Raise SAT/ACT Scores with a Sound Breakfast
“Suggest that the child get up early enough so that he or she can have a balanced breakfast,” says pediatrician W. Allan Walker, MD, author of Eat, Play, and Be Healthy. A protein based breakfast will give your child the boost needed to stay focused during this for 3-4 hour exam, be it the SATs or ACTs or just a course final well beyond another 15-20 minutes of sleep. It’s really in the child’s best interest to optimize the nutrients that are available to the brain during the exam, according to Dr. Walker.
A good breakfast should include protein and a whole grain based carbohydrate, such as:
- Eggs and Toast. A vegetable omelet, or an egg sandwich with low fat cheese and a slice of tomoto) and OJ. Or, a slice of vegetable quiche will do the trick nicely.
- Peanut Butter on Waffle. A whole grain Eggo Waffle with peanut butter with a glass of milk or orange juice. A whole grain English Muffin works well with peanut or almond butter, too.
- Warm oatmeal. Make it with milk instead of water for added protein, then add a fruit. Here a banana is best because it tends to be a bit more filling than an orange or apple.
- Yogurt Fruit Smoothy. Blend lowfat yogurt with frozen berries and a 1/2 banana for a decent jumpstart. Cold cereal doesn’t provide lasting satiety, and there’s nothing worse than being distracted by a growling stomach in the middle of a test.
Equally important are sending your child off with a bottle of water and a few nourishing snacks to refuel during exam breaks. Trail mix (such as nuts, raisins or craisins, dark chocolate chips, and wheat chex) or energy bars. The combination of carbohydrates for a quick boost, and the proteins and fat, which are broken down more slowly.