It’s exam season again, bringing with it stress, late nights and tears – and that’s just the parents.
Try these tips on eating for exams to help the students in your house stay at the top of their game.
Provide sugar-free oat granola or porridge for breakfast, topped with pumpkin and flax seeds. Swap juice for sliced oranges or a handful of berries. Oat-based cereals contain complex carbohydrates for the slow release of energy necessary for long periods of revision.
Whole fruits add antioxidants and fibre without spiking blood sugar. The seeds contain minerals such as selenium for brain power, plus provide brain-boosting omega-3 fatty acids – particularly useful if the student is vegetarian or vegan.
Don’t let them skip lunch. A whole meal bagel, lightly toasted and filled with cream cheese and smoked salmon is packed with omega-3, along with minerals such as manganese and zinc which help clear brain fog.
Cream cheese is high in protein which is needed to create neurotransmitters – in other words, it helps keep the mind sharp!
As a treat, whizz up a smoothie using bananas, avocado and blueberries. It’s a speedy way for a student to consume vitamins, potassium and healthy fats.
Plan revision-friendly dinners around whole grains such as wholemeal pasta and brown rice. Add in lean protein with fish, chicken or red meat trimmed of visible fat. Cater for vegetarians by using tofu, hummus or lentils. Serve with a tomato sauce, which contains lycopene which can increase memory and concentration. Plate up with green leafy vegetables to create a healthy meal suitable for those late-night cramming sessions.
And to drink? Water, and lots of it. The brain is three-quarters water, so slip a few slices of lemon, strawberry or cucumber into a jug and top up with water. From the tap is fine – and remember that you need to drink it, too. After all, to deal with stressed-out students you need to be in the best form yourself!