NUTRITIONIST AVAANTI DESHPAANDE

Learn the art to eat smart!!

Best performance for exam – What to eat for concentration and memory boosting

With the year ending the exam time is nearing for all the students. This can be truly called as the exam season. Along with this there is also a change in the season. So there are possibilities of children picking up infections. So when the food routine has to be planned accordingly.

Eating food on schedule has always been the last thing on the kids mind and to add on to this is the study pressure.

 5 Ways to prep well for the exams

  1. Make it a point to stay hydrated– water is the most important and the ignored nutrient. Especially during the time of preparing of the exams make it a point to keep a bottle of water handy. This will help us to be hydrated and in turn keep us mentally alert. Drink about 15-18 glasses of water in the day.
  2. Keep quick fillers handy at the study table– A lot of the kids spent time studying late nights. Dinner happens to be the last meal after which the kids are up some for almost the whole night. This triggers acidity due to acid reflux alongwith lack of sleep. Best thing is to keep the dinner as light as possible. This will also help the kids from feeling too sleepy. If the dinners are lighter then kids are bound to feel hungry later. At such times make it a point to keep low calorie or nutrients dense fillers around like almonds walnuts roasted chana peanuts which can easy pick up munchies. Nutrition bars or dry snacks like puffed rice chivda or rice flakes chivda will keep them light on stomach but still full enough to avoid acidity. Keep fried foods and snaky items like chips and namkeen away as they will further trigger acidity.
  3. Foods that function as memory boosters– omega 3 fatty acids is proved to be beneficial for improving the brain functioning. Consumption of fish, almonds, walnuts, flax seeds will improve provide the necessary omega 3. Not only during exam times but also the consumption throughout the year for better results. Fish could be consumed 3 times a week and walnuts almonds could be given as a snack in the day anytime 1fistful as one serving at a time
  4. Consumption of warm milk induces good sleep- milk contains the amino acid tryptophan which converts to neurotransmitter serotonin which induces sound sleep in children. Effects are better if the milk is slightly warm. Best would be to have an early dinner followed by a warm glass of milk at bedtime. Keep it sugar free as far as possible.
  5. Focus of foods rich in iron and b complex vitamins– foods rich in iron include green leafy vegetables like spinach, fenugreek coriander coloccasia, whole legumes like moth beans, green gram whole, kidney beans, lentils and whole grains like wheat, ragi, jowar. Iron present in non veg foods like eggs, fish chicken and red meats is better absorbed by the body as compared to the veg foods. These foods mentioned as also a rich source of b complex vitamins

Meal ideas on day of the exam

 On the day of the exam have a food item that will contain carbohydrate to provide the glucose which acts as a fuel for the brain. Combine this with a protein. Keep the meal light and not too heavy. Good options will be cornflakes with milk and some nuts like almonds or omelet sandwich or a small paratha with curds.

For an afternoon exam

 If there is an exam in the afternoon the kids can be given a good breakfast in the morning and for the lunch it can be a short meal combination with less oily food to avoid any sort of acid reflux. Acid reflux happens due to stress of the exam but if the food is also too oily it adds on to it. Some suggestions would be sandwich with a soup or chapati and sabji with dal. You can avoid rice if the kid feels to drowsy. A small frankie with veg stuffed inside a chapati will also serve the purpose.

For kids not too comfortable with solid foods

 Some kids are more comfortable with having only fluids before the exam time. At such times you can definitely make a thick milkshake or a smoothie in place of a solid meal. But do not send the child on an empty stomach on the day of the exam

How much of caffeine is good enough?

Tea and coffee are two drinks which are consumed in surplus during the study times. Caffeine gives the alertness by stimulating the brain and the nervous system. However it also leads to dehydration. Consuming excess of coffee or tea especially on an empty stomach will lead to severe acidity issues. Always combine your tea or coffee with some dry snacks like biscuits, puffed rice chivda or rice flakes chivda. This will reduce the harmful effects of the caffeine.

Generally recommended is 2 or at the most 3 cups of instant coffee in a day.

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