We all want to give our children the best possible start in life and to see them reach their full potential… but did you know that you can increase your child’s intelligence, improve their brain function and help them do better in school with just a few simple changes?
These are our best tips for helping and supporting your children, to help them flourish.
keep the sugar down – especially at breakfast
Several studies show that after having a low glycaemic index (low sugar) breakfast, kids (including teenagers) have better brain function, than after a high sugar breakfast, like cereal or toast. Even better, they report feeling happier and more confident.1,2
This means that if you want your child to learn more and perform better in school, then you should feed them a breakfast that is higher in protein and fat than just cereal, balanced with some healthy complex carbohydrates.
Examples of a healthy breakfast for kids include:
- Peanut butter on wholemeal bread (you could consider 30 days completely gluten-free, if they are struggling with brain function and concentration.
- Scrambled eggs on wholemeal rye toast
- Full fat (unsweetened) yoghurt, berries and nuts
- Cheese and meat, just like the Europeans do!
- Chia seed breakfast pudding
- Porridge – made from real oats, not packet instant oatmeal, which contains high levels of added sugars and chemical ingredients. (Sweeten with berries, flavour with cinnamon or butter and no more than one teaspoon of honey.)
- Home-made low carb granola, berries and milk or yoghurt
- Low carb chocolate banana muffins
Studies for adults consuming a healthy, nutritious breakfast show similar results3. Eating a sugary breakfast negatively affects your cognitive performance (brain function and concentration). Or you could consider skipping breakfast altogether, as part of an intermittent fasting approach. The idea that breakfast is ‘the most important meal of the day’ is outdated and unproven.
- Micha R, Rogers PJ, Nelson M. Glycaemic index and glycaemic load of breakfast predict cognitive function and mood in school children: a randomised controlled trial Br J Nutr. 2011 Nov;106(10):1552-61. doi: 10.1017/S0007114511002303. Epub 2011 Jun 8. PMID: 21736777
- Cooper SB, Bandelow S, Nute ML, Morris JG, Nevill ME. Breakfast glycaemic index and cognitive function in adolescent school children Br J Nutr. 2012 Jun;107(12):1823-32. doi: 10.1017/S0007114511005022. Epub 2011 Sep 29. PMID: 22017815.