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Helping Gifted Kids Study
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 08, 2017 16:02 PM

Because gifted kids are smarter than their peers, many people do not realize they still must work to learn. While they have exceptional intelligence, they do not just automatically know things - these kids must study too! Parents can assist their gifted kids in learning healthy study habits at an early age. This will help them cruise through primary school and onto higher education with the ability to be extra productive. Here are study tips to work on with your gifted kids:

Time management

Just about everyone struggles with timing - especially kids whose minds are always on the go. Gifted kids can be easily distracted, so it is especially important to help them plan out studying for a big test or working on a complex project during several months or weeks. Gifted kids may feel like they need not study or spend much time on homework because of their intellect. However, slapping together a project the night before it is due can lead to bad grades even though the student is smart. Make sure your gifted children know about crucial school assignments and tests well in advance. Have them keep planners to write this important information down. Then, work out a schedule to prepare, so it is not a last-minute undertaking to get ready or complete the project.

Talk priorities

When adequately stimulated in school, gifted kids will be overwhelmed sometimes. Just like other students, learning new things can be stressful. However, a healthy amount of worry about schoolwork is a good thing! It means your children are being challenged. While struggling to keep up, your gifted kids may become upset and even stop working because they do not know what to do next. Help them prioritize their work based on what is due soon and what requires extra attention. Understanding how to navigate multiple assignments at once is a great skill that will carry over into your kids' postsecondary studies and work lives.

Get visual

Most students have a preference for learning style. Some like hands-on activities, like learning about chemical reactions through doing science experiments in a lab. Others prefer to read about a subject and can remember necessary information. One approach that many kids appreciate is visual learning. For studying, your gifted kids may benefit from a visual medium. They can make pie charts, bar graphs and even presentations to process what they are learning and better remember it all. Making these visual aids serves as hands-on learning, and can further solidify the memory process.

Remember, gifted students are often perfectionists, and studying can be a means to earning that excellent grade. Make sure your children are preparing for future tests and projects but not with such vigor they forget to be kids. While their intelligence levels are high, they are still kids and require emotional growth and learning outside of the classroom. ... READ MORE

Kids IQ Test Information

Helping Gifted Kids Study
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 08, 2017 16:02 PM

Because gifted kids are smarter than their peers, many people do not realize they still must work to learn. While they have exceptional intelligence, they do not just automatically know things - these kids must study too! Parents can assist their gifted kids in learning healthy study habits at an early age. This will help them cruise through primary school and onto higher education with the ability to be extra productive. Here are study tips to work on with your gifted kids:

Time management

Just about everyone struggles with timing - especially kids whose minds are always on the go. Gifted kids can be easily distracted, so it is especially important to help them plan out studying for a big test or working on a complex project during several months or weeks. Gifted kids may feel like they need not study or spend much time on homework because of their intellect. However, slapping together a project the night before it is due can lead to bad grades even though the student is smart. Make sure your gifted children know about crucial school assignments and tests well in advance. Have them keep planners to write this important information down. Then, work out a schedule to prepare, so it is not a last-minute undertaking to get ready or complete the project.

Talk priorities

When adequately stimulated in school, gifted kids will be overwhelmed sometimes. Just like other students, learning new things can be stressful. However, a healthy amount of worry about schoolwork is a good thing! It means your children are being challenged. While struggling to keep up, your gifted kids may become upset and even stop working because they do not know what to do next. Help them prioritize their work based on what is due soon and what requires extra attention. Understanding how to navigate multiple assignments at once is a great skill that will carry over into your kids' postsecondary studies and work lives.

Get visual

Most students have a preference for learning style. Some like hands-on activities, like learning about chemical reactions through doing science experiments in a lab. Others prefer to read about a subject and can remember necessary information. One approach that many kids appreciate is visual learning. For studying, your gifted kids may benefit from a visual medium. They can make pie charts, bar graphs and even presentations to process what they are learning and better remember it all. Making these visual aids serves as hands-on learning, and can further solidify the memory process.

