Before your child turns 3, her brain is growing rapidly everyday. Your little munchkin is absorbing so much in her surroundings and figuring out a lot of stuff for herself. She is learning at a rapid pace, and brain boosting development is encouraged through all activities that your toddler takes pleasure in. From running around, to listening to music and playing games, every bit is contributing to her brain development. But that is not the only way your child’s brain develops, you can also help her brain blossom by feeding her foods that are rich in antioxidants, choline, omega 3 acids and complex carbohydrates. Such foods can be particularly helpful in your child’s brain development.
Role Of Food And Brain Development Of A Child
If required nutrition is not provided, then this may affect the development of a child. Young children grow up rapidly and so does brain and cognitive skills. We try our best to provide a balanced diet for our kids, and supplement it with health drinks such as Horlicks and Bournvita to make up for missing vitamins and minerals. With advancements in research, scientists have now identified foodstuffs which can particularly boost brain development and help enhance brain functions such as concentration, thinking, memory and reasoning abilities. Have a look below on these food items and incorporating them in your kid’s diet is going to give you a brainier child!
Top 10 Brain Boosting Foods For Children
Fish: Fish, particularly salmon is a good source of Omega 3 fatty acids which boosts brain development and functioning of mental skills. For those who cannot access fresh fish, fish oil capsules are easily available in the market. Non-vegetarians can make the kids munch on flax seeds! It helps kids focus and protect against cognitive decline
Berries: The colorful berries such as strawberries and blueberries are high in antioxidants. Antioxidants play an important role in maintaining the wear and tear of the brain. The polyphenols in these berries have anti-inflammatory properties and protects against brain ageing. Omega-3 fats are found in seeds of berries which help the brain function better. The more strong the color of the berry, the more its nutritional value. Makes up for a perfect snack
Beans: Kids love Rajma (kidney beans) combined with rice and raita! Well, beans are pretty regular in any Indian home. Beans such as kidney beans, french beans and pinto beans provide fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals. These are also sources of omega 3 fatty acids and aid brain growth and functioning, the content being especially high in kidney beans and pinto beans. They can be munched on with other meals as well
Meat: Lean meat such as skinless chicken breast is a good source of protein and iron. It contains B12 which helps in formation of blood and brain functioning. Deficiency of B12 can cause poor memory and fatigue. You could opt for if you are a vegetarian
Green leafy vegetables: These iron rich foods are high in iron and help in improving learning, attention and memory. They are also sources of high fiber, vitamin B6 and folic acid which increases growth of new brain cells. Green leafy veggie such as spinach contains magnesium which works at the neurotransmitter level aiding quick responses
Walnuts: This brain-shaped dry fruit is a very rich source of Omega 3 fatty acids. It is found to improve concentration and keeps the nervous system functioning well. It contains DHA, which protects cell membranes from the damages and keeps them healthy
Eggs: These yummy roundies are not only a good source of protein but also of choline. Choline is a substance which aids in generating memory stem cells. Remember, the greater the number of these memory cells, the better. Do you know watching TV kills brain cells? You need to keep the stock of eggs ample for proper functioning of brain. Sunday ho ya Monday, roz khao ande!!
Oatmeal: Although not a favorite of many, oatmeal or Daliya is a high source of protein, fibre and energy. It serves to keep heart and brain arteries free of plaque. It is found to boost memory, especially during spatial tasks. It also contains Vitamin E and other minerals such as zinc which are essential to keep the brain functioning
Milks and milk products: Milk, yogurt, cheese etc. are sources of calcium and the essential Vitamin D. They also provide protein and carbohydrates foe the brain. The vitamins and minerals supplied through milk and milk products are necessary for growth of brain tissues, neurotransmitters, and enzymes
Peanut butter: The butter made from the wonder nut, Peanut is loved by all! It’s not only filling but also contains Vitamin E that protects nerves. Peanut butter is also a source of folate which is required for growth of new brain cells. It also contains thiamin, which is good for the brain, and glucose which gives energy. But be cautious when serving this food since this may choke very young kids. It’s better to give a toast or biscuit with thinly spread peanut butter
Your kid may not like all of the above mentioned foodstuffs, but its up to you to present them in interesting and attractive ways so that your child can benefit from them. The first few years of life are crucial for overall development and therefore extra care should be taken not to leave any lacunae from your end. These food stuffs are not only excellent for your kids, but for the toiling mum too!
So get going with these brain foods and make a Smart Child!