Isn’t it interesting that a newborn’s brain contains more neurons than an adult brain? Research shows that babies are born with over 100 billion neurons and a 20 percent reduction occurs as the child reaches adolescence. The neurons that remain are what we carry for the rest of our lives.
Boosting Children’s Brain Power
Since babies are born with so many brain cells, it is important to support their development right from the beginning. The first three years of a child’s life are the most important when it comes to brain development because it is during these years that a child develops essential cognitive skills.
Food plays an important role in this development and while breastmilk takes care of nutrition for the initial months, you will need to start filling your child’s diet with foods appropriate for optimal brain development.
Top 8 Foods To Boost Brain Power
While you may be already feeding your child only the best foods, have you considered if they are particularly good for the brain? Here are the top eight foods that are proven to support brain development.
Most babies and toddlers love sweet foods and applesauce is considered the perfect way to introduce a healthy sweet treat. Apples are rich in vitamin C and fiber, which can support different aspects of health including digestion and brain health.
Like apples, plums are also a good starting point for introducing sweet foods. Pureed plums are rich in antioxidants, fiber and various other nutrients to support your child’s brain development and health.
3. Sweet potatoes:
Mashed sweet potatoes are the perfect combination of a mildly sweet flavor and a creamy texture that babies typically like. It is rich in beta-carotene, iron, copper and vitamin C, all of which can support brain health.
Some studies show that the healthy fats in avocados may have a similar composition to breastmilk and hence may be beneficial for babies and toddlers. The healthy fats in avocados are said to support the blood flow to the brain.
5. Leafy greens:
Kale and spinach may already be regular ingredients in your morning smoothies, but have you considered giving them to your kids? You should, because dark greens like chard, spinach and kale are rich in antioxidants and folate that can support the growth and health of brain cells.
Yogurt offers two-fold benefits. The probiotics in yogurt can support and boost your child’s immune system and the vitamins and fatty acids may support the growth of brain cells.
Rich in nutrients like vitamin E, fiber and B-complex vitamins, oats are known to provide energy over a longer period of time. Its low glycemic index also supports blood sugar levels.
Children are attracted to colorful foods and berries are of the most colorful fruits you’ll ever find. With their natural sweetness and high nutrient content, strawberries, mulberries, blackberries and all other berries make the perfect snacks for children of all ages.
While on the topic of foods for boosting brain power in children, let’s also consider foods that are not so good for the brain and body. Processed foods including white sugar, flour, meats and cheeses have a bad rep when it comes to adult health. But they can be equally bad for children too.
So, whenever possible, stay away from processed, packaged foods and pick all-natural ingredients like fruits, nuts, meats and vegetables for the best brain-boosting diet for your child.
Mosconi, L. (2018, March 20). These Are The Best & Worst Foods For A Child’s Brain. Retrieved from https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/the-best-foods-for-kids-brains
McCarthy, C. (2018, January 23). The crucial brain foods all children need. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/brain-food-children-nutrition-2018012313168
Krueger, A. (n.d.). 7 Brain Foods for Kids. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/childhood-adhd/features/brain-foods-kids#2