Remember, gifted students are often perfectionists, and studying can be a means to earning that excellent grade. Make sure your children are preparing for future tests and projects but not with such vigor they forget to be kids. While their intelligence levels are high, they are still kids and require emotional growth and learning outside of the classroom.
... READ MORE
After-School Snacks to Fuel your Gifted Kids
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2017 16:26 PM

Gifted kids need to eat delicious snacks to keep their brains running full speed. Digging into a bag of chips sometimes is not an issue, but junk foods can lead to obesity and other serious health problems. Instead of providing not-so-great options for after-school snacking, here are some healthy alternatives to have on hand:

Cheese and crackers

Typical snacks for kids are full of sugar and offer little nutritional value. Cheese and crackers, however, is a great way for children to enjoy protein, calcium and fiber. Whole wheat crackers, or nut crackers for those with gluten sensitivities, can provide an excellent source of long-lasting energy. Add the protein in the cheese, and your kids will have plenty of energy to play sports and finish their homework.

Fresh fruit

Fruit is a tasty alternative to fruit snacks and other super sweet treats. Fruit has natural sugar combined with fiber, which makes for better energy regulation. Fruit snacks provide a high and a crash, but regular fruit adds extra nutritional value that reduces that intense need to take a nap after snacking. Your children could even dip their favorite fruits into Greek yogurt for some extra calcium and fun.

Popcorn

Unlike chips, popcorn is not fried. You can make this great snack with olive or coconut oil to reduce bad fats. Use a little bit of salt and add some awesome extras like a drizzle of sriracha or a shake of nutritional yeast for extra flavor. You could also make a trail mix with popcorn, nuts and dried fruit to spice things up.

Smoothies

Gifted kids are often on the go and don't have time to make themselves a fancy snack. Smoothies solve this conundrum! Keep frozen fruit, orange juice and yogurt on hand so they can toss the ingredients in a blender for a healthy smoothie. Your children could add their favorite veggies also to provide more vitamins and minerals while amping up the taste. Smoothies are easy to drink while on the way to after-school sports, study sessions or club meetings. Plus, you can make them ahead of time and stash the drinks in the freezer for easy access.

Chips and dip

Tortilla chips, salsa and guac are healthy! Your kids may enjoy making their own salsa or pico de gallo with tomatoes, cilantro and onions. Then, slice up an avocado or stick it in a blender for perfect guacamole. Enjoy with tortilla chips or as full-blown nachos with grilled chicken, olives, cheese and lettuce. The bigger the nachos, the less hungry your kids will be for dinner, so remember that!

Hummus and veggies

Children love dipping just as much as adults! Hummus comes in many flavors, from garlic to spicy hot pepper, and is great with pita bread or any vegetable. Cut up some bell peppers, carrots and celery so your kids can grab some veggies and enjoy them with their favorite hummus variety.

... READ MORE
Does your gifted child need a mentor?
SUNDAY, AUGUST 27, 2017 14:08 PM

Mentors are not just for kids who need a little extra help to keep up in school. In fact, gifted children can benefit from these formative relationships. Think for a second, have you ever been stumped on how to help your gifted students improve on their schoolwork? You might not answer a question because your kids are learning at a higher level than you did in school. Mentors can offer assistance that is unmatched, especially for gifted students enrolled in age-appropriate classes and may seek outside stimulation. Here are some positives of mentoring to consider:

Mentors promote advancement toward careers

Gifted kids may not receive extra attention in class. This means while their teachers may know of specific aptitudes and interests, they are not nurtured. If a gifted kid is really into biology a mentor may be the perfect person to further related learning. Outside of the classroom, the mentor can create and assign stimulating projects, research and homework that will help the student get a sense of the subject and potentially identify a career path to work toward. It is essential that adults who interact with children in an academic setting know of their students' goals and skills so they can guide the kids in the right direction.

Addressing multiple potentials

In an essay published by the ERIC Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education, author S.S. Berger noted that many gifted children have "multiple potentials." This term refers to the fact that often, talented kids have impressive abilities in several fields instead of just one. While a child can be great at math that does not mean he or she is gifted. If that same kid earns incredible scores on math IQ testing and reading, he or she may be considered gifted. Since these children have multiple talents, mentoring is the perfect opportunity to help these students flesh out their abilities. 

