To Your Health
October, 2021 (Vol. 15, Issue 10)
Help Put Your Kids in a Better Mood With Fruits and Veggies
By Editorial Staff
Getting kids to eat more fruits and vegetables – OK, any fruits and vegetables – can be challenging, to say the least. But there's an important reason beyond the obvious as to why you should be persistent in teaching your children to embrace fruits and veggies, not despise them: eating more could have a lasting impact on their mental health.
Researchers investigated the potential association between fruit and vegetable consumption, breakfast and lunch choices, and mental well-being in nearly 9,000 children in 50 primary and secondary schools. Researchers, writing on study results in BMJ Nutrition, Prevention and Health
, noted several significant findings after analyzing self-reported data on fruit / vegetable and breakfast / lunch consumption, and reviewing information gathered on mental health via several standardized tests:
"Higher fruit and vegetable consumption was significantly associated with better mental well-being in secondary pupils. ... [The] type of breakfast and lunch consumed, by both primary and secondary pupils, [also] was significantly associated with well-being."
"Consumption of energy drinks by secondary school children as a substitute for breakfast was associated with particularly low mental well-being scores, even lower than for those children consuming no breakfast at all."
"The difference in mental well-being between children who consumed the most fruits and vegetables compared with the lowest was of a similar scale to those children experiencing daily, or almost daily, arguing or violence at home."
The moral to the story is obvious: Good nutrition, particularly fruit and vegetable intake, is essential! Start your kids off on the right foot every day with a balanced, nutrient-bursting breakfast - and then keep the healthy eating train rolling down the tracks throughout the day to ensure optimal physical and mental well-being.