With back to school season upon us, there’s a lot of planning and shopping to do but what many parents forget is making sure their kids’ eyes are healthy before they step back into the classroom.
An eye exam is a good first start because it will detect vision problems that can affect your kids reading abilities, learning and school performance.
When it comes to what your kids eat, surprisingly there’s a lot you can do to keep your kids’ eyes healthy, their vision sharp and their grades top-notch. Here are 5 foods that are superstars for healthy eyes.
Salmon is a favorite food in my house—so much so that we eat it every week for meatless Mondays and I often pack it for my kids’ school lunches.
Not only is salmon an excellent source of protein and lower in mercury than other types of fish, but it is one of the best sources of DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid found in the retina of the eye.
Omega-3 fatty acids may also ward off dry eye syndrome as your kids get older and accumulate years of screen time. Although it’s unclear how many kids have dry eye syndrome, experts say it’s possible kids who do have it aren’t being diagnosed or treated.
Pumpkin is rich in vitamin A, which helps the eyes see in low light conditions and keeps the cornea healthy and lubricated. Pumpkin is also a great source of lutein, a carotenoid or plant pigment, which recent research suggests could improve learning, memory, focus and concentration.
Try baking cubes of fresh pumpkin with butternut squash, adding canned pumpkin to baked goods or adding a handful of pumpkin seeds to your kid’s salad.
Eggs contain lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants which filter the harmful blue light like those emitted from iPads and protect and keep the eyes healthy, according to the American Optometric Association.
Scrambled, hard-boiled or in a frittata, eggs are easy, versatile and usually a kid favorite.
4. Sweet potatoes
Rich in vitamin A, sweet potatoes are one of the healthiest foods you can feed your kid, especially when it comes to keeping their eyes healthy.
Since our bodies don’t produce an adequate amount of zinc, a mineral in the retina that protects the eyes, your kids need to get it from food or supplements.
Pork is a great source of zinc and protein and makes for an easy dinner option. Vegetarians can get their dose of zinc from cashews, almonds and chickpeas.