Reading skills of kids are enhanced with a healthy diet

Harold Mandel's picture
A young girl reading

A recent study which was done in Finland shows a heathy diet is associated with better reading skills in the first three years of school.

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Nutrition has a profound influence on the developing brain of children. Clearly therefore good nutrition is anticipated to be associated with better academic success in school for kids.

A healthy diet is associated with improved reading skills in kids

The University of Eastern Finland reports that the reading skills of kids are enhanced with a healthy diet. There is an association between better reading skills and a healthy diet during the first three years of school.

This research was a part of the Physical Activity and Nutrition in Children Study which was conducted at the University of Eastern Finland and the First Steps Study which was conducted at the University of Jyväskylä. There were 161 kids between the ages of 6 and 8 in the study. The closer the diet adhered to the Baltic Sea Diet and Finnish nutrition recommendations the healthier it was considered to be. This type of diet is high in fish, whole grain, vegetables, fruit and berries and unsaturated fat. It is low in sugary products, saturated fat, and red meat.

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It was observed in the study that the kids whose diets were healthier performed better in tests which measured reading skills than their peers. It was significant that the associations found between the quality of diet and reading skills were independent of physical activity, socio-economic status, physical activity, physical fitness, and body adiposity.

Schools and parents play an important role in nutrition of kids

Clearly a healthy diet appears to be a significant factor in supporting learning and academic performance in kids. By adhering to healthy food choices at every meal, the promotion of a healthy diet becomes possible. Schools and parents together play a significant role in making healthy foods available to kids. Also governments along with companies play a vital role in the availability and production of foods which are healthy.

This study has been published in the European Journal of Nutrition. Academic achievement in kids can be hurt by a poor quality diet. Good nutrition to the contrary is associated with healthier kids who develop better reading skills. It is important to always remember how important good nutrition is for kids.

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