Healthy Diet Boosts Children’s Reading Skills

According to a study out of the University of Eastern Finland and published in the European Journal of Nutrition, a healthy diet is linked to better reading skills in the first three school years.

The researchers used 161 children aged 6-8 years of age, following them from first to third grade. Through food diaries their nutrition was analyzed, with their academic skills measured through standardized tests. The healthiness of a diet was determined using the Baltic Sea Diet and Finnish nutrition recommendations, and the closer you were to that, the healthier. That diet is high in vegetables, fruit and berries, fish, whole grain, and unsaturated fats and low in red meat, sugary products, and saturated fat.

The study further revealed that those who had a diet rich in vegetables, fruit, berries, whole grain, fish and unsaturated fats, and low in sugary products, did better in tests measuring reading skills than their peers with a poorer diet quality. Additionally, the association between diet quality and reading skills in Grades 2 and 3 were independent of reading skills in Grade 1. All these revelations had already accounted for other relevant factors such as socioeconomic status, physical activity, body adiposity, and physical fitness.

So, wherever you can, provide healthy foods for your children and it could have the ripple effect of not just having happy and healthy kids, but also improving their performance in school.


raziRazi Berry, Founder and Publisher of Naturopathic Doctor News & Review (ndnr.com) and NaturalPath (thenatpath.com), has spent the last decade as a natural medicine advocate and marketing whiz. She has galvanized and supported the naturopathic community, bringing a higher quality of healthcare to millions of North Americans through her publications. A self-proclaimed health-food junkie and mother of two; she loves all things nature, is obsessed with organic gardening, growing fruit trees (not easy in Phoenix), laughing until she snorts, and homeschooling. She is a little bit crunchy and yes, that is her real name.

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