Proper nutrition is important for the functioning and growth of the brain in children. The following nine foods can help children’s brains stay active all day long and stimulate their brain development.
Eggs are a great source of protein. Egg yolk is rich in choline, which helps boost memory power.
2. Whole grains
Whole grains such as rice, whole wheat and millets are rich sources of glucose. They are ideal foods for brain health as the brain needs a regular supply of glucose. Whole grains also contain vitamin-B complex, an essential nutrient for a healthy nervous system.
You know where Popeye gets his strength, right? Yes, from spinach. Spinach is rich in folate, which enhances the functioning of the nervous system. Greens are also an important source of vitamins and minerals.
WebMD.com reports Andrea Giancoli, a nutritionist from Los Angeles, stating that fatty fish like salmon are an excellent source of the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA. These fatty acids are essential for brain growth and functioning, especially during exams. Bonnie Taub-Dix, author of the book ‘Read It Before You Eat It,’ also recommends omega-3-rich foods for children. She says, “The more omega-3s we can get to the brain, the better it will function and the better kids will be able to focus.”
WebMD.com describes oats as the ‘grain for the brain’, quoting Sarah Krieger, a consultant and ADA spokeswoman based in Florida, USA. Oats provide excellent energy which serve as fuel for the brain in the morning. Having oats for breakfast keeps the child’s brain energetic throughout the forenoon session at school. Being a good source of vitamin E, B-vitamins, potassium and zinc, oats helps the body and brain to function at full capacity.
Oatmeal also helps keep the arteries of the heart and brain clear.
6. Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are packed with protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. Nuts improve brain functioning and keep your child’s nervous system healthy. Beans are excellent sources of protein, complex carbohydrates, fibre, vitamins, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids. Having beans during lunch keeps a child's energy and mental capacity at its peak all afternoon.
7. Apples and plums
It is a good practice to pack fruits such as apples, plums and berries in children’s lunch and snack boxes. Memory-boosting foods like apples and plums contain quercetin, an antioxidant that fights decline in mental skills.
8. Milk and dairy foods
Dairy foods are generous sources of protein and B-vitamins, which are essential for the growth of brain tissue and neurotransmitters, and for the secretion of enzymes.
They are also rich in vitamin D, which is important for the maintenance of the neuromuscular system and the overall life cycle of human cells.
Meat is not only rich in protein, but also a good source of calcium. Red meat by itself is a good source of iron, which is a great food for memory.
For vegetarians, black beans and soya beans are good sources of iron.
Now that you are armed with the list, why wait further? Go ahead and try these superfoods that are good for your child's brain growth.