Updated: Nov 11, 2019
We all have read about and know that eating healthy leads to greater longevity, more energy, and a more positive outlook on life. But the impact healthy eating has on students’ ability to learn is less well known. Existing data though suggests that with better nutrition, students are better able to learn, have fewer absences, and improved classroom behavior. Indeed, several studies show that good nutrition can have a significant positive impact on brain function. For example, iron and other vitamin deficiencies can decrease dopamine levels thereby decreasing cognitive capabilities and mental concentration. Research also shows that increased amino acids and carbohydrates can improve perception, intuition, and reasoning. That’s why healthy eating can improve cognitive skills and even intelligence.
Everyone Should Eat A Balanced Breakfast
Good nutrition starts with the first meal of the day. And according to articles on livestrong.com by Jan Sheehan and Nancy Clarke, skipping breakfast can have a negative impact on learning. Getting adequate protein, vitamins and minerals from food can keep students from getting sick and missing class time. Moreover, hunger can be distracting and make students irritable and antisocial. Alternatively, eating a healthy breakfast can improve alertness and mood. The Food Research and Action Center relates that students who eat a complete breakfast work more quickly with fewer math and number errors than those who don't. Healthy eating also contributes to better performance on vocabulary and visual skills tests. Research suggests that eating rightimproves memory, problem solving and concentration skills leading to higher grades.
Boost the Memory
Even with breakfast, the brain can run out of fuel before lunch. That’s why kids should also eat a midmorning snack. Children who ate a smaller breakfast and lunch but consumed a midmorning snack experienced a smaller decline in immediate and delayed memory. Yogurt with blueberries is one recommendation. This fruit has been linked to better memory in studies. A hard-boiled egg is also a good snack choice because eggs contain choline, a nutrient shown to improve memory in animal studies.
Junk Food Has A Profound Impact On Education
Students who eat lots of junk food are more likely to fall behind in school. A study of public school students published in the Journal of School Health linked high intake of sweetened beverages, such as sugary sodas to lower scores on math tests. A diet high in junk food and sugary sodas is also linked to childhood obesity, which could result in lower cognitive functioning, according to 2011 Yale University research. On the other hand, students with healthy eating habits are less likely to be obese and more likely to learn well.
The Boulevard School offers best practices early childhood educational programs for families in the San Fernando Valley and surrounding communities. We work hard to provide an environment that nurtures academic learning, creative expression, growth and development and information to help children thrive.