Eating for Energy
Do your eyelids droop during morning math class? Do you crash on the couch after school? Yawn through your homework? Maybe you're not choosing the right fuel to keep your body and brain running in high gear. If you need an energy boost, try these four tips:
- Start your day with breakfast. Breakfast fills your "empty tank" to get you going after a long night without food. And it can help you pay attention in school. Easy-to-make breakfasts include cold cereal with fruit and low-fat milk, whole-wheat toast with peanut butter, yogurt with fruit, whole-grain waffles or even last night's pizza!
- Snack smart. Snacks are a great way to refuel. Choose snacks from different food groups–one slice of last night's pizza, a glass of low-fat milk and a few graham crackers, an apple or celery sticks with peanut butter and raisins or some dry cereal. If you eat smart at other meals, cookies, chips, sweetened soft drinks and candy are OK for occasional snacking.
- Eat more grains, fruits and vegetables. These foods give you carbohydrates, which your body and brain use for energy. They also give you vitamins, minerals and fiber. Besides, they taste good! Try foods made from grains such as whole-wheat bread, bagels, pita bread, spaghetti and oatmeal. Bananas, strawberries and melons are some great-tasting fruits. Munch veggies like lettuce, tomatoes, peppers and zucchini raw, on a sandwich or in a salad.
- Don't go too long without eating. Your body needs a steady supply of fuel to run right, so stick with regular meal and snack times. If you're busy and can't stop to eat, grab a banana, a cheese stick or a squeezable low-fat yogurt to keep you going.
More on Eating for energy:
Are You Snack Smart?
Power Up With Breakfast
Reviewed by the Kidnetic.com Scientific Advisory Panel, 2006