5 Holistic Tips To Improve Your Grades

August 31, 2015

5 Holistic Tips to IMPROVE Your Child’s School Year and Grades
back to school holistic health tip

back to school holistic health tip

As a parent are you:

  • Are you worried that your child is stressed, anxious or nervous about school?
  • Wondering how you can best support your kids for a great school year?
  • Do your kids struggle to stay focused or have problems recalling information?
  • Do your kids feel exhausted, or often look for a quick energy fix?
  • Wondering what is best to feed your kids on school days?

Here are some Great Holistic Nutrition Tips to assist your child to perform and learn at their best:

Do these meals look familiar to you, or your children?

Breakfast: (coffee) a bagel, muffin, toast, or a bowl of cereal, or packaged granola bar, or worse, nothing at all?

Morning snack: (coffee) a muffin, granola/cereal bar, cookie or chocolate?

Lunch: a processed meat and cheese sandwich, bag of chips or crackers, cookies, soda or juice?

Afternoon snack: some sort of energy drink, juice (or coffee), cereal or energy bar, crackers, cookie or chips?

Dinner: Pasta based meal?

Late snack: chocolate, sweets, or chips? 

These types of meals and choices on a regular basis, set us up for energy drain, a compromised immune system, high levels of stress and mental fogginess.

Choosing sugar laden foods, caffeine and other stimulants drains your child’s brain and energy, as well a suppresses your child’s immune system.  These food type choices also jazz up your your CNS (central nervous system), leaving your child feeling tired but wired, anxious and stressed out.  Not exactly a smart way to set up your child, or yourself, up for a day of learning and success.

Research shows that continued release of cortisol (the body’s stress hormone) and the intake of “stress foods” (sugars, caffeine, artificial colourings, flavourings, pesticides, herbicides and fungicides) inhibits short-term memory recall, depletes energy levels and diminishes focus and concentration.   All of which are important foundations for healthy learning children.

What’s great to know, is that there are specific “brain foods” that can boost your child’s concentration, and helpful relaxation techniques that you can teach them (or they can learn in Yoga Monkey classes) that can calm their minds and relax their bodies.  As well, many lifestyle choices that you can help them with and implement, to help your kids focus better and become healthier overall. 

Knowing is half the battle, so, here are some helpful holistic tips that will improve your child’s focus, concentration, memory and grades:

1) Hydrate

Water is essential for learning, since dehydration can cause loss of focus, concentration and information recall.  Pack fresh clean spring or filtered water in your child’s backpack and encourage them to keep it at their desk and to sip all day.  It is best to use a glass reusable bottle, such as “Life Factory” brand, and begin to reduce your child’s exposure to plastics (xenoestrogens… but that’s a whole other story)

How much water your child should drink daily, is dependent on their weight: multiply 0.033 by their body weight in kg and you have how many litres of water they’ll need per day. 

2) Take After School Naps and Rest/Down Time 

A 2011 study showed that taking a nap (15-20 minutes) immediately following learning or memorizing of new information helps the brain to consolidate memories according to their relative importance and the learner’s expectations for remembering.  

Please note that rest and downtime should be screen free, have a slow pace and be relaxing.  ie meditation, yoga, a walk in nature, daydreaming, painting, gardening..etc.

3) Eat Breakfast

Studies find that eating a healthy breakfast improves short-term memory and attention. Students who eat breakfast tend to perform better than those who do not.  

What you choose to feed them, plays a huge role in how they perform as well, as discussed breads, sugars and simple carbohydrates are not your best options.  Aim for some organic proteins, like free run eggs and organic bacon, with spinach or cucumber slices, or a whole food smoothie (raw milk or unsweetened almond milk, chia seeds, spirulina, frozen banana, fresh fruit, fresh greens, and optionally some “vega” or a “whole food” protein source) 

These breakfast ideas will boost brain function, regulate blood sugars, and create sustainable energy (with no crash). 

Foods to Stay AWAY From:

  • breakfast cereals
  • coffee and all caffeinated beverages 
  • candy and sugars (also beware of artificial sweeteners in candy and gum)
  • chips
  • muffins, cookies, pre-packaged bars, donuts and other baked items
  • chocolate (dark, organic in moderation is okay)
  • white bread, crackers, and processed grains
  • energy drinks, fruit juice and soda pop
  • milk (unless raw organic)

4) Get Fresh Air

Researcher Bernell Baldwin’s studies show, that fresh air is chemically different from recirculated indoor air that most kids in school environments breathe.  High quality fresh air is actually electrified, and the life-giving oxygen molecule is negatively charged or “negatively ionized.” Outdoor negatively charged oxygen, helps our emotions remain stable and tending to be more  on the positive side.

Indoor recycled air, can tend to hold an abundance of pollutants, from chemical cleaning materials and agents, paints, carpets, synthetic material and even fluorescent lights are shown to bring an abundance of unwanted positive ions. These positive ions appear to alter the brain’s levels of serotonin (a feel good chemical / hormone in the brain).  

Getting outside regularly (and not just at recess) will significantly improve your child’s mood, mental focus and their ability to manage stress.

5) Avoid Sugar

This tip is one of the MOST POWERFUL steps you can do to help your child.   Study after study shows that a diet high in sugar reduces the production of a brain chemical known as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).  Without BDNF, our brains can NOT form new memories and we can NOT learn, or remember, much at all.  Furthermore, reduced BDNF levels often are linked to depression, and dull the brain’s mechanism for telling you to stop eating.

The evidence is everywhere, eliminate your intake of sugars and you will help improve your child’s brain function, memory recall and decrease anxiety.  As well as help create healthy life patterns and choices for your child, to help avoid other life altering diseases such as; diabetes, metabolic syndrome, syndrome X, Parkinson’s, and more that are linked to overconsumption of sugar.  

You can make a huge difference in your child’s learning, grades, mood and enjoyment of the school year.

~ Cheers to Sept 2015

Alyssa Huntley

11:11 Full Circle Healing

~~ info courtesy of the CHEK institute (J.R.)

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