10 Food Items That Help Your Child's Brain Develop Well
Did you know that 90% of the brain gets developed by the age of 6 years?^ So, what can you do to aid this development? Providing proper nourishment is probably the first thing that came to your mind and you’re right. Diet can affect cognitive ability and behaviour in children1. Foods with DHA, Choline, Vitamin (B and E), Potassium, and Zinc have beneficial effects in brain development.2
DHA, a major building block of the brain, is an important Polyunsaturated Omega-3 Fatty Acid accumulated mainly in the brain and the eyes. Omega-3 Fatty Acids are essential fats that the body needs to function. To support your child’s brain development and function, an adequate daily intake of the DHA should be included in a balanced diet. However, it is difficult to find DHA in regular diet alone. So, it is important to supplement your child’s diet to ensure they get the requisite DHA to support their brain development and function.
Just don’t forget to take in account the fact that your child’s palate is developing, and they might not like everything. Having said that, you may want to introduce your child’s palate to nutritious food to reduce the possibility of rejection due to dislike in the later years.
So, here are some food sources that help in brain development:
1. Fish And Seafood
Oily Cold-Water Fish And Seafood are rich natural sources of DHA and EPA. EPA and DHA are synthesised in abundance by marine algae and found concentrated in Fish and Marine Oils, particularly the oil compartments of Cold Water Fish.3 4
Eggs are well-known as a great protein source. The Egg Yolks are packed with Choline, which helps memory development.5 6
3. Peanuts And Peanut Butter
Peanuts And Peanut Butter are good sources of Vitamin E and B.7 8 9 Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant that protects nervous membranes. Vitamin B (Thiamine) help the brain and nervous system use Glucose for energy.10
Oats are a nutritious “grain for the brain”. They provide excellent energy. Oats also are good sources
of Vitamin B and E, Potassium and Zinc11 – which make your child’s body and brains function at full
Beans are special because they have energy from Protein and Complex Carbohydrates, Fibre, and lots
of Vitamins and Minerals. These keep a child's energy and thinking level at the peak. Kidney Beans
contain more Omega 3 Fatty Acids than other beans – specifically ALA, another of the Omega-3’s
important for brain growth and function.13
Spinach is packed with Iron14 – an essential mineral that helps kids stay energised and concentrate at
7. Health Food Drinks
Health Food Drinks containing DHA and Choline, such as Junior Horlicks#, could be included in the
regular meal plans.
8. Milk and Milk Products
Dairy products have Proteins, Vitamin B and DHA, all essential for powering growth and functioning of
brain tissue, neurotransmitters, and enzymes.15
Berries have a strong antioxidant capacity that benefits learning and memory performance as they are
able to maintain metabolic homeostasis.
Nuts are generally a good source of Vitamin E that is useful in cognitive performance.
A healthy diet balanced in its nutrient composition and pattern during the formative years of your
child’s brain development may go a long way in helping to strengthen their mental and cognitive
performance and capabilities in subsequent years of their life.