Provoking thought and leadership

Teachers in regular classrooms will try to account for the needs of gifted students, but may not have all the resources to adequately challenge them in regular academics. Mentors can serve as thought provokers - individuals that focus solely on gifted kids and can assess their personal needs and interests. Mentors must nurture critical thinking skills and encourage gifted students to look further into their texts and topics they like. These factors can help make sure such students do not become bored or even disruptive in class.

Mentors can provide gifted kids with extra assistance to keep them interested in their schooling and following personal learning endeavors. These individuals can be teachers, community leaders or even just adult friends of high intellect and can work with gifted kids to their benefit. Parents can ask their gifted children's regular teachers for advice on finding a mentor or look to local tutoring services or gifted child meet-ups to see how other parents found their kids' mentors.

... READ MORE
Did you know? Surprising facts about gifted kids
THURSDAY, JULY 20, 2017 08:32 AM

Having gifted kids can produce constant surprises. They may do or say things you never would have expected, but those things make your children who they are. However, a little predictability can be welcome, so here are some facts about gifted individuals you may not have known before:

They tend to over exaggerate

Gifted kids have imaginations that just won't quit. Your children may enjoy playing make-believe games, but sometimes they can get out of hand. What seems like a fun imaginary game to your little ones can come off as an exaggeration, or even a lie, to you or a teacher. 

Most of the time, your child's stories will be just that. However, if you are not sure, ask. Also, encourage your kids to be honest with their teachers. They can share their imagination with their educators, but they should draw the line between truth and exaggeration.

They are both observant and spacey

If your children day dream a lot but somehow manage to notice small details, they might be gifted. Highly intelligent kids often have active imaginations, and if that doesn't lead to over exaggeration, it does result in your children seeming a little out of it. They might be picturing a battle they learned about in history class or making up a world of their own.

On the other side of the coin, gifted kids have keen senses of observation. They are curious and analytical, and often notice things you may not have. That skill can manifest in a number of ways, from sensing slight changes in room temperature to being able to tell how another person is feeling.

They can be physically and emotionally sensitive

With an active mind often comes active emotions and physical senses. For instance, your gifted kids might be more likely to cry when they get hurt. Or, they may be overwhelmed by loud noises or bright lights. Interestingly, these traits are similar to those of highly sensitive people. HSP describes individuals with a specific temperament - basically, they take in more stimulus from their environments than others.

Despite the fact that giftedness and HSP characteristics overlap, your gifted children may not be HSP. According to The Highly Sensitive Person, you can research giftedness separately to help you identify your child's traits.

They may not do well in school

Intelligence doesn't always foreshadow good grades. In fact, many gifted kids perform poorly in school. This can happen because of a number of reasons. Gifted kids may not receive the challenge they need to be stimulated and engaged during class. Other kids' inquisitive natures could make them disruptive. Still other students day dream during lessons. 

It's important to know that just because your children aren't performing well it doesn't mean they aren't intelligent. Pay attention to how they do their homework, as this could give you insight. For instance, if your children get math problems correct, but don't solve the problem the way they learned to in class, it could be because they know a simpler, more effective way. This can be an indicator of intelligence. Ask your kids why they struggle in school, and work together, along with their teachers, to find solutions.

They might not excel at everything

A study published in the journal Intelligence revealed that high amounts of gray matter in certain areas of the brain was associated with above-average intelligence in associated skills. For instance, participants who had more gray matter in the part of the brain linked to language excelled in related subjects. This illustrates how gifted kids can be talented in and passionate about some things but not others.

Even highly intelligent kids will struggle with some subjects, and that's OK. Remind your child how gifted they are in the things they care about.

... READ MORE
Which of the 8 Intelligences Relates Most to your Personal Happiness?
MONDAY, APRIL 10, 2017 11:45 AM

Nearly everyone's goal in life is to obtain happiness. But what factors into whether people of any age are happy? One psychologist believes that humans are gifted in more areas than are taught in regular schooling and that using those intelligences is key to finding happiness. But what are those intelligences and how can varied learning experiences lead to a better outlook on life?


