Brain Food to Eat Before the AP Exam

brain food

Courtesy of Once Upon a Chef.

If your child is getting ready for an AP® exam (given the weeks of May 5-9 and May 12-16), the best thing you can do is help them eat right before the test.  There have been many studies done on brain food  and how the combination of protein, carbohydrate and fiber can keep the body and mind fueled for peak school performance.

Sometimes, though, grabbing a Pop-Tart can seems like the fastest way to get something – anything – into your teen’s stomach on a hectic morning. There’s a reason they call it a “sugar high,” and unfortunately it comes with a crash.

Refined, simple carbs and sugar like you find in many quick breakfast foods and snacks cause a spike in blood sugar levels which is followed by a lull and a resulting lethargy and difficulty concentrating. That’s the last thing you want midway through a tough question on your AP Chemistry Exam!

Instead, your teen should fuel up with protein and complex carbohydrates, which offer a steady supply of energy.

I don’t claim to be a nutritionist, but I do know that making smart food choices foods can help prevent that sugar high roller coaster.

Here are five great options for a power-packed (but fast!) breakfast that will keep your child fueled throughout the test.

Power breakfasts

  • Peanut butter or almond butter on whole wheat toast
  • Oatmeal, mixed with applesauce and a dollop of brown sugar
  • A smoothie made with yogurt, fruits and a scoop of protein power
  • An egg white omelet, ideally filled with veggies or cheese
  • Cereal/yogurt parfait

Unlike the SAT, the AP Exams don’t allow kids to take snacks so your child will come home starving!  You’ll be the cool parent of the week if you have some of these snacks at the ready.

Smart post-test snacks

  • Trail mix, packed with nuts, raisins and some dark chocolate chips
  • Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola bars  are easy to make with this delicious 10-minute recipe
  • Cheese stick and turkey jerky
  • Celery sticks spread with peanut butter
  • An apple and whole wheat crackers

As your child heads into the busy testing season, make sure they are primed with smart food choices to help them power through the day.

What snacks or breakfast foods have you found that are smart choices for your teens to nosh on?


2 Responses to Brain Food to Eat Before the AP Exam

  1. Brynn Radak May 8, 2018 at 10:52 PM #

    the ap test does allow you to bring snacks. you get a 15min snack break


  1. Six Easy Ways to Conquer Back to School Lunch - Official Blog - August 27, 2014

    […] of pre-packaged goodies, that’s not going to provide the “brain food” your kid needs. The “perfect mix” is making sure your teen fuels up with protein and complex carbohydrates, which offer a steady […]

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