With exams round the corner, keep an eye on what the kids are eating.

It's almost time for the exams and most mums are going into an overdrive to ensure that their child remains healthy and fit. But preparing for exams is not just about studying well. That's just one part of it.

Exam preparation also requires the right blend of mental and physical strength, which comes from a proper diet and regular physical activity. This calls for nutritious foods, physical activity, regular breaks, right attitude and adequate rest. With time for studies increasing many children tend to skip meals. This leads to exhaustion and vulnerability to infections and health problems. “What is required is a balance between exam preparation and a nutritious diet. Both the brain and the body need a constant supply of energy and this can only be obtained from nutrient-rich food,” says Dr. Jitendra Nagpal, Consultant Psychiatrist at Vimhans. Studies have shown that essential nutrients like iron, vitamins and minerals are very important for attention, concentration and memory as well as for physical performance and growth. So plan your meals carefully to ensure that your child gets his/her quota of necessary nutrients. Don't let nutrition slip on the priority ladder during this crucial time. Good nutrition spells improved performance.

Quick tips

Good food: Eating a good nutritious diet helps beat the examination blues. Good nutrition impacts the brain and body to help one stay sharp and focused.

Proper sleep: Get eight hours of sleep as sleep deprivation makes it difficult for the mind to focus and recall.

Proper schedule: Apart from study time, include breaks and time for relaxation and physical exercise.

Essential nutrition

Improved immunity: Folic acid, vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin A, selenium, copper, vitamin E, zinc.

Improved mental and physical development: Iron, vitamin B2, vitamin B12, iodine.

Helps bone growth/maintenance: Calcium, potassium, phosphorus, vitamin D.

Releases energy from food: Vitamin B11, niacin.