Parents generally give importance to diet
and nutrition only when the child is either growing or is unwell. It is felt that when
child is normal he can take all the junk. Situations that require extra energy like sports
and games (the real kind and not video games) are generally handled by the doting mother
by giving glucose, fruits and may be some vitamins.
Another period requiring special nutrition,
as yet unnoticed by most, is the period preceding examinations. Most mothers feel that by
giving things like dry fruits (almonds to be specific) and food cooked in pure ghee, the
child will get better memory and thus force the child to eat these things repeatedly.
You may ask "Why is this period so important?"
Your child will tell you - to achieve a desirable goal, to
face the mounting pressures from peer group, school and parents.
Children not only need highly nutritious food but also need
to ensure that it does not make them drowsy or groggy; is easy to digest and is hygienic.
They need foods that will help promotion of mental health, will keep them active, and help
them to think clearly, increase their learning power. Focus should be on foods children
eat and how their body uses it.
Preparing for examinations their mental activity is at its
peak and we must provide right sources of energy to them.
As a rule give small frequent meals, as taking 2-3 large
meals will induce sleep, something that your child is trying his best to avoid. Then food
items with high fat content better are avoided as they too induce sleep.
Daily diet of a child preparing for exams should comprise
of at least:
- 3 servings of milk and milk products. If your child does not
like milk, you could make a milkshake. Avoid cheese as children do not it in moderation
and again may feel too full. Curds are wonderful both by being light on the tummy and
equally nutritious. Panir can be given 1-2 times a week.
- 2 servings of proteins providers like Pulses, beans, meat or
- 2 servings of fruits and vegetables
- 4 servings of rotis, bread, cereals, pasta
- Enough water to drink.
- Lightly boil soaked pulses and make a tasty mixture with
boiled carrots and a small potato. Adding green leafy vegetable to the pulses also adds to the nutritive value.
- Rather than boiling, steam the vegetables as it helps retain
Investigations conducted on various age groups have proved
that adequate supply of food substances such as proteins, carbohydrates, minerals,
vitamins and hormones are a must for proper physical and mental development.
The foods mentioned below help the child to be alert and
have a proper concentration and memory.
It is a very valuable nut to increase the memory. It
preserves the vitality of the brain. Almond should be soaked overnight, peeled in the
morning and given with honey or milk.
Apple when taken with honey and milk improves your
childs memory and concentration, so essential during examination.
Cumin seeds (Jeera)
These seeds should be roasted and mixed with honey, this is
also known as brain food.
Figs, dates, grapes, oranges, walnut, almond, apple all
sharpen your childs memory. These fruits invigorate the brain cells and tissues.
With inputs from Simmi Khanna Nutritionist and one
of growingwells satisfied mothers.
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