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  • Darlene Rose DeMaria

Brain Food


I’ve had the privilege of studying and working with Dr. Joan Smith, Ed.D. Educational Psychologist, Speech Pathologist and Natural Chef, to name a few of her accomplishments and talents. I received my Dyslexia Remediation Certification and have enhanced my personal repertoire by attending several of her trainings.


I’ve also read her books: “You Don’t Have To Be Dyslexic” & “Learning Victories” which opened my eyes and my heart to view Educational Therapy as an Art and adaptive Dance. She has provided our field with many pertinent training manuals and now an extremely informative recipe book, “The Calming Kitchen”.


After completing intake interviews with a number of parents, I’ve learned many children refuse to sit down to a healthy breakfast. They leave the house in the morning on a glass of orange juice and/or a sweet roll and sometimes simply a glass of milk, popping their ADD, ADHD medication and thinking they’re ‘good to go!’ No amount of educational therapy and specialized strategies will fix the symptoms of an under nourished brain.


Feeding the brain includes 3 key areas:


1) Choosing and ingesting foods that benefit strong brain and body performance is imperative.


2) Fats/oils are essential for effective brain and body performance.


3) Conscious water consumption is also necessary for optimum brain function.


There is a great deal of conflicting information regarding food; what we should or should not eat, food combinations and the optimum time for ingesting food. This can all be very confusing. It is true people have different reactions to even pure ingredients. I’ve witnessed slowed response time, dysnomia and lack of concentration when students ingest dairy products. I’ve also seen the ravaging effects of sugar on attention, concentration, recall and output. I’ve frequently noted brain fatigue and insufficient output in students who run their entire day on carbohydrates.


Eating healthy can positively influence attention and learning deficits, two diagnoses we liberally tag on our young students. When sensible eating and consistent patterns of hydration and sleep are a consistent part of the daily schedule, our students will find focusing and learning to be improved. Moderate lifestyle choices such as sensible food intake and hydration will contribute to the effectiveness of educational therapy.

© Darlene Rose DeMaria ~ 2023

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