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Monday, August 01 2011
What your child eats has a major impact on learning. Here are the best foods to help your child make the grade.

If you want to give your kids an academic edge this school year, you may ask them to study harder, spend less time in front of the TV, or log more hours at the library. But those aren’t the only ways to boost their brainpower. The key to good grades could be as close as your kitchen according to a 2008 Journal of School Health study which found that the quality of a child’s diet was directly linked to academic performance. Before your kids hit the books, make sure they fuel up with these power foods first.

Try: Whole Grain Marshmallow Crispy Bars

Related: Benefits of Eating Breakfast






Photo: Jennifer Davick; Buffy Hargett; Vanessa McNeil Rocchio

Photo: Jennifer Davick; Buffy Hargett; Vanessa McNeil Rocchio

Chili
Chili, a unique combo of beef, beans, and tomatoes, dishes up a hefty dose of iron, a mineral kids need to deliver oxygen to their brains. Making yours with lean cuts of beef, like top or bottom round, can keep it healthy by slashing saturated fat. You can also trim the fat by using 95 percent lean ground sirloin and draining off the excess fat after sauteing. Prefer to go meatless? No worries. The tomatoes in chili are rich in vitamin C which helps your child soak up more iron from the beans.

Try: Slow-Cooker Veggie Chili

Related: 10 Healthy Chili Recipes






Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Rose Nguyen

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Rose Nguyen

Pasta

If you feel guilty about serving white pasta to your child, you don’t have to. Unlike white bread, semolina flour used to make most dry pasta is packed with slowly digested carbs which kids need to provide a steady stream of fuel to their brains. It’s also fortified with iron too. Just one cup of cooked spaghetti serves up roughly 20 percent of the iron a school aged child needs in a day. Top it with tomato sauce and you’ll up its iron absorption even more.

Try: Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce

Related: 7 Ways to Cook With Spaghetti






Photo: Jim Franco

Photo: Jim Franco

Eggs

Kids who eat breakfast perform better on math and reading tests and pay more attention in school. Why not scramble up some eggs? They’re rich in choline, a nutrient needed to produce acetylcholine (a neurotransmitter that’s critical for memory). For a quick, portable morning meal, tuck a scrambled egg into a warm corn tortilla and top with a dash of salsa. One large egg sports half the daily choline a four to eight year old requires and a third of the choline needed for kids ages nine to 13.

Try: Scrambled Egg Burritos

Keep Reading: Back to School Brain Food






More from My Recipes:

Pack a Lunch With a Healthy Punch
Make Ahead Lunchbox Snacks
Kid-Approved Breakfast Bites
 
Posted by: Send a Meal AT 10:57 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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