Category Archives: Nutrition & Study

“B” is for Breakfast

Empty Gas TankNo student can function well without fuel for the brain.  Going to school without breakfast is starting the tank on near empty.  The body’s metabolism is slowed until the first meal to break the fast and it is running on reserve supply until then.

“B” could also stand for B vitamins as they help to convert the nutrients of food into energy; and there lies the next problem when developing a better student.  How nutritious is the food if breakfast is eaten?

Children and teenagers require quite large amounts of nutrients to supply a growing body.  Now I didn’t say they required large amounts of kilojoules, as it is nutrients that build healthy bodies and minds.  Poor choices in food quality can lead to delivery of lots of kilojoules with few nutrients.  This may lead to the problem of childhood obesity.

Parents play a pivotal role in the development of their children’s eating habits.  They do this in their role of parent by not giving into the child’s whims for their favourite snack foods and their position as role model when they lead by example.

The energy requirement of a teenager in growth spurt is only marginally greater than that of pre-teen children and adults but their protective nutrient (protein, vitamins and minerals) per unit of energy consumed is greater.  This means a teenager requires high quality nutrient foods to maintain healthy body and mind rather than high energy foods to keep them active.

“The energy needs of teenage athletes are increased, often greatly, if heavy training and competitive sports are involved.” (Human Nutrition and Dietetics – Ninth Edition).

It is important for your child to maintain three meals a day with the addition of healthy snacks for morning and afternoon tea.

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Filed under Building Better Students, Nutrition & Study

“B” is for Breakfast

food-choiceNo student can function well without fuel for the brain.  Going to school without breakfast is starting the tank on near empty.  The body’s metabolism is slowed until the first meal to break the fast and it is running on reserve supply until then.

“B” could also stand for B vitamins as they help to convert the nutrients of food into energy; and there lies the next problem when developing a better student.  How nutritious is the food if breakfast is eaten?

Children and teenagers require quite large amounts of nutrients to supply a growing body.  Now I didn’t say they required large amounts of kilojoules, as it is nutrients that build healthy bodies and minds.  Poor choices in food quality can lead to delivery of lots of kilojoules with few nutrients.  This may lead to the problem of childhood obesity.

Parents play a pivotal role in the development of their children’s eating habits.  They do this in their role of parent by not giving into the child’s whims for their favourite snack foods and their position as role model when they lead by example.

The energy requirement of a teenager in growth spurt is only marginally greater than that of pre-teen children and adults but their protective nutrient (protein, vitamins and minerals) per unit of energy consumed is greater.  This means a teenager requires high quality nutrient foods to maintain healthy body and mind rather than high energy foods to keep them active.

“The energy needs of teenage athletes are increased, often greatly, if heavy training and competitive sports are involved.” (Human Nutrition and Dietetics – Ninth Edition).

It is important for your child to maintain three quality meals a day with the addition of healthy snacks for morning and afternoon tea.  The addition of the afternoon snack is important to fuel the brain for afteroon studies.

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Tuition Tip – Early Steps To Avoid Stressed Students

Daily Diary Does the Deed

Diary

The year is going to progress whether we become involved with it or not.  It has been my experience with students, particularly at secondary school level, that those who do not take control of time will have time controlling them.  It is these students that display symptoms of stress as the year progresses.

Students who learn how to use a diary and planner at the beginning of the year are more likely to feel relaxed as the year progresses.  Keeping a written diary/planner appears to be almost a lost science.  Everything today seems to be electronic with touch pads for keying entries and apps that help to link all the diaries together and co-ordinate your appointments.  This is all very impressive but is it helping your student?

At the beginning of the term or semester your student is given their assignments and due dates.  They are also aware of sports training and events they should be attending; forthcoming birthdays and family events; and school activities.  Showing your son or daughter how to use a diary is a valuable life skill to pass on to them.  Sitting down once a week (my wife and I use Sundays) and running through that week’s entries helps to co-ordinate lifestyles.

Remember: We are all given twenty four hours a day, how you use them is up to you.

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Tuition Tips – Brain Food For The Memory

Diet PlansThere are five essential nutrients for effective brain function, and this includes memory. Many teenagers are low in iodine, as can be said about the general population. It is readily found in some seafood but if you do not eat seafood then you must obtain it from another source.

