If you want your child to love reading and books, one important practice is to read to him/her often and from a very early age. Additionally, there’s another less discussed aspect to consider for boosting kids’ reading skills: the foods kids are eating. According to a new study from Finland, one of the most important actions parents can take for helping their children learn to read well is to feed them a healthy diet. Researchers studied the dietary habits and test scores of 161 first through third graders and found that kids who ate diets rich in fruit, veggies, whole grains, fish and unsaturated fats that were also low in sugary products (basically the Baltic Sea Diet, which is also in line with Finnish nutrition recommendations), performed better on tests measuring reading skills. In addition to scoring higher in general, the reading scores of kids with healthier diets improved more between grade one and grades two and three than kids who ate less healthier diets. The research, which controlled for factors including physical activity level and socioeconomic status, lends credence to the idea that what our kids put into their bodies and use for fuel and energy has a powerful and integrated role in mental and physical health and performance. So the next time your kiddo balks at eating her veggies, remind her that she’ll be feeding her brain too.

+ Study

via Treehugger

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