Food is fuel. What you put in your body directly relates to how your body and mind function. This is especially true when it comes to the foods that children are consuming as they are still developing. What your child eats everyday will not only affect them that day but also for days to come as they continue to grow. While getting your child to consume real foods with real ingredients may not be the easiest task, it is crucial for promoting healthy brain function and development. Here are some of the best ways to incorporate these brain-boosting foods into your child’s diet.
Milk and yogurt products are high in vitamin B. Vitamin B is important for the growth of brain tissue, neurotransmitters, and enzymes. In addition, yogurt is high in healthy fat, which helps brain cells send and receive information. Try this yummy kid-friendly recipe and reap the delicious benefits of yogurt.
Nuts & Seeds
Nuts and seeds are packed with healthy fats, vitamin E, vitamin B, iron, and zinc, all of which aid in brain function. The unsaturated fat found in nuts and seeds will strengthen your child's ability to focus. Go nuts with recipes like this Triple Almond Smoothie Recipe or simply add a smear of nut butter to just about everything.
Green Leafy Vegetables
Green leafy vegetables may not be your child's favorite food, but the health benefits just might the make the battle worth fighting. Or simply sneak them into a delicious smoothie or smoothie bowl and let the blender do the work. Dark leafy greens such as spinach and kale contain lutein. Lutein is a nutrient that has been found to support memory and improve speed and efficiency. A study done by the Center for Nutrition Learning and Memory found that intake of lutein improved young adults visual processing speeds. Here is a brain-benefitting smoothie recipe to try out!
We all know berries are good for our health, they contain high amount of antioxidants that help our bodies to prevent against disease and health risks. In addition to these benefits, berries are also a great brain food. They promote cognitive function and improve memory. In a study done by The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry it was found that consumption of berries (specifically blueberries) aided in improved memory. A study by Reading University found that participants of the study who consumed a blueberry smoothie every day performed mental tasks much better than those who didn’t. And the best news is that berries are easy to add into a child's diet, whether they are eating them solo or they are added to a smoothie like this one.
Eggs are a great source of protein, and their yolk contains choline which is an important nutrient for memory development. Two studies done by the US National Library of Medicine found that higher intakes of choline were linked to better memory and mental function. In addition to this benefit, eggs are also high in vitamin B6, B12 and folate, which, according to the National Institute of Health, are all nutrients that benefit brain health. Even with all the benefits eggs have, many people don’t incorporate them into their diet enough. If your child isn’t keen on eating eggs on their own, opt for whipping up a healthy baked snack.