Exams are a period of stress - mental, physical and emotional - and can sap energy and affect a child’s health and endurance. Experts say that what you eat and drink during this critical period can affect your exam performance. Research has shown that healthy intake of nutrients can boost brain function, improve mental alertness, increase concentration, prevent sluggishness and fortify inner strength necessary for the long haul.
So which nutritional supplements for kids should be included in the diet that will provide nourishment to the child’s health in the stressful exam period? Even though the human brain is one of the smallest organs in the body it uses up almost 20% of the body’s energy every day. Enough energy (glucose) in the system will ensure that a child does not feel tired or lose concentration while studying and during exams. To ensure steady supply of energy the whole day long make sure your child follows these health tips:
A proper diet is essential during exams and will benefit the child’s brain health as well as help improve cognitive as well as memory functions. This will aid the child in quick thinking and retention of information.
a. Breakfast The first meal of the day is the most important. Make sure that your child eats a healthy, filling breakfast.
- It is necessary to include carbohydrates such as oats, porridge, whole grain cereals, and muesli as they help release energy to the body in a slow and regulated manner.
- Protein-rich foods such as milk boost mental alertness and will help the child concentrate better during the day.
- Omega 3 foods such as eggs, salmon fish etc. are good for brain function as they improve memory and should be included in the diet on the exam day.
b. During the day - Blueberries are high in antioxidants that helps brain nourishment
- Bananas are high in protein and stabilize blood sugar levels that boost concentration
- Cantaloupe, Citrus fruits and juices, such as orange and grapefruit, Kiwi fruit, Mango, Papaya, Pineapple, raspberries and cranberries as well as watermelon are high in Vitamin C. Most studies
show that high doses of vitamin C can decrease the duration of cough & cold symptoms, one of the most common infections that affect kids during exams. Carrots contain high amounts of vitamin A for eyesight and immunity - Leafy vegetables are an excellent source of fiber, folate, and carotenoids, vitamins C and K and the minerals iron and calcium. In addition, dark green leafy vegetables act as antioxidants in the
body. Bell peppers, Brussels sprouts, spinach, broccoli, and asparagus are a good choice for children during exams as they are also rich in magnesium and boost blood flow to the brain.
c. Best to avoid during exams:
In addition to eating healthy it is necessary to avoid certain foods high in refined sugar such as chocolates, desserts candies etc. these foods destabilize the sugar levels during long exam days. Also, avoid foods that will make a child lethargic on exam day such as high quantity of rice or potatoes.
Instead of munching on chips or other packaged foods, children should snack on nuts during exams. Nuts are excellent source of nutrients including Vitamin E that help in keeping the energy levels high and boosts brain functions such as cognitive skills. Include nuts such as - Walnuts have a high content of omega 3 fatty acids that help fight illnesses and helps prevent respiratory infections in children. In addition pumpkin seeds are also high in Omega 3 and benefit healthy brain development and memory function - Almonds are high in Vitamin B6, zinc and protein which is known to promote brain health - Hazelnuts are high in magnesium, calcium and Vitamins E &B. They contain dietary fiber that boosts brain health - Sunflower seeds contain an amino acid that helps boost serotonin levels and alleviates stress - Healthy snack option such as cereal bars, protein bars, trail mix, energy bars, granola bars are also a good source of energy
Curds & yogurt contains helpful germs called probiotics or good bacteria. These good bacteria help in digestion and fight against infections. In fact studies show that children who eat curds or yogurt have a considerably lower risk of contracting colds, ear infections and throat infections. Eating curd before going for exams is an old Indian tradition due to its health benefit!
Dehydration leads to tiredness, lack of focus, headaches etc. Staying well hydrated boosts energy levels and concentration in children. Water intake is most important - drink at least 8 glasses a day to keep the body healthy. Regular intake of milk, a high source of proteins, Vitamin D and calcium aids brain development in kids In addition to water green tea is also a good drink option as it contains antioxidants, increases attentiveness and helps keep anxiety levels in check. Fruit juices (especially orange), consumed in moderation, also give a nutrient boost to the childTo stay healthy during exams follow these basic tips:
Watch your posture – slouching can lead to back, neck and shoulder pain
Don’t strain your eyes – limit you time on computers, mobiles and other gadgets as they put a severe strain on the eyes
Play with your friends – social interactions, especially with friends will promote a feeling of well-being and happiness, lessening anxiety and stress
Early to bed and early to rise – a good night’s sleep is a must as it relaxes and rejuvenates the brain
Eat healthy, tasty, nourishing food – eating tasty food that is visually appealing but also healthy will make it more palatable to the taste buds for a happy eating experience
Eat in small quantities – consume small meals at regular intervals instead of a large meal at one go. It will prevent a feeling of lethargy and sluggishness
ActivKids Immuno Boosters, made by Cipla, helps boost your child’s immunity all year round, especially in those stressful exam days. Activkids Immuno Boosters is a unique nutritional supplement for kids that improves a child’s immunity, gives up to 100% RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) that a child needs and is packed with 11 key immunity nutrients. It is low in sugar, gluten and preservative free with no added artificial colouring. Activkids Immuno Boosters is available in an easy-to-eat tasty choco bite format, no need to mix it in either milk or water. Just one choco bite a day, along with a regular diet is enough to improve a child’s immunity.