Summer break is a great time to engage children in developing their meal plan. This is a great way to teach them about healthy eating. A study by UCLA School of Medicine states, “We now know that particular nutrients influence cognition by acting on molecular systems or cellular processes that are vital for maintaining cognitive function”. Helping your ADHD child create healthy eating habits may improve their overall focus and ability to improve cognitive skills.
Here are some ideas on how you can integrate learning and nutrition to help prevent “summer brain drain” this year:
- ·Read some story books with your child that are based on nutrition. There are many fun books for children on healthy eating. There are also nutritional guides for teens that are designed to keep their attention and simplify healthy eating.
- ·Teach your child about the vitamins each food contains and how it improves your health. Create a flow chart for them to reference and give them a pop quiz during meal times.
- ·Ask your child to write down ideas for dinner. Set the requirement that each food must be a different color in the rainbow. This will tie into how each color contains different vitamins and health benefits.
- ·Teach your child dinner recipes and assign a couple of nights a week for them to help you make dinner. Not only will they be learning but it will get them off the couch and moving.
- ·Have your child keep a food journal. This will help them with writing skills and mindful eating habits.
- ·Make a game for healthy eating! If you have multiple kids, create a raffle and have them put in a ticket for each healthy food they eat. Or if your child meets his or her daily intake of vegetable and fruits, you can create a fun reward system. The better they eat, the more freedom they can earn in their daily schedule.
Try to integrate some reading, writing, and creativity into each exercise to maximize learning. This list was inspired by superhealthykids.com.