Top 10 Brain Food for Kids
Do you as parents want your child to do well in school? Take a look at their diet there are certain brain food to boost brain growth, enhance the memory and concentration of the child
The brain is very essential and a hungry organ of the body. It absorbs the essential nutrients from the food we eat. Though kids have their own preferences, they also follow the examples set by their parents and peers. It is important to display good eating habits as trend-setters for our kids. Let’s take a look at the essential habits and foods valuable for the growth of the brain in the children.
It provides a constant supply of glucose to the brain. The fiber regulates the release of glucose into the body. The whole grains have B-vitamin which nourishes a healthy nervous system.
Whole grains are rich in fiber, and many of these items are fortified with folate, B vitamin utilized to make memory cells in the brain. The other B vitamins that these products are enriched with also provide benefits with regards to improved alertness.
Choose to give children whole wheat or whole grain choices, such as whole-wheat bread, whole wheat tortillas, whole wheat crackers, and of course whole wheat Rotis (i.e. flatbread). These can be used to make wholesome sandwiches for children’s lunches, or otherwise
They are a powerhouse of nutrition. They provide protein, essential fatty acids, and vitamins and minerals and promote a healthy nervous system and elevates mood. Nuts and seeds can be consumed as is, roasted, in butter form (e.g. almond butter), or be incorporated into a recipe. There are many varieties of seeds and nuts (e.g. almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, melon seeds, sesame seeds, etc.), but please ensure that your child is not allergic to nuts before serving. Also, check http://www.natural-cure.org/diet-and-nutrition/is-your-diet-nutritious/
The full-fat version of Greek yogurt is rich in healthy fats that are essential for brain health in children. It is also a valuable source of protein, as it has more than most other yogurts. Fat is crucial for brain development, with respect to neuron activity and cell membrane malleability. You can serve yogurt as is, or add some toppings that kids enjoy such as chocolate chips.
Vegetables as kale, spinach, collard greens, and lettuce are sometimes difficult to incorporate in children’s menus but are nonetheless packed with nutrition. Kale for example has compounds such as sulforaphane, and diindolylmethane (which detoxify and help grow new cells respectively). It can be incorporated as part of healthy smoothies, added in stir-fries or salads.
Purple Cauliflower contains compounds called anthocyanins, which help to reduce inflammation. Purple cauliflower is also low in sugar, has good levels of fiber, and is loaded with folate and vitamin B6, which help to improve mood, memory, and attention span in children.
Be creative in ways to serve this, maybe roasted, pureed into a dip, or cooked with herbs and spices.
Loaded with fiber oats keeps the child’s brain fed for a long time. It is also a good source of vitamin E, B-vitamins, potassium and zinc, which makes their body and brain function at the optimum. It helps to lower cholesterol and keep the arteries of heart and brain clean of plaque build-up. Research also shows that oatmeal helps to boost the memory of kids.
These contain a compound called quercetin, which is an antioxidant. This will help in cognitive function in children. These fruits also have natural sugars, which is what kids crave when energy is running low. They are of course also packed with vitamins and minerals, which promote the overall health of children and adults alike. As a lot of the nutrition is in the skin, try to buy organic and have apples and plum with the skin on. Remember, that most fruits are great for children to consume, as they are very rich in nutritive value.
Turmeric is an ancient spice from the East, with rich yellow color, and unique taste. The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, which has many properties, such as anti-inflammatory, anti-septic, anti-bacterial, etc. Curcumin dwarfs inflammation, and blocks plaque formation, in the case of Alzheimer’s disease. Turmeric can be incorporated in an array of dishes such as curries, lentils, stir-fries, soups, etc. http://www.natural-cure.org/health-and-wellness/health-benefits-of-turmeric/
Milk is rich in protein, vitamin D, calcium, and phosphorus. Unless a child has a milk allergy or is milk intolerant, it is advised to include it in their diets. Milk can be flavored by adding chocolate/strawberry syrup. Milk alternatives also exist, such as almond, rice, hemp, soymilk, etc. These are often fortified with calcium and vitamin D. Except for children under the age of two, low fat or 2% milk is recommended.
Peanuts are rich in vitamin E and antioxidant that protects the nervous membrane and the thiamine to help the brain and nervous system to use glucose as energy.
Water is often overlooked and many children don’t drink enough water. Lack of or lessened water consumption can lead to mild to severe dehydration. Dehydration can make children restless, lethargic, irritable, and can create false hunger in them. Therefore, be sure to give children water as part of their healthy beverage allowance, and especially after an active day. Soft drinks and artificial juices are not a substitute for water.
Tips for good eating practices in childhood:
These are some general guidelines that can set a standard for healthy eating habits for our young children and will carry forward with them lifelong. Not going into the actual nutritional needs of each age group of children, we will look at what foods are good for children from a general point of view. The following list is a short compilation of the foods that will help kids stay energized and alert all day long, and help brain function/development. The list is by no means complete and is meant to serve as an informative piece.
Try incorporating some or all of these foods into your and your children’s diet. The key to the healthy brain development of the child is a combination of good nutrition, good eating practices, as well as a constructive environment to thrive in, with positive role models, and teachers. Investing in our children today will ensure exemplary adults in the future.
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by Pragya Sinha