Thursday, March 6, 2014

Healthy eating and academic performance

As the second parents of our pupils, we teachers are always on the lookout for things that would help us boost their academic performance.

This is why we spent countless hours making our lesson plans, creating eye-catching visual aids, and dreaming up activities that would stimulate their imagination and pique their curiosity.
What many of us don’t realize is that one of the most effective ways to improve their academic performance is by encouraging them to eat healthy.

Researchers have recently established a clear link between proper nutrition and academic performance. According to their study, students who eat a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, fish,  and fiber-rich food do better on tests than those who do not. They are also more alert in class, and participate more actively in discussions. They are also generally more confident and sociable than pupils who fail to get the recommended dietary allowance.

It turns out, from the researchers’ findings that healthy eating allows not only for physical health but also academic health. Thus, we teachers must consider reminding our beloved pupils to choose healthier food items. During conferences with parents, we must also share with them the merits of maintaing a proper diet.

Of course, it is expected that there will be some resistance against our suggestion. Some parents, for example, think that it is costly to provide their children with well-balanced meals. With the prices of meat, fish, and vegetables on the rise, some would rather prepare inexpensive meals that have little to no nutritional value. As educators, we must remind them, however, that a healthy meal does not need to cost much. One simply needs to be creative in looking for inexpensive, sustainable sources of food, such as backyard or container gardens.

As for our pupils, some would likely complain that healthful meals are not as appetizing as sugar- and sodium-rich concoctions. Yet, sometimes, we just need to convince them to be more open to the wonderful flavors of these meals.

In the end, we are responsible for our pupils’ welfare. Whether they turn out to be happy, healthy, and smart individuals lies in our hands. If we teach them to make good choices, even in something as simple as eating, we can teach them to make wise decisions in the future. (by Sharon B. Perseveranda)

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