Standardized test weeks often fill students with dread: The thought of long hours of filling in answer sheets and the pressure of getting the right answers are stressful for many children. If your school allows it, provide a healthy snack for your student to enjoy during the test. The snack provides a healthy energy boost to the test taker and allows him to concentrate on the test, rather than when the lunch bell will ring.
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One of the most important things you can offer your child both before and during tests is plain, cool water. Many teachers permit students to carry water bottles throughout the school day, especially during test taking. Students should avoid caffeinated drinks. Sodas and fruit juice drinks are high in sugar and should also be avoided, since the short boost they provide is often followed by a "crash" in energy and concentration. This drop in blood sugar can also headaches in test takers.
Fruits and Vegetables
Many fruits and vegetables make good test-taking snacks. Berries are excellent choices, as are orange slices, grapes and cut-up melon. Apples and bananas are also healthy snacks; add a little peanut butter for an extra protein boost, as long as the children don't have a peanut allergy. Dried fruits are handy snacks that provide vitamins and iron, but also are high in concentrated sugars so should be eaten only in small quantities.
Nuts and cheese are good sources of protein. Mixing dried fruit and nuts to make your own trail mix is one test-taking snack option recommended by Scholastic. Cheese cubes or low-fat string cheese is a filling snack option, particularly when accompanied by a few crackers or pretzels.
Hold the Sweets, Please
High-sugar treats and empty calories should be avoided before and during test-taking. Animal crackers, graham crackers and some health bars are acceptable; candy bars, high-sugar cookies and sugary fruit chews are not. A few M&Ms in a trail mix won't hurt, but a large handful of the chocolate candies straight from the bag is a poor choice.