Includes bibliographical references (pages 251-272) and index.
Part I: Invisible forces -- January: Does grit depend on guts? : the good-guy microbes you want to hack your kid's nervous system -- February: On gut bugs and social butterflies: can diet affect social life? -- March: Let them eat mudcakes: the psychological case for letting more outside in -- Part II: Outside/in -- April: The stardust in us: an essential mineral has been lacking in our diets for generations. What happens when we bring it back? -- May: Can green help gray matter?: kids are required to focus more than ever: can nature help mind wanderers? -- June: Eternal springtime of the flavenoid mind: are blues the tastiest of memory hacks? -- Part III: Body changes mind -- July: Uneven playing fields: can movement help kids juggle more in their minds? -- August: The right touch: the cutting edge in hands-on research -- September: 99 percent perspiration: using body cues for peak performance -- Part IV: Rebalance -- October: City brain: urban kids have unique brain wiring. Can the right words help prevent it from short-circuiting? -- November: Rage against the dying of the light: change the lightbulb, change the thinker? -- December: All is calm, all is bright: a new tool for an ancient resilience and self-regulation trick.
"Wits Guts Grits inspired by the many what-if questions acclaimed science writer and mother of two Jena Pincott asked herself as research on how the invisible forces that shape our minds and health has emerged and grown over the past decade. What if we identify the microbes that support stress resilience, find ways to expose our kids to them, and then test them? What if we reintroduce the mineral magnesium, deficient in almost every child's diet? Would it reduce anxiety and increase bounce-back, as the science now suggests? What if memory and learning could improve measurably after eating certain foods--such as blueberries--high in plant chemicals called flavonols? What if primal ways of moving the body strengthen kids' working memory and mental flexibility? What if receiving the right types of touch translate into better emotional control and self-regulation? These and many more questions led Pincott to simple, all-natural "biohacks"--Or experiments inspired by current research and theory--complete with instructions on how to undertake them to help your own children strengthen their wits, guts, and grit. Explaining the science and her own experimentation with her two gung-ho daughters in a lively, humorous, accessible way, Pincott guides parents to learn how the underlying ingredients of the traits we all want for our kids--resilience, focus, perseverance, working memory, and more--may be all around us in the natural world, ready to be harnessed"-- Provided by publisher.