The Woodlands LearningRx offers ways to power up kids' lunches
As the new school year begins, parents are being encouraged to provide their children with nutritious lunches to ensure both their mental and physical health.
According to a press release, Kim Bellini, the owner and director of The Woodlands LearningRx, said that the types of foods people ingest play a major role in cognitive function.
"Every child has strengths and weaknesses with cognitive skills, but there are environmental factors that can keep children from reaching their top potential," Bellini said in the release. "Diet is definitely one of them. I notice for myself, when I'm not eating right, I get this brain fog that keeps me from functioning at my best."
Some foods that are known to help with the nutritional balance needed for optimum mental function include dark chocolate, dried blueberries, smoked salmon, avocados and pumpkin seeds.
"To understand which foods are best, you have to know a bit about how the brain functions," she said. "The brain actually uses 20 percent of the body's metabolic fuel but makes up 2 percent of body weight."
Bellini said it is important to understand that the brain cannot store carbohydrates the way muscles do and needs a constant supply of glucose.
To keep glucose levels stable, Bellini suggests substituting complex carbohydrates for simple sugars, balancing carbohydrates by serving them with small amounts of protein, beneficial fats and fiber, giving children snacks throughout the day as opposed to huge meals, and providing children with a healthy breakfast every morning.
Other essential substances necessary for brain function include vitamins and minerals, unsaturated fats, protein and plenty of water.
"Even slight mineral deficits can lead to fatigue, forgetfulness and concentration problems," she said.
Bellini said the best way for parents to assist with their children's cognitive function is to provide them with healthy foods.
"Basically, what's good for the body is good for the brain," Bellini said.
For more information, call 832-482-3082 or visit learningrx.com/the-woodlands.
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