28 Feb 2022 | 4 min Read
Author | 625 Articles
A healthy diet rich in nutrients is the key to improving memory, concentration, and brain function. Like the rest of the body, the brain absorbs nutrients from the food that toddlers eat. Therefore, it is very important for them to consume highly nutritious food which enhances brain health.
During a child’s early years, the brain develops rapidly. Studies show that a child’s brain reaches 80 percent of its adult weight by the time they turn two.
That’s the reason why it’s important to add brain boosting foods to a child’s diet.
1, Eggs: Eggs are a powerhouse of protein. The yolk has choline, an important nutrient that accelerates brain development and muscle function. It also helps the brain communicate with the rest of the body and regulates mood.
Eggs are rich in protein, iron, folate, and vitamin A. These are responsible for the growth, repair, and development of cells.
Research suggests that adding choline to a child’s diet during the first 1,000 days of life supports brain development and protects against nerve cell damage.
2. Nuts and Seeds: Nuts and seeds are loaded with protein, essential fatty acids, iron, and zinc. They also contain vitamin E, which acts as a catalyst for improving cognition function and prevents damage caused by free radicals responsible for mental decline.
Walnuts contain omega-3 fatty acids that boost brain health.
The antioxidants in seeds can also help maintain a healthy brain. Pumpkin seeds contain magnesium, a catalyst for learning, zinc, and copper which assist in nerve signaling.
3. Vegetables: Vegetables protect the body and brain against free radical damage. Tomatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, carrots, or spinach are some vegetables that can be included in a child’s diet. Leafy greens like spinach are a great source of folate, essential for cell repair and maintenance along with the development of DNA.
4. Oats and whole grains: Oats and whole grains are excellent sources of fiber and are brain-boosters as well. Packed with fiber, oats can be your little one’s perfect snacking option. They are also an excellent source of vitamins E and B, zinc, and potassium that help your toddler’s brain grow rapidly.
They help to regulate the release of glucose into the blood and prevent any spikes in blood sugar levels that hamper concentration.
5. Iron-rich food: Iron deficiency is common amongst toddlers. Low iron status can adversely affect cognitive development and academic performance.
Children’s diet must include red meat, poultry, seafood, beans, and spinach. Adding sources of vitamin C to iron-rich food, can help boost absorption. For instance, you can add lemon juice to a spinach salad.
6. Dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese: Milk, yogurt, and cheese are a powerhouse of protein and B-vitamins. These are essential for the growth of brain tissue, neurotransmitters and enzymes.
Yogurt is rich in protein and carbohydrates and will elevate children’s brain health.
These are high in calcium which is vital for the growth of strong, healthy teeth and bones. So that’s an added advantage.
7. Oily fish: An excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, oily fish is essential for brain function and development. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, kids need omega-3 fatty acids for brain function and development. It has also been suggested that omega-3 fatty acids manage psychological and behavioral conditions.
Omega-3 fatty acids including ALA, DHA, and EPA are crucial to brain and eye development.
You can try including salmon or tuna in wraps, sandwiches, or salads. Your little one will love it!
In addition to these, it’s important to include fruits in a child’s daily diet . Fruits, especially berries, are enriched with antioxidants. Fruits like oranges, kiwi fruit, guava, strawberries, and papaya are great sources of vitamin C.
Adding these foods into your children’s diet will provide the nutrients needed for their brain growth, and development.