We have tips that’ll keep junior’s brain and body fighting fit for his best exam performance yet!


With the exams in full swing, this isn’t a good time for your young ’un to fall ill. And as your kiddo hunkers down to revise for his papers, it won’t be surprising if he fails to observe healthy lifestyle principles.

Therefore, as parents, you play a vital role in providing the support he needs to tackle these crucial last weeks of school. Try these suggestions…

Infographic: Syahirah Maszaid

Kids-7 ways to keep junior healthy for their exams [Infographic]-1Kids-7 ways to keep junior healthy for their exams [Infographic]-2Kids-7 ways to keep junior healthy for their exams [Infographic]-3

#1 Help junior develop a revision plan

* Allocate one hour-long sessions to revise each subject.
* Make sure to set aside about 20 minutes for a short break after every hour of revision. Do include time for meals, too.
* Don’t plan the schedule for him, guide him in making it.
* Tell junior not to schedule in a last-minute study session on the morning of the exam. This may cause increase in your child’s anxiety and stress unnecessarily, especially since he’ll need to be calm and alert for the exam.

#2 Keep the environment conducive

* Ensure that your child is studying in a bright and airy space. Dim, stuffy rooms with no air circulation can cause headaches.
* Cluttered workspaces can also cause unnecessary stress. Remind junior to always keep his study materials neatly organised.
* Fill a bottle of water for your child and make sure he drinks. Since the brain is 70 per cent water, it’s vital to stay hydrated.
* Watsons’ pharmacist Clara Lin points out that dehydration can cause sleepiness, headaches and dizziness, so make sure junior packs a bottle of water for the exams.
* Listening to soft classical music may help your child focus better.

#3 Take small meals and healthy snacks

* Ensure that they take smaller meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner when they are revising, then supplement with healthy snacks. Heavy meals will leave them feeling bloated and lethargic.
* Lin says foods rich in vitamin B can enhance your child’s mental alertness and fight off symptoms such as lethargy, dizziness and even memory loss. So, try to include foods such as bananas, asparagus and spinach or nuts such as almonds and pecans.
* Fish oil supplements and fatty fish like salmon will also boost your kiddo’s brain functions is. Fatty acids like DHA can help in brain development and mental skills, notes Lin.
* Snacks like blueberries, pumpkin seeds and other nuts won’t just satisfy hunger, it’ll also boost their brain juices!

#4 Make time to exercise

* Try taking short walks or doing stretching exercises, instead of exercising vigorously as this might cause injury.

#5 Teach stress management strategies

* Meditating or doing deep breathing exercises while squeezing a stress ball can help keep their revision stress in check.
* If they have a paper the following day, let them take a breather, especially if they have doing lots of revision.

#6 Defuse his stress

* Take their mind off the exams ― talk to them about the day’s news or what plans they have for after the exams.
* Junior knows how important the exams are, so don’t harp on it as this will only add unnecessary stress!
* And don’t compare your child’s previous exam performance to his peers or remind him about it.

#7 Get a good night’s sleep

* Burning the midnight oil will do more harm than good as this actually increases your body’s production of cortisol, a stress hormone.
* So, make them set a “stop work” time in the evening, to give them time to relax before hitting the sack.
* Try to get between seven and nine hours of sleep nightly.

Main photo: iStock

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