Five things you can do to help your child learn better at school.

Thanks to our brand partner, Pharmacare

Kids often struggle to stay focused, especially when they start school and transition from having lots of free time to having to sit still in class. As a mum of two energetic boys, I’m always looking for ways to improve my kids’ concentration so they can continue to learn and thrive. Here are some simple ways you can help your child concentrate better at school, from my experience.

1. Fuel their bodies with healthy food.

We’ve all heard the term “brain food”, and it’s an accurate description because eating certain foods can feed your child’s brain and provide them with the focus they need to learn new things. Starting the day with a wholesome breakfast is essential in helping your child concentrate in class. Opt for a meal packed with protein, healthy carbohydrates and good fats – eggs and avocado on multigrain toast is a great option, or you can go for oats with natural yoghurt and blueberries, which are high in antioxidants.

Spinach is another great “brain food” but one few kids will willingly consume, so blend it in their breakfast smoothie and they’ll never know it’s there. While your child is enjoying their breakfast, fill their lunchbox with a protein-filled wholemeal wrap, fresh fruit and vegetable sticks. Forget trawling Pinterest for inspiration, just keep their lunchbox simple, healthy and delicious.

Start the day with a healthy breakfast like oats and berries. Image: iStock.

2. Feed their brain with the Kids Smart Omega-3 DHA supplement.

While a healthy diet will ensure your child consumes a lot of beneficial nutrients, they may be missing out on Omega-3 DHA, which is important for healthy learning, behaviour and brain development. Omega-3 DHA is one of the major building blocks of the brain, and is incredibly important for children during the early school years when they are expected to concentrate for long periods of time.

Omega-3 DHA is a good fat found in oily fish like salmon, not something kids tend to eat a lot of. Thankfully you can give DHA to your child in supplement form, and the best on the market is Nature’s Way Omega-3 DHA 300mg, which is high strength and high quality. Every morning my kids have a Kids Smart Omega-3 DHA burstlet, which gives me peace of mind as I know it's supporting their healthy brain development, eye function and behaviour.

A capsule of goodness: Kids Smart Omega-3 DHA 300mg. Image: Mamamia.

3. Incorporate exercise into every day.

Keeping active motivates the brain, so encourage your child to walk, ride or scoot to school and participate in healthy activities like sports, dancing or yoga. Staying active doesn't always have to involve structured lessons - dancing in the living room, having a jump on the trampoline or kicking a ball in the backyard are great ways to keep your kids moving and reduce their sedentary time. Making sure your child has a chance to run, jump, walk or dance around before they tackle homework will aid their concentration and help them retain information.

And…jump! Keeping active motivates the brain. Image: iStock.

4. Set small, achievable goals.

School and its accompanying homework can be overwhelming for young kids. Help them feel more at ease by writing a list of tasks, then get your child to tick off the list as they achieve them. During homework time, ensure you incorporate a lot of breaks for relaxation and play (every 10-20 minutes depending on your child’s age). It's also important that your child has a quiet place to complete their homework away from too many distractions. Learning to concentrate is a skill - if you teach it at home, it will transfer to the classroom.

5. Ensure they are getting enough sleep.

Children and adults respond differently to fatigue. As adults we get lethargic but kids often speed up instead of slowing down, which results in moodiness, tantrums, hyperactivity and an inability to concentrate. It's essential that school-aged children get enough sleep so they can stay focused in class. Make sure your kids have a relaxing bedtime routine and go to sleep at a reasonable time. If you go out for dinner or have a weekend full of birthday parties, encourage your child to have a nap over the weekend. They might just lie in bed without sleeping but it'll give them a chance to relax and recharge before the school week begins again.

Without enough sleep, kids can act out and struggle to focus. Image: iStock.

Teachers often tell us that if kids could just stay a little more focused they would thrive at school. Making sure your child is healthy, rested and consuming the right nutrients will build their concentration skills so they can make the most of their early school years.

How do you ensure your child stays focused? Share your tips with us below.

This content was created with thanks to our brand partner Pharmacare.

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