Child Matters: Raise a Great Reader

Hello Everyone,

Nutrition Nourishment is focusing on Children Matter and children’s health in the next couple of weeks for school holidays. In Today’s blog we take a look at what parents can of to help their kids build a foundation for literacy.

Up Their Omega 3’s

A six-month study published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry found that nine and ten year olds were who given a supplement of Omega 3 fatty acids, including eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), plus small amount of omega 6, were better able to read aloud, had superior pronunciation and had less trouble reading a series of letters quickly than those who had a placebo. It’s estimated that around 6% of aussie kids get enough omega 3 in their diet, according to recent data analysis published in the journal nutrition.

So what does Omega 3 do?

They are an integral part of cell membranes throughout the body and affect the function of the cell receptors in these membranes. They provide the starting point for making hormones that regulate blood clotting, contraction and relaxation of artery walls, and inflammation. They also bind to receptors in cells that regulate genetic function. Likely due to these effects, omega-3 fats have been shown to help prevent heart disease and stroke, may help control lupus, eczema, and rheumatoid arthritis, and may play protective roles in cancer and other conditions.

Where can you find Omega 3 in foods?

Flaxseeds and oil, chia seeds, oily fish including salmon and sardines, seafood, walnuts, soybeans, spinach, some fortified omega 3 chicken eggs, edamame beans, brassica vegetables such as broccoli and cabbages, and tofu.

Bedtime Matters:

Children with irregular bedtimes, or going to bed after 9pm, did poorly on reading test, A University College London Study found. “Routines really do seem to be the most important for children” Lead researcher professor Amanda Sacker claims.

Read Aloud Continuously

Practice makes perfect, but imitation exceeds expectations. Misty Adoniou, an associate professor in languages and literacy at the University of Canberra, says “When we read aloud to our kids, we read books that are beyond their ability so they’re being introduced to a new vocabulary. And the size of their vocabulary is the best predictor of how they’l do at school.” A recent Australian survey found that the number of parents who are reading to their children on a regular basis rapidly declines from the age of six, with only 4% continuing to read to their children after they’ve turned nine.

Turn Real Pages

Technology is an important part o our society these days, however “It’s important for children to see their parents reading a physical book”, says Adoniou. “A lot of parents read on devices but kids don’t know what they’re doing, whether they are on Facebook or flicking through their instagram feed. When you’ve got a book in you hand, there’s no mistaking you’re reading and making time for them.”. Children should follow suit. A study by Stravanger University in Norway found that book readers were better at recalling plot points than digital readers, They also scored higher in narrative coherence, immersion and empathy.

So if it’s not a habit in your household yet, why not take the opportunity of school holidays to begin reading to your children to improve their skills, intellect and the bond between parent and child. Children love when you make time for them, to be present and focus on the present.

And As Always Healthiest Regards

Tegan Carrall

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