Multiple intelligences?

Psychologist Howard Gardner published "Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences," in 1983. He later wrote that he was surprised to find no mention of the arts while studying psychology in the 1960s. Gardner seriously played the piano as a kid and partook in other arts as well. He made it his early professional goal to "find a place for the arts in academic psychology." Gardner believes that IQ testing is limited and shows only the traditional version of intelligence. So he identified eight intelligences and the ways they develop:


  • Naturalist intelligence - experiencing the natural world
  • Musical intelligence - writing or playing music
  • Interpersonal intelligence - having a social experience
  • Intrapersonal intelligence - self-reflection
  • Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence - physically experiencing something
  • Logical-mathematical intelligence - using numbers or logic
  • Linguistic intelligence - writing or reading words
  • Spatial intelligence - working with pictures

Gardner noted that schools and much of society only measure logical-mathematical and linguistic intelligences. While these are important in many roles, there are plenty of other ways to be gifted. It's also not often that a problem or task someone needs to address can be completed using only one intelligence. Think of a student who is a bodily-kinesthetic learner who also excels in spatial intelligence and naturalist intelligence. While the child may not do well trying to solve algebra problems, if you relate the equation to a situation involving something outside, the student may learn. Ask the child to use algebra to figure out the dimensions of a tree house, for example. Show pictures of the angles and pieces of wood. Those details may help her understand. To further assist the child, provide a real-life opportunity to see and build the tree house using logical-mathematical intelligence as well as spatial and naturalist intelligence.


Intelligence and happiness

Let's say you have a friend who works in an office as an administrative assistant. He spends all day scheduling business flights, managing meetings and dealing with his company's day-to-day needs. If he is terribly unhappy, it may be because his personal intelligences aren't being stimulated. In his current position, he is using linguistic and interpersonal intelligence. But perhaps he is also spatially intelligent. A job that requires him to work with images, such as one in graphic design or photography, may be a better fit because it uses all three of these intelligences. A person is often happiest when doing what he or she is good at. Your child may not be doing well in school because math and language aren't his or her thing. You can help show the student that there are other intelligences than those used in class.


Finding your intelligences

Because schools and tests only address logical-mathematical intelligence and linguistic intelligence, some kids do not think they are smart. Scoring poorly on exams and earning not-so-great grades does not reflect Gardener's other six intelligences. Children and adults can benefit from better understanding that there are other ways to be considered "smart." But how can a person discover his or her intelligences? Test them out.


To help your child learn his or her intelligences, provide a topic. Let's say you start with something the kid is interested in, like space. Then, run through all the different ways your child can learn about space through the eight intelligences. Visiting a museum where he or she can run around a maze of the solar system would provide bodily-kinesthetic learning. Talking to a former astronaut would be a linguistic intelligence opportunity as well as a social or interpersonal experience. Listening to music inspired by space offers a musical aspect, and viewing infographics and photos from telescopes is spatial. The learning experiences that your child benefits from the most are the areas in which he or she has intelligence. Then, see if you can help the child look at problems and learning from the particular areas of intelligence that he or she understands. Adults, too, can use this method to find their intelligences. They should then consider seeking employment in fields that make use of as many of their personal intelligences as possible. This will better suit their emotional needs and lead to improved happiness.

... READ MORE
Is Your IQ Really 50% Nature and 50% Nurture?
TUESDAY, JANUARY 03, 2017 12:15 PM

When children are born, do they already have a certain limited intelligence that they can reach because of genetics? Are only those with genius parents going to become smart themselves? Alternatively, does the environment people grow up in greatly change their potential? Will teachers' kids be especially likely to be great learners because of access to their parent's knowledge and methods? The nature versus nurture dilemma is one that scientists have been studying for decades. Read on to learn about how nature and nurture affect your IQ.

