BENGALURU: This February, a large number of households across India will be preoccupied with exams. Whether it’s a son, daughter, nephew or niece who might be appearing for his or her final school examinations or class 10th or 12th boards, final exams tend to become the focus for a lot of families during the month.During exam season it’s very easy for students to lose sight of their health and wellness, and get consumed in the preparation. Juggling between the pressures of preparing for exams, ensuring there is adequate time to sleep, regular breaks and doing all this while maintaining his or her health is important. It is thus necessary for parents to take the lead and help their children incorporate healthier habits before the onset of exams. Properly timed meals, scheduled snack breaks and conscious food choices can energize and sustain the body through long exam hours.
Children are often attracted to processed, or oily food which is refined sugar, fats, especially trans-fat and salts/sodium. The consumption of this type of food can not only have side-effects on their weight and growth but also on their concentration. As parents, it’s important to keep an eye out on your child’s daily diet, especially at home.
A good way to start this is by ensuring that your child enjoys his/her meals and that it’s portioned appropriately for a single person. Incorporating food that is rich in protein and energy in the diet is very essential and must not be compromised with. Healthy eating includes consuming more fruit, vegetables, meat, eggs, whole-grains and nuts. It is also advised to limit the consumption of saturated fats and bad cholesterol and instead shift to unsaturated fats and energy giving foods. Timely meals also streamline the routine of the kids to eat when they are hungry and not bored, meanwhile, adding a sense of discipline to their food intake.
During the exam season, it is not uncommon for students to feel hungry in between meals and this leads to binge eating on unwholesome food. To minimise unhealthy food intake during exam time, parents can begin by ensuring students have an adequate number of snack breaks in between meals.For these breaks, almonds are an excellent choice of snack as they are easy and quick to flavour and go with just about any Indian masala/spices.
Added to that almonds may also have satiating properties that promote feelings of fullness, which may keep the child satiated in between meals, avoiding him or her from reaching out for unhealthy snacks. Ayurveda and Unani texts suggest that consumption of almonds nourishes the brain, nerve tissues and promotes intelligence, which can be useful during the exam time.So plan right, and prepare for exam season on a healthy note.The author is a nutritionist and wellness consultant