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Raising School Saavy Kids: The Nutrition Connection

By Cheri Fuller

What your child eats affects brain development, learning and overall health and fitness. Recent research from University of California at Davis showed that when kids came to school well nourished, they performed better on tests, had improved memory and verbal skills. But when they skipped breakfast, it actually changed the way their brains worked, lowering the speed and accuracy of information retrieval and diminishing their school performance.

What can you do to boost their nutrition? Make sure your kids have more good-for-you foods and fewer high-calorie, low-nutrient, empty junk foods. Take them shopping at the grocery store so they can pick out their favorite nutritious foods. Don't pressure your children to be slim or they become critical of their bodies. Instead, put the spotlight on good health and exercise. Get the whole family involved in eating well and it will become something positive you do together.

Provide brain-boosting foods like these:

Complex carbohydrates, such as whole wheat break or bagels, oatmeal, vegetables and fruit, to keep energy up and stimulate serotonin, a brain chemical linked to calmness.

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Protein, to boost metabolism and alertness. A peanut butter or chicken sandwich or a protein-packed lunch fends off afternoon slugginess on school days.

Calcium, found in milk, yogurt, and cheese, to build bones and teeth.

"Good fats," especially omega-3 fatty acids that enhance kids' ability to focus and concentrate on tasks. Good fats are found in fish, walnuts, and green leafy veggies.

Iron, from red meat, beans and other foods for good concentration.

Healthy munchies, like granola bars, popcorn, fruit smoothies, nuts and fruit.

With a combination of smart, nutritious eating and fun, heart-pumping activities, your kids will be on their way to healthy bodies and minds!

© Cheri Fuller
Cheri Fuller is an international speaker and award-winning author of forty two books including her newest, Mother-Daughter Duet: Getting to the Relationship You Want With Your Adult Daughter, The One Year Women's Friendship Devotional. She has also authored a number of books for moms like: The Mom You're Meant to Be, The One Year Women's Friendship Devotional, the bestselling When Mothers Pray, A Busy Woman's Guide to Prayer, Connect With Your Grandkids, as well as The One Year Book of Praying Through the Bible. Her books have been translated into many languages and her magazine articles and speaking ministry provide encouragement to moms throughout the U.S. and overseas.

A former Oklahoma Mother of the Year, Cheri has been a frequent guest on "Focus on the Family" and other national radio and TV programs. Her articles on prayer, family, marriage, and children have appeared in Focus on the Family, Family Circle, ParentLife, Guideposts, Today's Christian Woman, Better Homes & Gardens, and other publications.

Cheri's passion is encouraging women, mentoring moms, building families, and inspiring and equipping people to connect with God in their busy life so they can impact their kids and their world through prayer. Her ministry and course called "Parenting From Behind Bars" and gives hope and purpose to mothers in prison. She and her husband Holmes have three grown children, six lively grandchildren and live in Edmond, Oklahoma.
Her website, includes a blog, articles, free Bible studies, encouragement, and more.


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