Food and nutrition play a huge role in the brains capacity to absorb and retain information. There are a few easy steps that we, as parents, can do to support our children with learning, concentration and having plenty of energy.
It is essential that we keep their blood sugar under control. This will ensure they have a stabilised source of energy from their food so it is not spiking and dropping throughout the day. The best way to do this is to encourage them to eat regularly and not skip breakfast or lunch. Adding adequate protein in their meals and snacks will also help regulate blood sugar. Protein also lasts longer in the body than other nutrients like carbohydrates. Meat, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds, dairy and legumes are great sources of protein.
Getting plenty of variety with food will give them a variety of nutrients. This is always important to take into consideration.
Essential fatty acids are called essential. As our bodies don’t make these nutrients, we have to get them in our diet or from a quality supplement. Essential fatty acids work beautifully on the brain and may support cognitive function, mood and are very specific for children on the spectrum. They can be found in oily fish such as tuna, salmon, sardines, seeds and walnuts. If your child is not eating these foods, see if you can find a way to incorporate these foods in their diet. Alternatively, you could seek out a quality supplement. They are very important.
It is always nice to be reflective and spend time on how you can better improve your child or children’s nutrition. Google recipes, get in the kitchen and even try to include your child in making their own lunches.
You can read some breakfast and lunch ideas for loads of energy at school here.
Nyree Banks is a Naturopath and owner of Health Naturally