Why is food important for learning?
By Henry Pike, Director
A diet high in carbohydrates is good for sustaining energy in your kids throughout the school day, but if you want to give them an extra brain boost, try serving them a breakfast of proteins such as eggs and milk.
“Having a higher protein, lower carbohydrate breakfast enhances concentration and memory,” says Andrew Fuller, a fellow at the University of Melbourne’s departments of Psychiatry and Learning and Educational Development.
Andrew says eggs in particular “literally lay down learning” because of the nutrient choline found in them, which helps to improve thinking and memory.
Mother Nature is full of foods that aid smarter thinking and help kids and adults alike live longer – richly coloured berries to improve your child’s mood, avocado on toast to calm them. It all comes down to regularly eating foods that supply nutrients which support specific brain and body functions, Andrew says.
“What you’re trying to avoid is white squishy things, so basically chips, bread, cakes – these aren’t the things that really love us long term,” he says.
“If you want your kids to be on top of the game, they need to have an optimal brain and you only get an optimal brain if you sleep well, eat well, live well.”
In the mood for food
Learning, concentration and memory: eggs; dark coloured vegetables such as silver beetroot, spinach, broccoli and beans; and oranges. Exercise is also good for thinking because it gets the blood flowing.
Happiness and sleep: almonds; cottage cheese; richly coloured berries such as strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries; lean beef; milk; pumpkin seeds; and turkey.
Pleasure, motivation and concentration: chicken; dairy such as milk, yoghurt and cheese; fish such as wild salmon; oats; and chicken.
Energy and memory: chicken; dairy such as milk and yoghurt; lima beans; peanuts; and sesame seeds.
Calmness: avocado; eggs; grape juice; peaches; peas; and sunflower seeds.
Longevity: think Mediterranean diet such as olive oil and tomatoes.
Recipe Idea: Raw Chocolate Protein Brownies
By Henry Pike, Director
I love this recipe. A no bake protein bar which takes just minutes to make and is then frozen to quickly harden. I love eating this after my morning workout and makes a delicious healthy breakfast on the go or afternoon pick me up snack. You can also keep them in the fridge until needed.
What’s good about it?
Adding the protein powder makes this an ideal snack to stabilise blood sugar levels, support muscle mass and healthy immune system.
120g Chocolate protein powder
30g Coconut Flour
1 tsp Cinnamon
1tsp maca powder
1tbsp lucuma powder
1tbsp raw cacao powder
1tsp vanilla extract
3tbsp honey or coconut syrup
100ml Almond Milk
30g coconut oil melted
75g Cashew nut or almond nut butter
50g sugar free chocolate chips
- Grease and line a 20cm square baking tin with baking parchment.
- Place all the dry ingredients in a food processor and combine. Add the remaining ingredients except the chocolate chips and process to form a stiff dough. Stir in the chocolate chips.
- Press the mixture firmly into the pan using the back of a spoon.
- Place in the fridge for 1 hour to firm up. Cut into bars.