DO you realise that the faulty habit of skipping breakfast can seriously undermine your childâ€™s performance in exams?
Often children skip breakfast because they are in a hurry to get to school, or are doing the last minute touch on the morning of exams.
This is sheer folly! It is like starting off an important journey in an automobile with an almost empty tank of gas. As gas provides energy for an automobileâ€™s engine, so does food provide energy for the brain.
In order for the brain to function well, it must have a steady supply of energy in form of glucose ( a sugar). And our bodies derive glucose from the foods we eat. Therefore, if your child goes for too long an interval without food ( as is the case between supper and breakfast 8-10 hours), he or she could:
l Become irritable, have a headache, get dizzy.
l Experience fatigue, mental confusion, and bad moods.
l Get concentration and memory problems.
To avoid low blood glucose your child has to eat breakfast and a mid -morning snack daily.
l Make sure that there is enough firewood, charcoal, or paraffin the night before for preparing breakfast. Buy the needed food items the day or night before. Food s such as chapati, roasted sweet potatoes, and mandazi should be prepared ahead of time.
l Discourage your child from eating white buns, cakes biscuit, and sodas for breakfast. The energy these foods provide gets used up too quickly creating a deficit that can lead to low blood glucose.
Types of breakfast:
l A glass of milk , yoghurt, or tea + roasted sweet potatoe or a ripe banana.
l Sim sim balls (namungodi) + roasted potatoe + tea or milk.
l Avocado + sweet potatoe, or whole wheat bread + milk, tea, or yoghurt.
l Millet or maize porridge + milk + a ripe banana or any other fruit.
l Chapati, mandazi, + ripe banana + tea, milk , or yoghurt.
l Oat porridge + eggs+ milk, tea , fruit juice, or yoghurt.
l Left over rice + beans + any fruit of choice. (Make sure the let over food is thoroughly heated for 20-30 minutes).
In addition to breakfast, pack a mid-morning snack for your child. groundnuts sim simi balls and roasted soy a beans make a perfect snack. They are easy to carry and are highly nutritious.
By-the-way, you do not have to buy the expensive type of yoghurt. Ordinary bongo(sour milk) purchased from a dairy with a little sugar added is just as good.
Last but not least, remember to pack a large bottle of clean boiled water for your child. Dehydration even of a mild form can cause mental confusion, and tiredness. Ends
NUTRITION <em>With Grace Canada</em>