Brain Food - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

Brain Food

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WSVN -- Gaby and Oscar love to snack all day long.

Rosaura Echegaray: "I've noticed that my children tend to like smaller meals more frequently rather than large meals."

Mom Rosaura packs her first and second graders plenty of healthy choices to get them through the school day.

Rosaura Echegaray: "I try to include something that has protein. My daughter loves hard-boiled eggs, which that's easy and simple and healthy."

University of Miami nutritionist Lisa Dorfman says Rosaura has the right idea.

Lisa Dorfman, Nutritionist: "The latest research shows that you know when it comes to brain energy, it's timing of meals, it's eating little by little throughout the day Kids perform better on tests, manage their weight better and have better moods adjust better, are more attentive in class."

Kids' brains burn twice as many calories as adults, making good choices even more important. Throughout the day kids should charge the brain with a balance of whole grains and foods that are high in protein and fiber and low in sugar.

Lisa Dorfman: "A little sugar OK too much sugar not so good for the brain and energy levels."

Read labels every 4 grams of sugar is equal to one teaspoon of sugar. That means a serving of cookies with 20 grahams of sugar has 5 teaspoons of sugar in it.

Lisa Dorfman: "Lots of times what you'll find with cereals and cookies you'll get into three, four, five teaspoons of sugar. Yogurts too."

Rosaura Echegaray: "My son loves yogurts, and yogurts are one of those things that have a lot of hidden sugars. Recently we've started Greek yogurt. He loves them and they have a lot less sugar."

Organic chips and cereals are a good choices for school snacks.

Lisa Dorfman: "When you're looking for a chip or a snack, you're looking for not only carbohydrates but that the carbohydrates have a good source of fiber."

Parents need to make sure kids get good fats to like fish oils and nuts. Fried and fast foods can do more damage than good.

Lisa Dorfman: "They are actually pro-inflamitory. They are not good for brain strength, power, focus and energy."

Gabby likes carrots with low fat dressing and hard boiled eggs. Rosaura likes them because they're vitamin rich and protein packed .

Rosaura Echegaray: "The food they eat definitely affects their behavior."

It's her perfect recipe for feeding little brains all day long.

Lynn Martinez: "Portion control is also important and relative to a child's activity level. Your pediatrician should be able to tell you how many calories your child needs per day."

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