Do you know that food influences your child’s brain development in a larger way? Brain Foods for Kids plays a major role in enhancing the cognitive skills and intelligence of kids. Development of a kid’s brain in the first two years and during pregnancy defines the working of their intellect for the rest of their life.
That is why the environment a baby lives in plays an important role in their growth mentally and physically. Kids need nurturing with love and healthy food. Having a close connection with the parents helps the baby gain confidence and breastfeeding is the best way to grow the connection between mother and child. However, it is the best food for the baby for the first six months of their life. Besides that, there are some brain foods for kids that are extremely healthy for them.
Why is it important to consume brain foods for kids?
The organ we are talking about is the most wonderful organ in the body: the brain. On the outside, it is the largest in the central nervous system. It constitutes the center of operations for the entire organism naming, the control tower. It weighs almost 2% of total body mass and is walnut-shaped. Inside, it is a veritable tangle of electrical cables, which connect to each other known as neurons. Specifically, a hundred billion nerve cells and a billion trillion neural connections, synapses. The brain is the most mysterious host in which learning, memory, concentration, language, state of mind are housed. So, its complexity is unlimited.
Does food really influence cognitive ability?
Yes, of course, even before birth. “The way the mother feeds during pregnancy affects the baby’s health throughout her life,” says Dr. Ramón Cangas, member of the Advisory Committee of the General Council of Dietitians-Nutritionists (CGDN). This fantastic ‘machine’ begins to form already in the first weeks of pregnancy. It experiences its greatest growth around the third year and at 6, it is already 90% of its final size. But the story does not end there. Contrary to what was previously thought, the brain constantly regenerates, some neurons die and others reproduce.
Do you know about neurons?
This constant activity of the brain accounts for 20% of the energy expenditure of the child’s body. We must compensate it with pampering, stimulation, exercise, but, above all, with a diet that meets its demanding requirements. When the regular studies begin, it is the food for the kids must be nutrient-rich foods that participate in such important processes as learning, memory, language, and attention.
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There is a caveat that there are no good or bad foods, and neither does food alone work miracles. However, science shows that a healthy, varied, and balanced diet will irrigate the brain better. It allows the nutrients and oxygen to reach each neuron and new nerve connections to generate.
But what are those foods that the brain asks for?
The essentials brain foods
Blue fish: omega 3 par excellence
The Omega 3 present in fish makes it essential for brain food for the kids. As per the studies the brain’s development is 50 percent dependable on the mass that fatty acids consumed. These fatty acids are also present in the formula milk that we give to the babies in the initial year. By serving fish to the kids around two to three times a week can help to develop their brains to a great extent by building up its structural integrity.
They facilitate nerve connections, promoting learning and memory. You can find it in: bluefish (salmon, trout, sardine, tuna, and herring), shellfish, nuts and vegetable oils (for example, soy).
Method to serve
The best way to serve fish is by grilling it after marinating and serving it with kid’s favorite dip. For marinating, you can use lemon, curd, turmeric, and some salt. Preparing a salmon sandwich is a great idea for sandwich lovers. If you are thinking about frying it, it may be good for taste but not for health. The fried fish loses its nutritional value.
Chocolate: tryptophan and a sweet concentration
Proteins are made up of many essential amino acids. One of the most important for the brain is tryptophan, essential for making serotonin. Serotonin intervenes in the mood, promotes the feeling of well-being, and helps to stay focused and calm.
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You can find it in milk, eggs, meat and fish, sunflower seeds and dark chocolate in less amount.
Pasta: the energy of carbohydrates
Carbohydrates transform into glucose, therefore they are energy-efficient for the brain. The ones that will interest us are the slow absorption ones, which allow glucose to always be available to the brain, without suddenly ending as it happens with sugars, which provide immediate energy, but whose effect ends quickly.
Carbohydrates keep the brain in shape and provide energy. The best time to consume it is in the morning, at breakfast, so that the brain can recover from the long night fast. The food rich in carbohydrates is pasta, cereals, such as oats and rice, potatoes, bread.
Method to serve
You can cook Pasta easily after boiling it for some time. You can also add chopped vegetables in it and sauce for taste.
Eggs: choline to strengthen neurons
Eggs contain vitamins B which are involved in the formation of neurotransmitters, substances that pass information from one neuron to another, through nerve connections. One of them, choline, also participates in the generation of myelin that covers neurons and recovers brain functions.
What are B vitamins for? They strengthen memory and concentration, and stimulate good regulation.
Eggs, especially the white part is an excellent source of protein, fruits and vegetables, fish, dairy products and nuts also contain essential vitamins.
Method to serve
The versatility of eggs helps you to serve in number of ways that your kid would never get bored. You can add boiled eggs in the sandwich after cutting it into thin slices. Egg salad is also full of taste and nutrition. Wraps also taste better with fully cooked egg added with some crispy lettuce.
Legumes: better protein and iron
Proteins are responsible for the formation of neurons and neurotransmitters. Iron is responsible for transporting oxygen to nerve cells. Proteins and iron help in improving intellectual performance, concentration, and mental agility. Since the former promotes connections and iron oxygenates the brain.
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Red meat is a great source of protein and iron. But it is also the food that has the most saturated fat associated, so it is necessary to moderate the intake. Legumes are referred to plant proteins of high biological quality. Fish, dairy, and seafood, fruits and vegetables are rich in iron which is also Brain Foods for Kids.
Method to serve
You can cook legumes and serve as soup, salad. It can also be used in dips or making meatballs.
Nuts: the good fats from a smart snack
Mono or polyunsaturated fatty acids, that is, good fats that lower cholesterol, aid in neuronal functions. Let’s know what are fatty acids for. They are a good dose of brain energy and increase concentration and memory. nuts, olive oil, and avocado are rich in good fats and excellent for food for the brain.
Method to serve
Usually kids love to eat nuts. If not, you can add nuts in anything like smoothies, shakes, cakes, pies and so on.
Yogurts and cheese: calcium against stress
Calcium helps regulate nerve function and blood pressure, which often rises during stress. The Pediatricians recommend half a liter of milk up to 3 years old and from that age, two glasses of milk or a glass of milk and two yogurts. If kid consumes a glass of milk, then a yogurt and a little cheese is good to obtain the necessary calcium.
Calcium is important because it acts in the transmission of nervous impulses; its deficit can produce mental fatigue and nervousness. It is present in the dried fruits as in nuts. vegetables, fruits, fish and egg yolk are also Brain Foods for Kids.
Method to serve
There are numerous methods to give cheese to children. Cheese can be served in loafs, curries, in bread, pizza or anything kids like. Flavored yogurts are available in the market. You can buy your kid’s preferred flavor.
Bananas, avocados and tomatoes: vitamins for mental agility
Vitamins and minerals are nutrients that protect and aid in neuronal development. They control the blood supply to the brain, promote nerve impulses, and help the formation of the new neurons. They improve concentration and mental agility.
You will find it in fruits and vegetables. Banana, for example, provides potassium and avocado is rich in magnesium. Vitamins are antioxidants and tomatoes have lycopene, an antioxidant that protects against brain cell damage.
Method to serve
You can serve banana directly or cut into pieces as per the kid’s preferences. Avocado and tomatoes can be served in salads or in whole wheat bread sandwich.
No food is miraculous. And it doesn’t work on its own either. But it is proven that some can help nourish and stimulate the areas of the brain related to learning, memory, and concentration.
Kids who are ready to go to the school and all set to absorb everything that comes should get proper nutritional food. Now it’s time to exercise the children’s neurons and provide enough energy to it.