Decades ago the government placed iodine in table salt so that inland populations may have a non-seafood source of the nutrient. If your family eats salt then it may be beneficial to purchase iodised salt. Other nutrients are omega-3 (from oily fish), iron (meat), zinc (almonds) and the B vitamins.

Two herbs gaining respect for their ability to aid memory are Ginkgo biloba and gotu kola. Ginkgo increases blood flow and fluidity to the brain and improved circulation aides brain function.

The quality of food is so important. We do no good for our children when we give into their tantrums for low nutrient junk food. Be parents to your children now and their friends when they grow up.

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Tuition Tips – Brain Food

pacific cruise 2012 074Vitamin C

Now before you go off collecting kindling to burn me for being a witch let’s have a look at how vitamin C can be considered brain food.  The highest concentration of vitamin C in the body is found in the adrenal glands because it is required to make cortisol and adrenalin for conditions of stress.  But the next highest concentration is found in the brain.  Why would the brain require vitamin C?  So the body may produce dopamine, serotonin and melatonin.  Vitamin C helps to keep your sanity as well as your collagen intake.

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Tuition Tips – Brain Food With B Vitamins

Empty Gas TankHaving a properly fuelled student goes a long way to producing good academic results.  There are times a student will come to our tuition room tired and unmotivated.   They are slow in movement and slow in thought when the previous week they were lively, animated and full of beans.  How has such a difference come about in such a short time?

My first question to afternoon students is, “When did you last eat?”, whereas my second question is, “When did you last have a drink of water?”  Lack of food (fuel) and lack of hydration are two factors that will bring about that feeling of being tired.  Consuming water and a healthy snack before settling down to working the little grey cells will go a long way to helping a student concentrate during study time.

This week we will look at B vitamins and their role.

The chief function of B Vitamins is to act as spark plugs for the body to assist in converting glucose into energy for fuel.  They are also vitally important for the functioning of a healthy nervous system and in helping to promote relaxation in stressed individuals.   Very few vitamins are found in a packet of potato crisps and a can of coke.   A person will literally obtain more miles out of a banana than soft drinks and chips.

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Filed under Learning, Nutrition & Study, Tuition Tips, Uncategorized

Tuition Tips – Brain Food

Diet PlansYour car will not run without fuel and neither will your body, including your brain.  Too often the last decent meal a student has before they attend our Tuition Room after school is breakfast – and it shows.

The inability to concentrate, feeling listless, unenthusiastic and headaches are all signs of insufficient nutrient intake.  The body begins to slow down by mid-afternoon after a day of high activity and very little nutritious food.

The best way to maintain high-energy output is to ensure a nutritious breakfast, a healthy lunch and perhaps morning and afternoon tea.  A healthy round of vegemite sandwiches with a glass of water or milk will ensure the B Vitamins for energy production are in the body to spur the brain into motion

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HYPERACTIVITY & ADD IN A NUTSHELL

Kinaesthetic learner, Attention Deficit Disorder or hyperactivity, it doesn’t necessarily help the situation when you have a name for a particular behaviour.  In fact some people resign from any responsibility for their actions when they are labelled.  The problem is what can be done?

According to Henry Osiecki (B.Sc. Grad. Dip Nutr. & Dietetics) some symptoms of ADHD are similar to those of essential fatty acid (EFA) deficiencies.  Behavioural and learning problems, tantrums and sleeping disorders are common to both.  Supplementing with omega 3 has been shown to improve learning and concentration behaviour.

Other Nutritional Deficiencies in Learning – if your diet is inadequate then consider a quality multi-vitamin

B Complex

The functions of the B vitamins in mental alertness and energy are well established.

EFA – Omega 3 & Omega 6

Introducing fish oil into a youngster’s diet may do wonders for concentration.

Zinc

The functions of zinc and the immune system have been known for over 100 years.  Knowledge of its other functions is relatively recent. Low levels of zinc are associated with low alertness, inability to think along abstract lines (learn a language e.g. English), mood and memory problems.

Magnesium

One of the most deficient minerals in the modern western diet.  Low brain magnesium gives unrefreshed sleep, causes easy fatigue (important for the Krebs Cycle of energy production), poor concentration and daytime sleepiness.

Of course nothing replaces a good healthy eating habit.

