Nutritionists speak about importance of following meal plan during exams

Chennai: With the ongoing plus two board exams and the tenth board examinations around the corner, it becomes common for students to lose out on diet considering the amount of pressure they receive. Time and again, parents emphasise on eating right, yet they fail. Nutritionists and dietitians in the city speak about the importance of following a nutritious meal plan.

“Right food is one of the main pillars for achieving success in exams. Not only does it provide energy but also boosts memory to battle the physical and mental stress of the students,” says Chennai-based independent dietitian and nutritionist, Dharini Krishnan.

She further said since students are constantly pressurised, skipping meals or breakfast becomes common and they experience tiredness, general weakness, distracted mind and forgetfulness during examinations.

Dharini goes on to shed light on children snacking on junk foods and getting addicted to it. “Excessive consumption of fried, junk foods lead to macronutrient deficiencies, like protein. Absence of fruits and vegetables in diet give rise to vitamin B and C deficiencies. It is imperative that students take nutritious food and avoid junk,” she said.

Institute of Child Health and Hospital for Children (ICH & HC) nutritionist, Nisha Priyadharshini, advices students to take frequent meals. “Instead of having three meals a day, parents must break it into shorter course of meal to keep their brain cells active. For every three hours, a small quantity of food is ideal for students to concentrate on preparation,” she stated.

“Anti-oxidants are necessary to be energetic and brisk. A small bowl of assorted nuts for breakfast keep the children active,” said Nisha and added that 1.5 – 2 litres of water must be consumed to stay hydrated.

Experts strongly suggested to eat home-made foods to prevent contraction of ailments. All courses of meal must have a grain and protein-source and they lay emphasis on inclusion of several kinds of vegetables for lunch like carrot, tomato, cauliflower and beans to fight infection and allergy.

“Eating salads prepared at home as snack between meals will be light on the stomach. It provides antioxidants like vitamin C, B and carotene and prevents infection. Inclusion of protein-rich foods such as dhals, eggs, milk and curd regularly keep the children energised. It is the time when they stay awake for more hours and the mother should add extra proteins to the diet,” suggested Dharini.

Bhavani Prabhakar