It is that time of the year!
Timetable? Stuck by the study table.
Notes? Compiled and sorted.
Stationery? Freshly stocked!
Diet Plan? Huh?
As students from across the country take on their final exams, we look at how their diets play a significant role during this season. Ms. Swetha Rammohan, Clinical Dietician, Nutritional Counsellor, and Ekya Parent takes us through the do’s and don’ts of the “Exam Season Diet”
Why Balanced Meals?
Balanced meals and timely snacks make a considerable difference during exams. Children and teenagers have an increased nutritional need owing to the development of their bodies, therefore adequate and proper nourishment is required, especially with all the stress, anxiety and tension that comes with exams. When it comes to nutrition, during this time of the year, a few things should be kept in mind
- A calm stomach keeps a calm mind. Feeding yourself with healthy snacks and timely meals help.
- Compliment your study plan with a diet plan built around it. Plan it and adhere to it.
- Eating right helps boost your immunity which fights off any possibility of catching an illness during exams.
Calm the mind with a calm stomach
To begin with, let’s see what foods should be included and what to be avoided for a happy stomach:
How do we achieve this? Here are a couple of tips you can try at home:
- Replace fizzy soft drinks and sugary drinks with lemon, fruit juices, clear veg/non-veg clear soups during winters.
- Coffee and tea may give you an instant boost but should be ideally avoided as it may cause acidity issues. It can be replaced with a cup of hot chocolate or lightly sweetened buttermilk.
- Pizzas can be made at home by replacing the pizza base with whole wheat roti and can include freshly chopped tomatoes, choice of your favourite veggies/chicken and sprinkled with cottage cheese/paneer.
- Who doesn’t love burgers? choose burger buns that are smaller than the usual. The high-fat sauce can be replaced with thick creamy hung curd, lettuce leaves, sliced tomatoes and cucumber along with homemade potato/chicken cutlet.
- Instead of French fries or highly processed potato chips, opt for baked, grilled and tawa roast potato chunks with herbs and flavourings such as coriander, lemon and pepper.
- To accompany these dishes, skip the high-fat sauces with thick creamy hung curd, tomato salsa, pudina or coriander chutney.
Stick To The Plan
Always remember to allocate time for meals and snacks when you plan your study timetable. A sample diet/ study timetable is as follows:
NOTE: This is a sample plan that you can use as a guide. Chalk out your own plan based on your schedule, your exam dates/time and other considerations such as health or medical conditions. Your study time can be replaced by the choice of your chores based on your individual needs. The quantity of food items is not mentioned as it may vary with the age, gender and physical activity level of the student.
Fight Illness With Food
During physical and/or mental stress, water-soluble vitamins, which are required to boost immunity and combat fatigue, start to dip. Include Vitamin C-rich foods in your diet. Fruits like oranges, guava, amala, strawberries, papaya, and kiwi along with vegetables like capsicum, broccoli and tomatoes are good sources of the Vitamin.
As with Vitamin C, Vitamin B is also equally important, required for sustained energy and absorption of nutrients and is found in fish, poultry, meat, eggs, dairy, fortified cereals, apple, soy milk, bananas, green leafy veggies, and a certain variety of cheese.
How To Stay Stress-free During Exams?
• Stick to your diet/ study plan on most days.
• Eat small frequent meals.
• Hydrating yourself at regular intervals will keep you alert.
• Breakfast is a must on all days especially on the day of the exam.
• At least 8 hours of sleep is a must. There is evidence that students who sleep adequately perform well.
• Avoid using laptops, mobiles, tabs, watching television before retiring to bed.
• Include your favourite physical activity even during exams such as walking with a friend or dancing for fifteen minutes, as it boosts brain cells for better performance.
• De-clutter your study room.
We hope these few guidelines during exam help you all to perform better, feel better and be stress-free. We wish our students the best for all their papers.