Nature v. nurture

Daniel Griffin wrote, "Nature vs. Nurture? Feral Children" which studies children who grew up in the wilderness and had no human interaction. These children had learned skills like how to survive from the animals around them, such as monkeys and dogs. They took on the behaviors and mannerisms of the creatures they lived alongside. However, when found and integrated with the rest of human society, the children were able to be educated. However, their chances of fully developing and becoming functional adults were not high because they had missed crucial learning opportunities as children. The feral children had to learn and reach normal milestones for babies and young kids (like learning their parents are still alive and will come back even when they are out of sight) but at a much later age. These limitations found in the feral children studies show that nurture is a huge part of a person's IQ. When children have opportunities to learn and grow from the moment they are born with the help of supportive parents they have a better chance of succeeding in school and life. 

Another study at Virginia Commonwealth University, the University of Virginia and Lund University in Sweden studied twins who lived in separate households. Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, the research found that those who resided with more educated households have a higher cognitive ability than those in lower intelligence environments. This finding does not discount the fact that DNA also plays a key role in intellect, but notes that nurture, especially at a young age, is also important.

A person's genetics do have an effect on their smarts, however. Individuals who have highly intelligent parents often grow up in more affluent homes with better access to higher education opportunities, larger and more difficult vocabularies and financial stability. All of these factors can improve a person's potential for learning and lead to a higher IQ. 

Genetics Home Reference noted that like all genetic traits, intelligence is complex and affected by familial and environmental factors. There is no one gene that will tell scientists how smart a person can be. Instead, small parts of many genes link intelligence, which can make it difficult to know how DNA is a part of human IQs. GHR also shared that it is likely each person's individual IQ is a 50/50 mix of environment and genetics, or nature and nurture. While parents cannot change their kids' DNA, they can provide an environment that is stimulating and offers opportunities for learning and growth while a child is developing.

How can you increase your kids' IQs?

Since nurturing a child has a major effect on their IQ, parents can do some things to help their kids along. For example, Psych Central noted that enrolling young children in preschool can boost IQ, as well as engaging kids while reading together. Pregnant women can incorporate essential fatty acids like fish high in omega-3s into their diet while pregnant and breastfeeding to improve a child's IQ.

Reading aloud to your kids and using a wide range of words while speaking will help them gain language skills which will come in handy during their academic and professional careers. Encouraging kids to attend school, do their homework, study and ask questions when they need help can also work toward increasing their smarts. Knowing they have a supportive family can greatly help kids step out of their comfort zones and try new things which lead to learning experiences. Even doing puzzles with young kids can quicken the development of and reinforce their cognitive abilities.

Talk to your child's physician about his mental growth. There are specific milestones for each age that a baby, toddler, and even kid or teen should reach. Keep your children on track for these important steps by providing them with ample opportunities to learn and grow inside and outside your home.

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Great books for gifted kids
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2015 10:58 AM

If you're the parent of a gifted child, you've seen his or her kids IQ test results. These numbers have probably left you wondering how you can challenge your son or daughter while at home. Providing him or her with reading that is exciting and a little difficult may help improve vocabulary skills and comprehension. Here are a few books recommended by the Young Mensan Book Parade:

'One Bear Extraordinaire' by Jayme McGowan
McGowan is an incredible writer and illustrator who created this book. She paints, cuts and layers pieces before assembling them into the images in the finished "One Bear Extraordinaire," giving each page a 3D look that is sure to capture the imagination of your gifted child. This story is about a musical bear who journeys through the forest to find new songs and band members to play with. McGowan's rhythmic writing will have your gifted child singing her praises.

'Hope for Winter: The True Story of a Remarkable Dolphin Friendship' by Craig Hatkoff and David Yates
When Winter the dolphin was born without a tail, she had a tough life ahead of her. Just five years after a marine team rescued her from the ocean, the scientists came across another orphaned, injured dolphin and named it Hope. The duo became friends, and the tale is one of camaraderie and inspiration.

'Top Secret Files: Pirates and Buried Treasure' by Stephanie Bearce
Does your gifted child enjoy playing pirates, claiming new territories as he or she goes? This Top Secret Files book will get your little swashbuckler's adrenaline pumping! The book features historical accounts of the real pirates of the Caribbean and Blackbeard, as well as battles and exotic creatures. You just might kickstart a love of history when you read this book together!

