|Lucky Stick chocolate biscuits|
|Marmite on olive bread toast with tahini, alfalfa and cucumber|
|Apple slices, halloumi strips, pistachios|
At school I was terrified of exams, really cripplingly nervous, to the point that I gave up. I spent my o' level revision time enjoying the sunshine and getting a great tan. Actually the 'giving up' phase was important, it took the pressure off, made me realise it wasn't the end of the world when I failed. After that exams were easy; relaxation, counter-intuitively, can help you focus. From then on, I learnt to use every revision minute effectively. I made lists on index cards which I taped to the wall next to the toilet. I got friends to grill me on facts. I'd ram all the information into my brain in quick time. Of course, this is no way to learn. Like a tan, the more rapidly you acquire it, the quicker you lose it. But it worked for exams.Around this time every 16 to 18 year old in the country is sat, eyes glazed, at a desk, or, more likely, in bed with a laptop, revising for exams. My daughter has Politics A2 level on Monday and her teacher has been ill for the last term. She's been tearful, snappish, at times despairing. As a parent, you feel helpless. I'm doing my best, between my own work, to learn all of the Supreme Court decisions over the last century: Roe v. Wade, Brown v. Topeka Board of Education, Miranda v. Arizona (from whence come the 'Miranda' rights so often heard on US cop shows). So I'm learning something too while I test her.
All we can do is support them, emotionally and practically. Regular cups of tea and coffee to keep them alert and of course, revision snacks which are remarkably similar to cocktail party food. In an effort to get your teen eating healthy brain food, you end up resorting to the tricks you used when they were toddlers, cutting fruit and vegetables in cheerful shapes and putting smiley faces on dips.
Revision snack suggestions:
Hummus dip with pitta bread/rice cakes/oat cakes
Seed mixes: I dry roast sunflower, pumpkin, linseed, hemp, sesame seeds with soy sauce and rub in some toasted seaweed flakes (sushi sheets).
Raisins, dried fruit such as apricots for iron or dried mango slices, chocolate raisins
Fresh fruit, cut up (banana slices) or easy to pop in mouth fruit such as strawberries, grapes, or blueberries
Same with vegetables: cut up slices of avocado, carrot batons, cucumber sticks, cherry tomatoes.
Cheese slices, cubes
Popcorn (plain or salt), pretzels, bread sticks
Teeny sandwiches (with smoked salmon in, oily fish is good for you)
Sardines on toast, again, oily fish is brain food
Marmite on toast
Yoghurt smoothies: fresh fruit, ice, banana in a blender with a large spoonful of honey or agave syrup.
Chocolate soya milk drinks
Fruit juice as opposed to squash
If you are going to have Red Bull, make it one a day max.
If you are going through exams, or if your kids are, what do you feed them? Do you attempt to stick to healthy food or just plough into the crisps and sweets?
|Cucumber 'stars', carrot batons, cashews, yoghurt with yuzu paste dip.|