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Elementary answer: Improving kids' health improves their minds

Published On: Jul 07 2014 01:37:33 PM MDT
Kids, children

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(NewsUSA) - The brain develops faster during early childhood and more than any other time in our life. In children, it is a magnificent thinking machine that learns and grows by interacting with the world.

Not surprisingly, experts say that the foods kids eat not only fuel their bodies but their minds as well.

"Research shows that healthy eating can improve children's concentration and help them do better in the school," says Janice Baranowski from Baylor University in Houston. "Getting proper nutrients is especially important for young brains that are still growing and developing."

The modern paradox is that, for all of its conveniences, there are more demands on children's attention these days, and if not managed properly, can easily lead to unhealthy minds and bodies.

The following tips will give you ideas on how to give your kids a healthy, balanced life:

* Make good choices. Clearly, what we put into our kids' bodies is directly related to how well their minds will grow and work. So, consider a diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables, lean protein and dairy. In turn, forgo the fast food and instead, spend more money on groceries that are good for you and your family.

* Get moving. If you want your kids to get off the couch (and away from the video games), get the whole family moving their bodies. Be it a bike ride, a walk, or even chasing each other around the local park, exercise has been shown to give the brain a boost.

* Drink more water. Drinking water is crucial to maintaining good health.

* Pick up a book. One way the brain rewires itself is through reading. It's the best way for children to exercise and flex this marvelous organ. Challenging a child's brain early in life builds up more "cognitive reserve."