Good Food for Your Child's Brain

June 21, 2013

All of us who are raising children want them to have full and successful lives, including an ease of learning, the enjoyment of sports and music, successful social relationships and comfort in quiet time. Most often we look at nature, the child's gene pool, as the largest influence in a child's life.

But there are other things that can make a huge difference, one being the food that you feed your kids. 20% of your child's calorie intake is needed for the brain to function efficiently. The brain needs the right fuelfrom nutritious, well balanced meals.

It has been proven by researchers that a tired brain or a brain that does not get the right nutrition does not do well in academics. This is often a real challenge with children as they are often picky eaters and parents spend a lot of time and effort coaxing their children to eat well.

There are certain foods, "brain foods", that can boost a child's brain growth, brain function, memory and concentration. Avoiding junk food at all cost is a goal.

The following is a list of foods that are considered good for the brain.

  • Salmon-excellent source of Omega 3 fatty acids which are essential for brain growth
  • Eggs-easy source of complete protein- yolk has choline necessary for brain development
  • Whole Grains-the brain needs an optimal level of glucose for energy throughout the day-fibre helps regulate release of glucose and vitamin B-helps develop healthy nervous system
  • Berries-powerful antioxidants-improve memory
  • Beans- provide additional energy from protein and complex carbohydrates -fibre and loads of vitamins and minerals as well
  • Colourful Veggies-antioxidants present in addition to the essential vitamins and minerals. Antioxidants develop the immune system in addition to keeping the brain cells strong. Vitamins and minerals help the body to function optimally.
  • Yogurt-protein and B vitamins present are essential for the growth of brain tissue,enzymes and neurotransmitters. Packed with protein and carbohydrate which is a source of energy or the brain.
  • Lean Beef-lean beef is one of the best absorbed sources of iron. Iron is a mineral which is especially important for the growth of children and helps in better concentration at school.Beef also contains zinc which aids memory.

It is one thing to know what your children should be eating, it is another story doing it. Children certainly have their own ideas about what they should be eating from a very early age.

It takes great creativity and some time on the part of the parents to achieve this goal. All of us at some time or another have cut off crusts, got the cookie cutters out and added a little something bright or sweet to our children's food to get the food eaten.

The important thing is to persist---the results will be worth it!