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How To Improve Your Child's Maths And Reading Skills

Posted Feb 10 2009 10:16am

All parents want the best for their children and when it comes to education, we all want to see our kids doing well. There are many factors that play their roles in learning - one of these is diet.

Diet or nutrition has been in the news a lot lately, mainly related to claims our children are overweight. Nutrition plays an important role in learning - we have heard of brain food - does it exist?

50% of two year olds are described as fussy eaters and fussy eaters often miss out on the nutritional benefits of many foods. Fussy eaters generally get 'fussy' over particular food types. Some won't eat meat, others won't eat their greens or carrots. Either way, there are nutritional benefits for each food group.

Much has been said over the years about vitamins and minerals. There are several other nutrients that play vital roles in the learning capabilities of children.

Iodine: Aids the growth and development of the brain. Low iodine diets have been linked to lower IQ's. Most children in western societies have borderline levels of iodine with many having abnormally low levels. Seaweed has the highest natural levels of iodine however most seafoods contain some iodine. Eggs, meat and dairy products also have traces of iodine.

Iron: Brain tissues contain high levels of iron and deficiencies cause lower concentration levels and short term memory loss. If you don't remember today's lessons, you won't imprint it into long term memory. Iron is found in red meats and most green vegetables.

Zinc: Affects brain development and structure. Reduced zinc diets have shown a marked reduction in a child's ability to read, pay attention and develop reasoning skills. Zinc is also important for eyesight and eyesight is of course an important aspect to learning. Oysters provide the most zinc, however it is also found in meat, beans, nuts and whole grains.

Of course nutrition is only one small part of the equation. You can add good schools, good teachers, parents that care and perhaps a few good genes - it still requires the fuel to keep the brain active.

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