We all know that children require proper nutrition in order to grow strong and healthy. But not only that, but certain nutrition-rich foods are also essential for healthy brain development in children. Want your little one to shine in the future? A change in their diet may be essential!!
Make Your Child Sharper With These Nutritious Foods
The Nutrients Required For Healthy Brain Development
Doctors recommend a balanced diet with sufficient quantities of all nutrients for the healthy cognitive development of young children. But some nutrients are especially important for the neurological and cognitive growth of children. These include:
- High protein foods
- Ample carbohydrates
- Polyunsaturated fatty acids (long-chain)
- Vitamin A, Vitamin B (all forms), Vitamin C, and Vitamin D
- Choline, iron, copper, zinc, selenium, iodine
Doctors say that these nutrients should be present in a child’s regular diet all through their growing years as well as during adulthood. But scientists focus especially on the first three years of life for proper brain development in children. A good nutritious diet in the first three years of life is very important for the overall brain development in children.
A study in 2019 found some relations between unhealthy diets (rich in refined sugars and saturated fats) and increased risk of hyperactivity and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) in children. But these finds are not yet conclusive and much more research needs to be conducted on the impact of diet on brain development.
Doctors also warn against over-dependence on diet for a child’s cognitive development. Along with proper nutrition, children also require adequate social support and healthy attachment bonds in order to thrive mentally.
What Foods Provide The Nutrients Required For Brain Development
Parents are often told of the nutrients they must provide their children. But then the parents are left with hundreds of questions as to how to provide these nutrients in a kid’s diet. Here are some very simple, readily available items with high nutritious value that will help any child’s mental and physical development:
- Eggs- eggs are an essential source of Choline in the body. Single large egg yolk contains about 125mg of choline. This is about half the choline intake required for children between the ages of 4 to 8 years. Doctors recommend that children should have an egg every single day.
- Fish- fishes like salmon, sardines, and tuna are very rich in omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids are very important for the cognitive development of young children. Doctors believe that Omega 3 fatty acids can regulate behavioral problems in children too.
- Leafy green vegetables – almost every single parent knows that leafy green vegetables are good for children. Leafy vegetables like spinach, bok choy, cabbage, and kale contain high qualities of folic acid. Just 100 grams of raw spinach contain almost half the daily requirement of folate in children between 4-8 years of age. Folic acid or folate is essential for the proper development of brain function. Even pregnant women are recommended to take folic acid tablets for the healthy development of the fetus.
- Greek yogurt- Greek yogurt is recommended for young children because it is very rich in probiotics. Children can have greek yogurt flavored with natural berries as a healthy breakfast smoothie.
- Oats- research has found that 12 to 14 olds who consume oats porridge for breakfast regularly perform better than their peers in school. Oats are low in the Glycemic Index (GI) and are good for children suffering from obesity or diabetes.
- Lentil- lentil is a very good source of nutrition for children. Most varieties of lentils and beans contain high quantities of Zinc required for healthy brain development.
Many more delicious, healthy foods contain the nutrition required for a child’s healthy mental development. Parents just need to spend a little bit of extra time regularly making sure that their kids get a balanced healthy diet.