January 27, 2019
We can almost here the school bell ring as we're busy organising school supplies, uniforms, cleaning lunchboxes and motivating our kids for another studious and successful school year. Summer was awesome but so is getting back into a routine and stimulating those little brains once again.
This return to a new school year also means we have to get our routines back on track and reign back in those healthy habits. With all that learning the kids are about to do, supporting their brain health helps them learn more efficiently and also helps them wind down easier at the end of their busy days. So what can we do to help them along the way?
Here are 5 tips to boosting kids brain power:
1) Diet: this is one is no-brainer (pun intended). Nutrition affects kids brains both short term with concentration and focus, and long term such as brain growth and development. Be sure to start their day (and yours) with a healthy breakfast and include lots of brain-friendly foods in their diet, such as:
Nuts & seeds, protein, foods rich in omegas (think chia puddings!), leafy greens, beans & lentils.
2) Sleep: ensure your kids sleep needs are being met.
Children 3-10 years: about 10-12 hours a day.
11-12 years: about 10 hours each day.
Teenagers: about 9 hours a day.
Encourage sleep with healthy sleep habits. No screen time at least an hour before bed, reading before bed and aim for an emotional connection before bed to meet their emotional needs as well. Brains function optimally when well rested!
3) Exercise: This one is critical. Its hard to expect children to sleep well when they haven't been able to burn off energy. Furthermore, playing sports, free play, running, hiking and more promote healthy brain development. Exercise is also an excellent stress-reducer, which is very important in little peoples worlds as childhood anxiety becomes more and more common.
4) Mindfulness & Relaxation: kids also feel stress and worries and arguably more so these days than ever before. Just as stress affects our cognition, it affects the little ones too. With a rise in anxiety and suicide in children, their mental wellbeing is extremely important. Not only does practicing mindfulness and relaxation help combat some of these serious issues, it also helps the brain regenerate after a busy day of learning and play. Letting all of that important information absorb.
There are a lot of resources these days including free apps!
5) Stimulating Activities: stimulating games can be fun for the whole family. They can be simple board games, games that encourage logic and problem solving, concentration and memory. Keep it light and fun and make it part of your daily habits!
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