'Mesmerized: How Ben Franklin Solved a Mystery that Baffled All of France' by Mara Rockliff
Many young children are interested in magic, from fairies and elves to disappearing acts. This exciting book offers an interesting look into the life of Benjamin Franklin as he developed ways to approach science that were less flashy than other showboaters of his time. Your child will learn about observation and making a hypothesis, as well as fancy magic shows that people considered "science" during the time Franklin first arrived in Paris, France. Rockliff's book is a fun look into history that your child will find fascinating.

... READ MORE
Pesticides associated with reduced cognitive development
MONDAY, AUGUST 10, 2015 17:51 PM

Pyrethroid insecticides are common in households all over the world. Families use them in gardens to rid their plants of unwanted pests and farmers use them on crops to keep away swarms of bugs. People realize that a high-dosage of these chemicals can have a negative impact on a person's health, but they rarely stop to think about what exposure to low-doses of these insecticides can do, especially to a young child's brain still in the developmental process.

A study published in the journal Environmental International set out to determine if low-level exposure to Pyrethroid insecticides affected a child's neurodevelopment. The researchers studied 287 mothers and their children  by collecting urine samples between 6 and 19 weeks into the pregnancy, and again when the children reached 6 years old. Two insecticide metabolites, known as 3-PBA and cis-DBCA, were associated with a negative impact on neurocognitive development, particularly for verbal comprehension and working memory scores. These ratings were measured using the  Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children.

Children are more vulnerable to pesticides, not only because they are in a delicate developmental period throughout childhood, but because they are lower to the ground, as well. When children play outside in an area that has been sprayed by pesticides, they are likely to consume small amounts of the substance, thus, negatively impacting future IQ scores.

Other harmful effects linked to pesticides
Along with developmental delays, prenatal exposure to agricultural pesticides is believed to induce autism. A study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives observed 970 participants to determine whether their residential proximity to agricultural pesticides during pregnancy was linked to autism spectrum disorders or developmental delays. The results found that mothers who were exposed to organophosphates at some point during gestation were associated with a 60 percent increased risk for autism spectrum disorders.

How to minimize exposure to pesticides
Many people are concerned about what their children are exposed to at a young age, and, if you fear for your child's development, there are steps you can take to reduce your pesticide interaction. First, living near agricultural fields nearly guarantees you and your family will come into contact with pesticides because farmers use crop dusting to protect their plants from various insects and other pests. The wind blows these chemicals onto your garden and yard, exposing you to the pesticides when you go outside. So, moving to an area with fewer agricultural fields can fix this problem.

In addition, Eartheasy suggests buying organic produce because these items are usually pesticide-free. Just to be sure, however, make sure you are washing your fruits and vegetables before consuming them. 

... READ MORE
Improve brain function with the right foods
MONDAY, AUGUST 10, 2015 12:55 PM

Between running the kids to school and after-class activities, coming home to cook a healthy dinner can seem too time-consuming. However, taking 15 to 30 minutes to whip together a quick meal could not only improve your children's health, but also their brain function. Having a healthy and balanced diet is essential to a child's cognitive development, and feeding children the right foods at every meal can help power their brains.

Breakfast
Known by many as the most important meal of the day, breakfast can easily be overlooked in the rush to school in the morning. According to the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 20 percent of children aged 9 to 13 and 31.5 percent of adolescents aged 14 to 18 are breakfast skippers. Missing the first meal of the day is harmful to kids and can affect their grades because it means they won't get an important morning energy boost. By the time lunch rolls around, kids are usually experiencing hunger pangs as well, making them irritable.

Start your child's morning off right by providing him or her with a hearty breakfast. Eggs are a fantastic breakfast food to offer your kids. They provide protein and other nutrients, including a nutrient called choline. Choline, according to What to Expect, is instrumental in brain development and memory function. Beginning the morning with a healthy meal will set the pace for the rest of the day.

Lunch
Fill your kids up by packing them a lunch full of whole grains. Sandwiches are an easy way to provide children with this essential food group and they offer a variety of meal options. Make sure the bread you're using is 100 percent whole wheat or whole grain because it offers more nutritional value than white. According to The Diet Channel, whole grains contain lots of Vitamin B, which helps with memory function so they can retain information better. This will be useful when taking exams and studying information in class. The grains also provide plenty of energy so your child will make it through the next three hours of class activities. 

