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Monday, December 28, 2009

Importance of Nutrition In School Performance

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I read in a Prevention article earlier this year that there was a study done that said iron deficiency in girls can cause them to do 2x as poorly as their peers in math. While we are urged to give our children the important nutrients they need for optimal health, this research suggests that nutrients are key to perform well in school, too.

The findings of this study prove that food is essential to a successfully functioning brain. What this means is that as parents we can't just sit back and allow our children to stuff whatever they feel like into their mouths. We must be proactive in getting them to ingest the vital nutrients that run their bodies optimally.

To get my kids to eat food that they may not find appeasing at first, I offer a smaller amount of it than foods I know they like and I tell them so. I tell them to eat what they don't like first because it is so good for their bodies. I have not only employed this tactic with my children, but I continue to use it on myself. It is the method I used to get the kids to eat beets, brussel sprouts, and brocolli, which they now love. I have learned to like yogurt and cottage chees and tolerate beets.

So much of getting our kids to eat different dishes is about exposing the dishes to them. How will a child eat what she hasn't seen?

But more than just exposing the children to the dishes is nudging them to actually taste them. If this means bribing your child, at least at first, I say OK. For every bite of something I want him to eat, he gets two bites of something he chooses. Let's be realistic. He's probably having what he chooses anyway. This way, he's also having something nutritious.

School aged children need anywhere from 8 to 15 milligrams of iron per day in their diets FROM FOOD, not supplements. Foods that contain iron are beef liver, spinach, lima beans, lentils, potatoes with skin, organic beef and chicken, and avocado. Incorporate these foods whenever possible with other foods such as salads and casseroles to get your children to secretly eat them.

Getting enough iron in their diets is just one way to help your child achieve in math. To view a 38 page book of strategies on how to help your child achieve in math, go to

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