Foods To Help Boost Your Kid’s Brain and Memory While They Prep For Tests

brain boosting foods

Everyone, at one point in their lives, has had their own dreadful encounter with examinations—and preparing for them is no joke. As a parent, you’re probably aware of the stress that your kids experience during exams. 

Nutrition plays a big part in their brain and memory function, which are essential when taking exams. Help your child prepare by making sure the following brain-boosting food are included in their meals:

​Water-Rich Food

Hydration and water intake is already an important part of your everyday life, but this becomes even more significant when your child needs to power up their brain for memory retention and improved cognitive abilities.

In a study performed about water consumption prior to conducting examinations, it was found that drinking plain water can improve mental performance in various cognitive tests. Participants in two groups were asked to take cognitive tests that measured reaction times, with the first group being allowed to drink water. According to the results, hydration plays a big role as thirsty people tend to easily get distracted when they feel the sensation of thirst.

Always make sure that your child has a water tumbler nearby. If they’re still not drinking enough, it helps to add some extra fruits and vegetables rich in water, such as:

  • Watermelon
  • Cucumber
  • Tomatoes
  • Spinach
  • Apples
  • Oranges


Eating nuts for improved brain function is common knowledge for many people, though you’ll be surprised that many aren’t aware of the reasons why. Aside from apples, consuming nuts can also keep doctors away as they’re linked to letting you have a healthier and longer life.

You know I'm a nerd for food science, so I loved learning that eating different types of nuts can really affect your brain health positively. 


With a high content of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a type of Omega-3 fatty acid, walnuts top the list for the best nuts for brain health. DHA, also a substance naturally found in the brain, is known to have many health benefits such as protecting brain health in newborns, preventing the development of certain mental disorders, and, more importantly, boosting cognitive performance in adults, which are perfect for students studying for impending exams. Also, consuming walnuts are found to decrease blood pressure in response to stress, which most students usually experience.

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walnuts for brain health infographic

Hazelnuts and Almonds

As a former teacher, I hate the idea of kids having to memorize facts to pass a test but memory and retention will always play a part in formalized assessments. These two types of nuts are known for their concentrated amounts of vitamin E associated with slowing down cognitive decline and memory loss. Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are notorious memory killers with no definite cure. However, they can be slowed down through changes in lifestyle, which includes eating at least two teaspoons of hazelnuts or almonds per day. 


Peanuts are another great source of vitamin E, plus they contain niacin, which is also known to  delay cognitive decline. On top of that, a compound in peanuts called resveratrol increases blood flow in the brain by 30% and lowers blood pressure, making it a great pre-test snack.

Dark Chocolate

I'll look for any excuse to eat chocolate, as will my kids so I have to include the health benefits of dark chocolate.

Of course I'm not alone, people have always loved eating chocolate due to its amazing taste and the unbelievable emotional effect it offers. Chocolates trigger the release of dopamine hormones in your body, which is associated with stress-relief and mood improvement. Once your child starts eating chocolate, it may feel rewarding for them and may motivate them to continue studying.

Other than that, the health benefits of encouraging your child to eat dark chocolate while studying include:

  • Improved brain blood flow due to flavonoids
  • Improved memory, focus, and learning due to moderate amounts of caffeine, as well as flavonoids
  • Prevents free radical damage due to antioxidants
  • Anxiety and stress-relief through lowered blood pressure

Aside from helping your kid overcome and succeed in their exams, you’re doing their overall health a favor as dark chocolates greatly reduces the risk of various disorders, including dementia, mild cognitive impairment, and stroke. In my house, we call this a win-win.

dark chocolate benefits

Dark chocolate benefits from


Even though some pick eaters might not be excited about protein-rich fish, salmon provides exemplary nutrients, particularly for the brain. The human brain is naturally composed of 60% fatty acids making up fat molecules, constituting the structure and function of the brain. However, these fats, which are mostly made up of DHA, are incapable of being produced by the body. Thus, people need to obtain and compensate for its loss through a healthy diet consisting with omega-3 fatty acids. One of the best foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids are salmon. 

Salmon is also a great test-prep choice because it increases the flow of oxygen, which is useful for accepting new information and has vitamin B12 for healthy blood vessels and nerves.


Being one of the simplest and most accessible food of all time, you can pick up eggs right from your fridge and cook it in different ways. As neurocognitive health is an aspect that should be equally prioritized among others, eating eggs daily can make a big difference when it comes to brain development, learning, and memory because of two nutrients: lutein and choline. 

Lutein is an essential carotenoid that offers several health benefits not only for the eyes. Lutein is most commonly associated with eye health as it acts like a barrier in the retina for the development of macular pigments. 

eggs on toast with salad

However, studies have suggested that lutein also plays a role in cognition. This type of carotenoid is found to have the largest presence in the human brain, and its accumulation during one’s increasing lifespan indicate a correlation between continuous brain function. Also, having a healthy eyesight and vision ensures that your child will not experience any vision-related problems during their entire schooling.

Choline, on the other hand, does wonders for the mind and body during the varying stages of human development. The nutrient choline is highly required in the production of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter responsible for muscle control, memory, focus, mood, and other functions of the brain and nervous system.


Adding Turmeric into your child’s diet can also benefit their brain function. Curcumin, a vital substance found in turmeric, is said to have neuroprotective properties in preserving the healthy state of the brain.

Turmeric consumption can reduce brain fog or the lack of mental clarity, as well as boost memory retention or enhance overall cognitive brain function. 

To make turmeric more exciting for your family, you can add it into different recipes where they might not even notice it. I like to add it to chicken soup, gingerbread cookies, scrambled eggs, and a turmeric latte.


Maintaining a well-functioning brain doesn’t end with a healthy diet, but it goes in harmony with the proper exercise, making for an overall healthy lifestyle. Before your child starts studying, always make sure to help them fight hunger by some of these foods to improve their brain health. A healthy mind is a healthy body, and you can help your child prepare for their exams by feeding them the right kind of food. 

Especially if they’re taking college entry exams, you know that they’re going to need all the help and support they can get as they prepare for their future. Aside from encouraging them, helping them get the right SAT prep materials, and assisting them with their study schedule, you can also help your child prepare for their exams by making sure they stay healthy.