Dinner
According to the World Health Organization, the most common and widespread nutritional disorder is iron deficiency. If the body lacks certain nutrients, in most cases, cognitive function will start to decline. To make sure your student doesn't develop an iron deficiency, start serving lean beef during dinnertime. The best part about this food choice is the variety of meals you can make with the ingredient. A few examples of meals include:

  • Hamburgers
  • Steak
  • Sloppy Joes
  • Spaghetti and meatballs
  • Beef and broccoli

Keep the kids interested in their food by diversifying meals and exposing them to new flavors.

If your family is vegetarian, try cooking up some soy burgers or meals that include black beans. Beans are a great source of iron for a child's diet.

What to avoid
Along with knowing what food items will help improve your child's diet, it's equally valuable to recognize what can hinder healthy attempts. One study found in the journal Plos One identified trans fatty acids as a hindrance to memory. According to the study, each gram of trans fatty acids consumed each day resulted in an estimated .76 fewer words recalled. This type of fat is also not known to offer any nutritional value to a person's diet. Children have a hard enough time remembering the facts and formulas required for tests without the added nutritional interference. 

To help avoid this non-nutritional food additive, check the labels on your groceries. If an item lists trans fats, try finding an alternative product without it. Try skipping the fast food restaurants, as well. A study published in the journal Clinical Pediatrics found a link between fast food consumption and lower IQ scores. In a statement, Kelly Purtell, lead author of the study, said that students who ate the most fast food had about 20 percent lower test scores. This is thought to be caused by the lack of nutrients found in most fast food meals. 

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Intelligent kids are challenged by competition
TUESDAY, JULY 28, 2015 10:49 AM

This year, Lifetime Network released a new competition series called "Child Genius." In this show, children aged 8 to 12 who scored in the top 2 percent on accepted standardized intelligence tests completed an 8-week long national intelligence competition. They answered a series of questions from various topic areas, such as math, spelling, memory, current events and inventions. It is doubtful that adults could answer most of the questions asked, let alone answer them in 20 seconds without the use of pen and paper.

Business Insider lists example questions the children had to answer during the event, including these:

  • Calculate 14 times 8 minus 11 and multiply by 2
  • What is the official currency of Kenya?
  • What prevents blood from flowing backward in veins?
  • How many humps does a dromedary have?
  • Born in Mesopotamia in 1136, what was the name of one of the Islamic empire's greatest technical geniuses?

The children were competing for more than a title during this tournament. The winner received $100,000 for a college scholarship fund with second place taking $10,000 and third getting $5,000.

The show was created with the cooperation of American Mensa, an organization that only gives membership to the country's most intelligent citizens, American Mensa reported. Many of the kids from "Child Genius" are members of this prestigious group.

Raising a child with such high intelligence can be difficult, as the TV show depicts, with some kids having few friends their own age because they can't relate. However, organizations like Mensa help because members have the opportunity to meet other intelligent people at local, regional and national levels. If parents suspect their kids have a higher-than-average intelligence, they should consider IQ testing so that their children can get the educational and emotional support they need. 

Developing a child's IQ
Helping a child develop their intellect comes with its own challenges as well. Studies have found that when you praise a child too much for their talents, it can ultimately lead to failure and an unwillingness to meet challenges. Scientific American states this is because children who are constantly told they are special and extremely smart will start to believe intelligence is inherent. This thought process will make them feel like striving to increase their learning and knowledge is a waste of time because they are already smart enough. Challenges are no longer fun or interesting and instead are a threat to their natural intellect.

Instead of constantly telling kids they are gifted and smart, a better strategy is to compliment them on the effort they put forth to achieve these goals. This will reinforce the actions that help them do well instead of just the idea that they are naturally good at a task. Parents should also consider relaying stories about popular scientists and mathematicians who had a love for their work and strove to reach their dreams, Scientific American noted, instead of talking about people who were naturally talented. Encouraging kids to participate in various competitions and tournaments can also help kids reach their full potential because they will be challenged and have a goal to work toward.

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