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A good learning diet

Helen and Marty Weiss

Youve got it wrong! Jacquies mother was quick to correct us. Its an apple a day? Perhaps the old adage emphasized eating apples for health but we wanted to rewrite the script. Orange foods may be the new secret of health and success! we insisted and Jacquies mother certainly didnt believe us. Unfortunately Jacquis 8 year old daughter was partial to foods that were white, white bread, white milk, vanilla ice cream and chicken breasts. Kids develop quirky passions for specific foods, colors and even clothing.Her seven year old looked more like a five year-old in size and stature, was probably one of the pickiest eaters we had ever met. After five sons and eleven grandchildren we were used to healthier appetites. The effect this limited diet might be having on Jacquies rate of learning was worrisome. She was always tired, already had frequent headaches, some decaying teeth and didnt seem to participate in outdoor games. She dozed in school, couldnt stay awake to do her homework, became disoriented at times and did not seem to be able to focus her attention to task. She adamantly refused to take vitamin pills and this caused her mother further worry. Though we were not nutritionists we knew an unbalanced diet when we saw one, we suspected that this might be one cause of her learning problems and attention disorder. Our suspicions were confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control, which recommends from five to nine servings of various multicolored fruits and vegetables. Among those vegetables that are most nourishing for kids and adults are vegetables like orange peppers, carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash and pumpkin. These foods add necessary quantities of antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin that promote healty eyes.Jacquies white food diet was concentrated with white bread, white potatoes, mashed and smothered in white gravy. White pasta containing no whole grains and white meat breast of chicken completed the daily menus. Adding crunchies like carrots and orange peppers to her diet would be extremely helpful and dipping these vegetables into salad dressings and sauces make them even tastier.Orange fruits are also a great choice. Fresh oranges and orange juice provide Vitamin C and tasty refreshment at the same time. The America Journal of Epidemiology reports that findings suggest that people who eat regular meals contaningLarge amounts of beta carotene such as cantaloupe, papaya and apricots have to lowest risks of lung cancer.Beware, processing of food can remove a good many of these healthy ingredients and replace them with artificial food coloring, excessive white sugar, salt and chemical substitutes. Advertisers are out there training your kids to eat nothing but junk foods.They do it through television games, internet web sites, placing their products in the schools and placing junk food at childs eye level in the supermarkets.Eating the fresh produce available in summer is probably the best way to go. Preserving it and freezing it for winter consumption can promote improved health on those cold and snowy days.For Jacquie and other youngsters like her, learning better is often a result of eating better. Good lifelong eating habits can be established with even the fussiest eaters. Get rid of some of the starchy white flours and white breads and replace them with more nutritious whole grains, protein and orange vegetables and fruits and start the good learning diet.

For further information contact: Helen Ginandes Weiss, M.A & Martin S. Weiss, M.A. – Learning Consultants: e.mail: eduworks@chaffee.net – P.O. Box 38, Twin Lakes, CO 81251 (719) 486-5800


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