good amount of vitamins and minerals. Do not forget the fats. The omega 3 fatty acids from the oily fish, walnuts, flaxseeds, tofu, soybeans, etc significantly improve brain health.
- Include plenty of fresh fruits in the diet. Not only are they low in calories, but can provide the vital natural energy in the form of fructose during the study hours, eg. Bananas, apples, pears, strawberries.
- Eggs are healthy and good for the brain. Make a healthy egg sandwich during the early morning hours or during the late night study hours.
- Peanut butter with its healthy fat and the goodness of protein is another food that needs to be stocked at home during the exam days. A peanut butter sandwich is enough to keep the body satiated and the brain energized for a long period of time. Peanut butter on banana is a fabulous brain boosting combination.
- Immune systems can go haywire with the sleepless nights and stress. Make sure the diet has plenty of whole grains, fruits and vegetables to combat the stress and keep the immune system kicking.
- Dehydration can make the child feel tired and less focused. So, make sure that the child has at least 1 – 1.5 litres of water per day. And remember not to overdo the caffeine.
- Keep them away from the sugar. It causes an instant spike in the blood sugar levels and subsequently causes an energy crash. This can cause a feeling of tiredness. Refrain from energy and fizzy drinks.
Make sure you keep these tips in mind to help children crack those crucial exams and remain in good health at the same time.