Students across Georgia will be taking the CRCTs at the end of April, so how can parents help their kids stay alert, energized and focused for the big test? Believe it or not, kids can eat, drink and even sleep their way to better test scores. Children’sHealthcare of Atlanta’s Strong4Life experts created the following study guide and testing tips so you can help your child raise his scores.
Strong4Life’s Study Guide:
- Before test day, be sure your child gets to bed at a reasonable hour so his mind is well rested and ready to show its stuff.
- On test mornings, serve a balanced breakfast, including 100% whole grains, giving kids plenty of energy and preventing a blood sugar drop for several hours.
- Try a piece of 100% whole wheat toast, 1 hardboiled egg, fruit and wash it down with a delicious glass of low-fat milk.
- Keep young brains well lubricated with plenty of water, before the test and during breaks.
Students who get enough sleep are better able to remember and recall what they’ve learned. Don’t stay up late to cram; it’s better to get your Z’s. Rule of thumb: 7-12 year olds need 10-11 hours/day. 12-18 year olds need 8-9 hours/day.
- PROPER FUEL:
Get their test day (and every day!) started with the right fuel. It’s a tall order, but try to serve at least three of the four food groups with this meal. Include a variety of foods, like whole grains (bread, brown rice, oatmeal), protein (eggs, lean meat, tofu, nuts, beans), fresh fruits or veggies, and low fat dairy (milk, yogurt, cheese).
Don't forget about water! Our brains are more than 85% water, so they need plenty of the wet stuff to work well. Thirsty brains can experience short-term memory loss, trouble focusing and difficulty with math problems. If teacher allows, send your child with a water bottle to keep him energized, alert and focused.
Pack your child a healthy snack. If he’ll be going longer than four hours between meals, a nutritious snack (see also next slide) mid-way will help regulate blood sugar, and keep energy level and mental focus high. Snack suggestions: fruit, veggies, cheese and crackers, mini bagels and cream cheese.
- SAY NO TO SUGAR:
Avoid giving kids simple sugars. Whether you’re sending in snacks for your own little Einstein or the whole class, nix the sugary cereals, toaster pastries, juice, cookies and candy. Sure, they provide an energy burst. But they’re followed by a crash, leaving your kid feeling tired and sluggish—not what they need on test day.
Your child has worked hard all year to prepare for the CRCT (and other standardized tests). Now it’s your turn to help him shine by making sure he eats right and sleeps well beforehand. Study hard + eat right + sleep tight = the right equation for testing success! For more nutrition tips visit the HealthyEating section on Strong4Life.com.