Does Food Affect Learning?

We have all gone through the tumultuous methods of getting rid of foods that our parents would force feed us in the name of nutrition and strength! The levels a child goes to, to ensure he/she is spared that tall glass of milk, plate full of vegetables, grainy gooey soups and salads is unbelievable. Some naughty little kids will pour milk into flower pots, fling the broccoli into their sibling’s plate, trade their ‘nutritious’ food for crunchy treats among school mates and more! Barely any child will willingly take down milk, veggies, proteins, and nutrients that look unappetizing or taste bad.

Food Today

Every household follows assorted styles and choices when it comes to food and health, which must be respected as long as  no life is harmed or offended in the process. There is so much discussion today about what is good and what is bad to consume. We see parents taking up the vegan lifestyle and having their children adhere to it too. We see parents constantly making the right food choices and finding out which food is important for health, is food coloring bad for you, is food poisoning deadly, how does food affect learning, is food good for learning, why does better food help students learn, why is learning about food important, importance of nutrition for students and more on a daily basis. This only seems right because the credibility of foods we buy today is so little, it can only make us question it. Milk is one of the biggest examples of this dilemma. Since childhood we have learned that milk is good for your bones and body, but now, we are told that packaged milk (the most easily found and used method of buying milk in cities) does absolutely no good to the body. It is barely a liquid entering the system. Just like milk, the craze for white oil (aka vegetable oil) was at its peak a few decades ago when it was sold as the ultimate healthy oil in the world, now we find out that it is incredibly bad for our body; leading to a host of diseases, heart attacks, cholesterol, and death even. It is not a surprise that parents go in depth while researching for foods they should buy and control what enters their and their precious children’s systems.

Food and learning

We are often questioning how the food you eat affects you, how does food affect learning and can food affect your thinking?

Well, food does affect your learning and there are biological triggers for it too. What you consume has an adverse effect on your body and most importantly on your brain. Food you consume actually affects neurons which are the major cells of your brain. Unhealthy diets that are rich in fats and sugars cause inflammation of these neurons and trigger the inhibition to form new neurons. This affects how your brain works and in turn triggers mental health disorders such as depression. Healthy diets that include nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial to your brain health. These kinds of diets make your brain happy, improve thinking, attention and memory.

Since Omega-3 fatty acids cannot be made by our body, we must provide it through

  • α-linolenic acid – common in plants like walnuts and in seeds like flax seeds
  • Eicosatetraenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) – found in fish oils

Fish oil and omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of brain disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease or depression which is why it is essential, we eat them.

A growing body requires appropriate food to help grow and develop at a stable rate. What children eat does not just affect how they physically develop but also affects their mood, mental health and learning as a whole. Eating healthy can improve a child’s mental health, help them with cognitive skills such as concentration and memory and also improve their academic performance.

What should a child’s plate contain every day?

Here are five food groups that have minimally processed food that you must indulge your children with:

  • Organic and seasonal fruits on a daily basis
  • Vegetables and beans/legumes should take up more than half your plate. Veggies can be categorized into leafy greens, red or orange vegetables, starchy vegetables, beans and legumes. One should try different vegetables and find fresh ones too!
  • Grains (cereal foods) in the form of whole grains contain fiber and protein. Since the body takes more time to break down whole grains, they have a lesser effect on a person’s blood sugar level. Whereas refined grains have less protein and fiber and cause blood sugar spikes.
  • Fish, tofu, nuts and seeds, lean meat and poultry, fish, eggs, milk are all protein based and help your body in developing!
  • Milk, cheese, yoghurt, other alternatives

Junk food and processed food actually aid in mental health disorders as has been proven and can make children 80% more likely to develop them. Nutritionally poor food like chips, candies, fried foods etc. are connected to emotional and behavioral problems in children and adolescents. Of course, we do not intend to caging the child to only healthy food, but excess of anything can lead to a bad effect. Children should most definitely enjoy what they like and parents must make an effort to add the required nutrients and proteins in forms that can appeal to the child!

Here’s are some foods that are good for your body and also look like the body parts they help with:

  • Grapes: looks like the alveoli of the lungs (tiny sacs in our lungs allowing oxygen and carbon dioxide to move between the lungs and bloodstream) reduce the risk of lung cancer and emphysema (a long-term disease of the lungs).
  • Kidney Beans: contain lots of fiber and soluble fiber. They are also very high in protein and iron. Looks like the kidney and good for the kidney.
  •  Sweet Potatoes: resemble the pancreas and actually help balance the glycemic index of diabetics. They are filled with vitamin A and are also a very good source of vitamin C.
  • Onions look like human body cells and they clear waste materials from all of the body cells.
  •  Ginger looks like the intestines and relieves digestive problems such as nausea, loss of appetite, motion sickness, and pain.
  •  Carrots: make your eyes sparkle and your vision clearer, enhance blood flow to the eyes.
  • Walnut: help in developing more than three dozen neuron-transmitters within the brain. Looks like the brain, helps the brain!
  • Celery looks like a big bone and targets bone strength.

 

We hope this blog helped you answer the question of why does better food help students learn, importance of nutrition for students, effects of poor nutrition on learning, education and healthy eating, does food help your brain think, how does unhealthy food affect your brain, how does food affect your mental health, how does food affect your mood, and how does eating unhealthy affect your mental health!

Schools like New Horizon Public School (NHPS) – one among the top schools in Bangalore encourages and educates students on the importance of healthy foods and the effect they can have on their education and life as a whole. New Horizon Public School Bangalore and schools in Indiranagar Bangalore, put their best efforts in creating a healthy lifestyle for every student that steps into the school. The top 10 schools in Bangalore and Bangalore schools icse are making choices that help students discover their true potential and work towards it every day!

If you are a concerned parent looking up ‘schools near me’ then this is a call for you to fill in that icse admission form and give your child the best ICSE education in the best ICSE school in Bangalore among the top schools in Bangalore.

A teacher at New Horizon Public School is more than a source of wisdom and knowledge

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    Respected Madam,

    I am writing this e-mail with immense happiness and gratitude. To see Niharica improve slowly and steadily has given me a lot of confidence that she will do well in her academics even in her higher classes. She now reads very well and independently. She also remembers things better. Her writing has improved as well.

    I would like to thank you mam for your patience, understanding and encouragement. I would also thank the school management for having such a set up where the kids can be given special attention to improve in the areas that they are weak in.

    Mam, I am sure that with your guidance Niharica will have a wholesome growth. Thank you once again.

    Yours sincerely,
    Malathy
    (5.10.2021)