Better nutrition and exercise can help students academically?
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Regular access to quality nutrition along with increased opportunities for physical activity may aid students in reaching their academic potential.
WHAT WE KNOW
Research shows that there are many benefits of diets rich in fruits and vegetables. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), those who eat healthy diets abundant in fruits and vegetables have a decreased risk of chronic disease such as heart disease and certain types of cancer. Also, fruits and vegetables keep you satisfied while providing your body with vital nutrients. They are low in calories and fat and high in nutrients such as fiber.
The GENYOUth Foundation, the National Dairy Council (NDC), American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), and the American School Health Association (ASHA), have released a report focusing on the link between quality nutrition, physical activity and academic performance in America’s children and youth.
HOW DO WE KNOW THIS?
Regular access to quality nutrition along with increased opportunities for physical activity may aid students in reaching their academic potential. The report states that more than half of teenagers say they don’t eat breakfast every day of the week, and breakfast eaters have better memory and attention than breakfast skippers. Poor nutrition in students leads to absenteeism, hunger, and psychosocial problems. In terms of physical activity, three-quarters of high school students aren’t active for the recommended 60 minutes per day, and kids who are more active during school perform better on standardized tests for reading, math and spelling. Physical activity may help to increase school performance and achievement. Nutrition and physical activity may play a neurophysiological role in helping children improve academically.*
Children can understand and appreciate the value of a healthy lifestyle. You can help your kids make healthy meal choices at home as well as in school. Here are a few ways to make living a healthy lifestyle exciting and rewarding for them…
- Tag, You’re It! Playing tag, baseball, or taking a walk through the county zoo are all great ways to get your kids excited about physical activity.
- Recruit Your Troops. Enlist the help of your kids with food shopping and cooking. Try our Top 10 Ways to Get Kids Involved in Shopping & Cooking for a hands-on approach.
- Picky Eaters. Allow your children to choose the recipes for meals from our Healthy Cooking with Your Kids section. Invite them to participate in the cooking process.
- Play with Your Food. Visit our kids’ website, FoodChamps.org, for games that educate kids on fruits, vegetables and healthy lifestyles.
*”The Wellness Impact: Enhancing Academic Success through Healthy School Environments.” Rep. GenYouth
, n.d. Web. 6 Mar. 2013. View Article