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The deck goes here

By GreatSchools Staff

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Food for thought

Many fifth-graders love nothing more than devouring unhealthy "junk food" and soda pop, because the “pleasure” centers of their brain develop sooner than their ability to calculate long-term consequences. They'll beg for it. But don't cave in: Junk food contains chemicals that can disrupt their hormonal secretions. Instead, guide your child towards wholesome, healthy food – and explain that it fosters brain development. Go for fruit, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, low-fat dairy, and healthy fats, with three nutritious meals daily, and snacks in between to keep energy levels up . (Learn about other tasty brain foods kids will love.) Avoid the obesity that weighs down almost 20 percent of U.S. children this age . Studies show obesity can eventually cause a decline in the brain’s cognitive abilities, particularly in learning and memory.

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