COVID-19 update: We're responding in a variety of ways to support our employees, customers, network dentists, and our fellow South Dakotans. Learn more.

178849014

School Foods that Boost Brainpower

Studying and snacking go hand-in-hand. Feeding kids nutritious food benefits their smile, body and brain. Younger years are critical for cranium development, so use these tips to provide proper nutrition this school year.

• WAKE UP TO WATER.

Kids aren’t getting enough water. And even mild cases of dehydration can cause kids to feel lethargic and irritable. Other beverages like sugary juices and sodas, can make cells more dehydrated. Encourage h2O consumption upon waking and send them to school with a water bottle.

• BREAK FOR BREAKFAST.

Breakfast boosts brainpower. Kids who eat breakfast perform better academically than those who skip it. Breakfast eaters also have better concentration and more energy. Oatmeal is a simple and effective go-to. Kids who ate oatmeal did better on memory-related school tasks than those who ate sugary cereal, according to one study.

• PAIR PROTEIN WITH COMPLEX CARBS.

In terms of energy, this pair is a match made in heaven. Complex carbs and protein work together to give kids sustained energy, making them feel fuller for longer. Try wholegrain bread with protein-packed peanut butter.

• FILL UP ON FOLATE.

Folate is a B vitamin used to create memory brain cells. It’s found in leafy greens like spinach and kale. If you’re kids aren’t wild for veggies, try incorporating folate-rich foods into their favorites. For example, make spinach lasagna or homemade kale chips.

• DEVOUR DHA.

DHA is a mineral that promotes brain function. It’s needed for kids’ brain development, the same way calcium is needed for bone and teeth development. It has also been shown to increase brain function among older children. Find it in fish, eggs and sharp cheddar.

For more recipes, try these after school smile-friendly snacks.