Back to school: Brain-boosting foods

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PHOENIX -- Back-to-school season is upon us and studies show that the kind of breakfast we fuel our kiddos with before we send them off for school makes a big difference in their ability to focus and be productive throughout the day. 

There is an entire menu of brain rich foods that can help improve their performance at school, increase their memory and help them focus.

Rosanna Thill, the nutrition director at Hi-Health, shared some suggestions with 3TV's Javier Soto and Gina Maravilla.

Brainy breakfast foods
Great ideas: Breakfast burritos with whole wheat tortillas, black beans and eggs, chia seed pudding with granola and fruit, steel cut oatmeal with pecans and brown sugar, whole grain waffles with natural peanut butter, lean turkey bacon and sausage

Not so great ideas: sugary cereal, toaster pastries, granola bars, egg whites or egg substitutes, fast food- anything grab and go is a no-no

Laser-focus lunch foods
Great ideas: Turkey with whole wheat pita, chunk light tuna bagel sandwich, cold homemade veggie and cheese pizza slices on wheat crust, cup of chili, fruit, hummus, peanut butter with veggies or crackers, oatmeal cookies, small bit of dark chocolate, berries, plums

Not so great ideas: White bread, lunchmeat containing sodium nitrate, potato chips, "name brand" peanut butter and jelly, soft drinks (all of the items on this list actually induce short term memory loss or impair cognitive memory skills)
Awesome after-school snacks
Great ideas: Fruit smoothies, nuts, trail mix, dried fruit, fresh fruit, string cheese
Not so great ideas: Chips, candy bars, fruit snacks, popcorn, energy drinks

Kids should be drinking water all day long. Nothing causes kiddos to become tired, irritable, unfocused and unmotivated like becoming dehydrated during school.

If you have a hard time getting your kids to eat their vegetables at dinner, a nutrition-packed smoothie is the way to go. Whip up their favorite smoothie with antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables and add a scoop of vitamin- and protein-enriched powder to provide delicious fuel for kids. Many of the protein powders available today are sugar-free, gluten-free and packed with essential nutrients and enzymes to promote focus, energy and eliminate the need for snacking before dinner. They come in flavors like chocolate, vanilla and peanut butter.

Hi Health
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