Healthy lifestyle ups kids’ performance in school
Researchers have suggested that eating healthy food and getting proper sleep can help children succeed in school.
Krista Casazza, Ph.D., R.D., assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition Sciences explained that when kids go to school without eating breakfast, their cognitive function can be affected.
Casazza suggested that kids should start the day with fruits, proteins and whole grains and they should avoid sugary cereals because they cause a sugar high.
If the kids do need to eat something prior to dinner, parents should offer healthy choices like yogurt, fruits and veggies or some “kid stuff” like baked chips.
Casazza also advised children to drink water instead of soda as it lacks nutritional value.
Kristin Avis, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics Division of Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine said that children need a good night’s sleep for their overall school performance.
“Lack of sleep can lead to problems with attention and memory in the classroom, affect impulse control and mood regulation lead to anxiety and even depression,” Avis said.
Avis said kids ages 6-12 should get nine hours sleep nightly as should adolescents ages 13-18, but typically they average little more than seven hours per night.
Avis said that catching up on lost sleep on the weekend can make matters worse and recommended a consistent bedtime seven days a week.