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Sometimes There Might Be Learning Difficulties

I don’t know where this statistic arises from but I read that about 5% of public school children suffer from a learning disability.  The difficulties experienced by students include language, reading and mathematics.  At times social skill, emotional and behavioural problems are associated with learning disabilities. As a parent what can you do?

There are many services available to help parents with children who have learning difficulties but, according to Henry Osieki [B.Sc. (Hons.) & Grad. Dip. Nutrition and Dietetics], one of the prime causes is malnutrition.  He suggests certain factors as possible causes to learning disorders include:

Heavy metal toxicity – in the past lead toxicity has been associated with learning problems.

Nutritional Deficiencies – The most common nutrients associated with difficulties with learning are B-vitamins, iron, iodine, magnesium, and zinc.  This can be linked directly to a poor diet.  Here is an example diet for you to consider:

  • Breakfast – bowl of low nutrient cereal; or nothing (because the parent has not prepared a breakfast for their child).
  • Morning tea – nothing.
  • Lunch – hot dog and can of soft drink; or nothing.
  • Afternoon tea – junk food purchased from local shop on the way home or nothing as both parents work.
  • Dinner – sausages, vegetables and gravy with ice cream for dessert.

A child of any age is growing pretty rapidly and is in need of food for energy and nutrients (protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals) to help supply the body with the building blocks to allow the cells to multiply and the body to grow.  If the dinner from the above example was to become the breakfast you would have an alert, bright student sitting in the class until about lunch time.

Impaired hearing – inner ear infections or inflammation of the ear drum from allergies will hamper the early learning stages of pre-schoolers.  I am talking about your toddler here who is doing their best to learn a language so they may communicate with the world.  Parents need to be vigilant when it comes to ear infections at this stage.  Image the problems caused with learning a language when a child hears only the first part of a word the first time and the last part the next time.  To them they are hearing two separate words relating to the same subject.

Osieki states that dyslexic children tend to have a higher concentration of copper in sweat and hair and this may be reduced by taking zinc and vitamin C.

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Food For Thought About Learning Difficulties

I don’t know where this statistic arises from but I read that about 5% of public school children suffer from a learning disability.

Confused BabyThe difficulties experienced by students include language, reading and mathematics. At times social skill, emotional and behavioural problems are associated with learning disabilities. As a parent what can you do?

There are many services available to help parents with children who have learning difficulties but, according to Henry Osieki [B.Sc. (Hons.) & Grad. Dip. Nutrition and Dietetics], one of the prime causes is malnutrition. He suggests certain factors as possible causes to learning disorders include:

Heavy metal toxicity – in the past lead toxicity has been associated with learning problems.

Nutritional Deficiencies – The most common nutrients associated with difficulties with learning are B-vitamins, iron, iodine, magnesium, and zinc. This can be linked directly to a poor diet. Here is an example diet for you to consider:

  • Breakfast – bowl of low nutrient cereal; or nothing (because the parent has not prepared a breakfast for their child).
  • Morning tea – nothing.
  • Lunch – hot dog and can of soft drink; or nothing.
  • Afternoon tea – junk food purchased from local shop on the way home or nothing as both parents work.
  • Dinner – sausages, vegetables and gravy with ice cream for dessert.

A child of any age is growing pretty rapidly and is in need of food for energy and nutrients (protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals) to help supply the body with the building blocks to allow the cells to multiply and the body to grow. If the dinner from the above example was to become the breakfast you would have an alert, bright student sitting in the class until about lunch time.

Impaired hearing – inner ear infections or inflammation of the ear drum from allergies will hamper the early learning stages of pre-schoolers. I am talking about your toddler here who is doing their best to learn a language so they may communicate with the world. Parents need to be vigilant when it comes to ear infections at this stage. Image the problems caused with learning a language when a child hears only the first part of a word the first time and the last part the next time. To them they are hearing two separate words relating to the same subject.

Osieki states that dyslexic children tend to have a higher concentration of copper in sweat and hair and this may be reduced by taking zinc and vitamin C.

Nutritional consideration to help your youngster to learn:

  • Most importantly is a healthy diet. Keep the crunchy low nutrient junk foods to a minimum. Remember who the parent is here.
  • A child’s dose multi vitamin/mineral if the diet is inadequate.
  • If you think your child is dyslexic then perhaps some zinc and vitamin C. (Always follow the recommended dose for age).
  • If inner ear inflammation is a continual problem then consider testing for food allergies.

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