Proper nutrition is very important to all of us but is especially important for children as they’re going through a huge developmental stage physically and mentally.
So what are some of the best foods for your child’s brain growth and development?
Since the brain is mostly made up of fat, it is important to be getting good types of fats as well as foods that are very high in nutrients. These will help your kid stay sharp and focused as well as have their brains develop well into the further. Here are my top 5 foods that I recommend to feed your child/ren.
Fish are a great source of omegas and essential fatty acids which are proven to boost brain health. They are also a great source of protein which is crucial to a child’s growth and development. Lastly, fish is also high in B vitamins which help to maintain the proper functioning of your immune system.
Although they can be high in calories, they are very easy to add to meals are another great source of omega fats and protein. They also contain minerals such as zinc and magnesium, which play a role in learning and cognitive function as it helps with nerve signalling. Furthermore, they are also high in iron which helps carry oxygen in red blood cells. More oxygen to the brain means a happy healthy brain!
Not only are eggs versatile and can be cooked in so many different ways, but they are also actually really good for your brain too! Eggs contain an essential nutrient called choline which we make ourselves in small amounts but also need from foods so that we get adequate amounts. This special nutrient is responsible for healthy brain development, liver function, muscle movement, healthy nervous system function and metabolism. Not too mention, eggs also contain a lot of other nutrients that are essential to muscle and tissue growth, vision and prevention against disease.
Dark leafy greens
This one is a no brainer as vegetables are good for absolutely everything! They’re packed with vitamins and nutrients that are essential to our health. The darker in colour the better (ie. spinach, broccoli, kale) as these greens are high in antioxidants that protect us against free radical damage which is especially important for developing brains. They’re also high in folate which is responsible for forming DNA and neurotransmitters. This is why it’s also recommended to get enough folate during pregnancy to aid in proper brain and cell development.
Berries kind of tie in with the leafy greens as they are very high in antioxidants and will also prevent from free radical damage. Not to mention they are delicious and are a great snack for kids to enjoy especially if they are picky eaters. Another great thing about berries is that if they are juiced it makes it even easier to include into you or your child’s diet!
Okay! So we’ve talked about foods you would want to add to your child’s lunchbox, what about the foods to avoid?
Foods that you would want to avoid would be foods high in trans fats as it’s been linked to Alzheimer’s, poor memory function and much more. You would also want to avoid highly processed foods which are high in refined sugars, fats and salts as these foods are typically low in nutrients, highly processed to keep a shelf life or add colour to foods. These foods generally cause weight gain, have no benefit to brain development and can lead to other issues and diseases especially in developing brains. These foods typically include chips, candies and microwaveable frozen meals.
Now you have some tips on how to keep your child’s and your brain healthy and sharp! What do you think about these foods? If you liked this article please feel free to check out my article on what foods you should buy organic