Is your kid currently in school and exhibits the signs of exam jitters? Or are they showing signs of anxiety because they are about to take their major exams?
If the answer is yes to either one of these questions, it is best you help them unwind and get rid of all the stress they are feeling because it will cause quite a lot of problems for them as they take their exams.
Fortunately, a good way of getting rid of exam stress and anxiety is by eating anti-stress foods that can help the body lose the tension it has and even improve one’s mental and emotional state. However, not all comfort foods can assist in reducing stress and anxiety, so which ones should you offer your child when they are feeling it?
Here are some great examples of healthy organic food that can help fight exam stress and anxiety:
Green leafy vegetables
Vegetables have been proven time and time again to possess quite a lot of vitamins and nutrients that help the body in many ways. However, it is not a common fact that they are also great when it comes to dealing with stress.
Green leafy vegetables, in particular, have ‘folate’ which then triggers the creation of ‘dopamine’. Dopamine is a brain chemical that triggers pleasure and helps your mind think of other things. Studies also show that dark and leafy vegetables can help your body produce other mood-balancing hormones and neurotransmitters. As a result, it improves your mood completely.
Some studies also show that people who eat a lot of fruits and vegetables feel calmer and more energetic.
If you want your child to snack on green leafy vegetables, you can choose from spinach, broccoli, lettuce, and cabbages. If you can find fresh ones that are crunchy or crispy fresh, get those since your kids would definitely love it.
Avocados are also good when it comes to dealing with exam stress and anxiety.
This superfruit does not just have key nutrients such as vitamin E, folate, glutathione, and potassium, it also has vitamin B which helps reduce stress.
A study also has shown that avocados have the capacity to help your body stay full and filled with energy when you eat them. In the study, people who eat avocados during their lunch meals report that they are less hungry even after five hours of taking their lunch. Avocadoes are also great in reducing or regulating one’s blood sugar levels.
Since your child no longer feels that hungry and their blood sugar levels are on the green, their mods would greatly improve and reduce stress from affecting them completely.
Your children do not have to eat an entire avocado to feel its effects. You can put thin strips of avocado in their sandwiches or slice them as a good finger food.
Vitamin C-rich foods
Vitamin C-Rich foods are also great stress and anxiety busters which you can feed your kids during exam time.
Studies show that Vitamin C can help reduce the production of cortisol, which triggers stress, cravings, and fat. When cortisol is high in the body, it increases the risk of high blood pressure and it also disables the body and mind to register stress properly.
Aside from ensuring that cortisol levels are low in the body, vitamin C also helps reduce the sign of stress from appearing in your child’s face and body, as well as strengthen their immune system.
Vitamin C can be sourced from a wide variety of foods. It can be fresh fruits like citrus or strawberries or from fresh vegetables like Brussels sprouts and tomatoes. Your child can also get vitamin C from fish but this may vary.
Nuts (cashews, peanuts, almonds)
Nuts are also great when it comes to battling chronic stress. Whether your child likes cashews, peanuts, pistachios or almonds, nuts have a lot of nutrients that can help them take their mind away from stressful things.
Nuts can help lower one’s heart rate and blood pressure. It is said that if you eat a normal serving of nuts, it can lower your heart’s constriction when you are feeling stressed. When this happens, your heart doesn’t feel cut down because of the stress you are feeling and in turn, reduces panic attacks.
While eating nuts, especially those with shells like peanuts and pistachios, it can be another way to keep one’s mind from the exams. Your child can focus on opening the peanut or pistachio rather on the stress the exams can bring.
Pick Healthy and Quick Meals to Save Time
Aside from the examples of healthy and organic foods your kids can try out during their exams, you can also mix up their menu so they enjoy a wide variety of foods.
Sadly, during exams, fast food and junk food are often prepared because the preparation time is faster and parents tend to believe it will help the child study faster.
Fortunately, there are meals that you can whip up for your kids during their exams that are healthy and easy to prepare.
Here is a sample menu you can whip up for your kids during exam season:
- Wholegrain bread with chopped avocados, oranges and yogurt
- Wholegrain cereal with orange juice
Lunch or Snacks
- Baked potatoes with tuna, beans or cheese
- Scrambled egg with toast and grilled tomatoes
- Chicken salad wraps with smoothies
- Stir fry beef or chicken noodles
- Pasta with tuna and cheese
If you do not have time to whip these meals on busy days, you can pre-prepare the meals early and be putting them on the freezer. Frozen vegetables, for instance, retain their nutrients and you can simply heat them again when its time to eat.
Which foods should your child avoid during exams?
If there is food that your child should have when they are taking their exams or getting rid of their exam anxiety, there are also food that they should avoid during exams.
These foods may cause them to experience additional bouts of anxiety, headaches, constipation and other problems that would affect their focus during their exams.
Here are some examples of foods to avoid and what their effects will be:
It can trigger headaches, anxiety, palpitations, and insomnia in high quantities.
- Fried or fast food
It does not have nutrients that would help your body relax and it can cause constipation.
- Sugary treats
High sugar content foods can trigger sugar rush or a sudden boost of energy that will lead to fatigue and sudden reduction of energy. It also disables fast response time, concentration and weakens immune functions.
- Fatty meals
These meals can disable the blood supply from supplying the brain and focus mostly on the digestive system. Fatty meals can also trigger fatigue and bouts of sluggishness.
You may also consult your child’s pediatrician to see what other foods they can avoid during their exam season so they can focus better.
Exams require a lot of energy from those who take it because it challenges them to show what they have learned throughout their classes or lectures and if they understand it completely.
For primary school children, especially those who are taking their PSLE tuition exams, it is crucial that they have all the energy and focus possible during their exams because it will show their progress in their classes. If they are stressed out, they may not score well even if they have prepared for the exams.
As parents, we should be mindful of the meals we prepare for our kids during their exams because it may trigger their stress and anxiety by accident. Check out the recommended foods cited above and change your menu accordingly. Your kids need your support so, what better way to show it than by giving them meals that will help them ace their test!
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