How to Feed our Brains to Maximize Learning

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The Sugar Balance

There are different types of sugar and most of us do not understand the difference.

Too much ‘fast’ sugar means a blood sugar high and hyperactivity. Soft drinks, or soda, candy, chocolate and even fruit juice can really change our blood sugar levels. The excess sugar in the blood gets dumped into storage as abdominal fat. Eating little and often helps keep your child’s energy and concentration even.

Too much sugar and your child may be hyperactive and find it hard to concentrate.

Too little and they may feel tired, irritable and find it hard to concentrate.

We need to have more “slow” sugar or sugar that is released slowly from food such as Oats, Brown rice, Rye bread, Whole wheat pasta, Brown bread and Vegetables.

Essential Fats

60% of a dried brain weight is fat. It is no wonder deficiencies in specific kinds of fats can have huge repercussions on intelligence and behaviour.

If your child is having 3 portions of oily fish and a daily portion of seeds they should be getting a good level to help their brains develop and boost IQ.

How do I give my child all the essential fats they need?

Eat plenty of seeds and nuts.
You can grind and sprinkle them on cereal, soups and salads.
Source of essential fats:Mackerel, Flaxseeds, Sunflower seeds, Herring, Pumpkin seeds, Sesame seeds, Sardines, Chia seeds, Walnuts, Anchovies, Omega 3 rich eggs, Tuna steak, Salmon.

Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins and minerals are the intelligent nutrients that keep the brain in tune. They are key to building and rebuilding the brain. They mainly come from fruit, vegetables and wholefoods and can be supplemented for optimize brain performance.

How do I ensure that my child is having enough?

Make sure that they eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day
Choose wholefoods, not refined foods.

Anti-Nutrients

Anti-nutrients are substances that knock out essential brain-friendly nutrients. Some children develop an allergy or intolerance against particular foods.

How do I avoid anti-nutrients?

Avoid or minimise:

  • Refined sugar: These are essentially carbohydrates robbed of essential nutrients.
  • Damaged fats: These come from fried foods and hydrogenated fats.
  • Chemical food additives: Especially colourings.

Hydration

The brain is mainly water and put simply it will not function well if dehydrated. Children should drink water and have water available to them all day. Children will learn faster and process information more effectively when they are constantly hydrated.

So what is the best drink?
Water – Water – Water

At Kingsgate International School “Brain Diet” is a high priority. We know that best practice early learning programs care about all aspects of a child.

CEO and Education Expert – Greg Parry