A healthy, balanced diet is not just good for kid’s bodies, it’s good for their brains, too. The right foods can improve brain function, memory, and concentration. Activities like reading to your child, listening to music, building with blocks together, playing games with her, and letting her explore her surroundings, all encourage brain development. But those aren’t the only ways you can help your toddler’s brain blossom; feeding her right is important, too. Foods that contain antioxidants, choline, omega-3 fatty acids, and complex carbohydrates are all particularly helpful in boosting brain health. Of course, a steady diet of brain food isn’t a guarantee that your child will grow up to achieve a perfect score on the SATs and earn a full scholarship to the college of her choice. But making sure your toddler gets plenty of these key nutrients is a smart start.
Here’s five superfoods that’ll boost your kid’s brain capacity:
Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are packed with protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. Be it walnuts, pistachios, almonds, cashews or hazelnuts, all nuts are loaded with nutrients, fats and good carbs. This makes them power-packed energy boosters. Nuts improve brain functioning and keep a child’s nervous system healthy. Beans are excellent sources of protein, complex carbohydrates, fibre, vitamins, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids. Black beans and soya beans are good sources of iron. Having beans for lunch keeps a child’s energy and mental capacity at its peak all afternoon.
Berries are literally packed with valuable antioxidants that help prevent free radical damage to the brain and keep your kid’s memory in top shape. Plus, they also provide the body a good dose of Vitamin C, which improves immune function. Add some to your child’s cereal or oatmeal, or quick desserts, and your kid will gobble them down in no time.
Full of folate and vitamins, spinach and kale are linked to lower odds of getting dementia later in life. Kale is a super food, packed with antioxidants and other things that help new brain cells grow.
For some kids, greens are a hard sell. So rather than serving a salad, you may want to try some different ideas:
- Whip spinach or kale into smoothies for snack time.
- Add spinach to omelets or lasagna.
- Make kale chips. Cut kale from stems/ribs, drizzle with olive oil and a bit of salt, and bake.
Treat your little Einstein to dark chocolate occasionally to ensure his growing brain receives adequate blood flow at all times. Compounds called flavonols found in dark chocolate are responsible for increasing the blood flow. Known to be good for the heart, this sweet treat improves memory and helps your child stay alert. That is, it will do the job of coffee, but keep the side effects at bay! But, a word of caution — dark chocolate should not be replaced with any other form of chocolate, as the high sugar content in these substitutes might have an adverse effect.
Eggs are a super food for brain development. They provide proteins and nutrients that help kids concentrate. The protein-carbohydrate combo diet is much better than sugar-induced energy jump. Boiled, poached, scrambled, or as omelette, eggs are a rich source of proteins. The egg yolk is a storehouse of vital vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and is also packed with choline, which helps memory development
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