Child growth and development are important facts of a child’s thought process and well being. Also, the type of food that the child consumes is what determines its healthy future. According to a 2019 report by the United Nations International Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF), malnutrition among children all over the world remains to be an alarming sign with nearly half of child deaths caused due to malnutrition. Malnutrition puts the child at risk and increases the risks of infections that could turn out to be fatal for the child in future.
In India, Jharkhand, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh have higher rates of undernutrition children who only get one meal a day. You need to understand that an essential part of a child’s healthy future is in the type of foods that they consume. This food must be nutritious and benefit the child both physically and mentally. However, this article will give you an insight into some of the best healthy foods that can benefit your child’s brain.
10 Foods That Are Good For Your Child’s Brain
Imagine you consume one such food that contains all the nutrients needed to keep your body functioning at ease. Well, nothing of the kind exists, but there is an alternative to get the best nutrients that your body requires. Here is a list of 10 super nutritional foods that can benefit your child’s brain and make it sharper.
1. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens such as spinach, cabbage, mint and kale have medicinal properties that can lower your child’s risk of dementia. It is rich in vitamins, folate and antioxidants that fight radicals and prevent you from diseases that you may be prone to. Kale and spinach are packed with antioxidants that help in the growth of new cells and aids in sharper thinking. So, make it a point to add this to your child’s regular diet as it would benefit them in numerous ways.
Eggs are a rich source of protein and protein content that boosts metabolism and prevent heart diseases. More than half of the protein content is found in the white layer of the egg. It has a rich source of vitamin D, B12 and B6, copper, iron and zinc. The best time to treat your child with this superfood is for breakfast.
Fish has a good source of vitamin D and omega 3 that protects the brain and lowers your risks of mental disease and memory loss. Make it a point to give your child sardines, tuna and salmon as they are rich in omega-3. This will help in brain function and development of the child such that it increases the focus level and enables the child to have better thinking.
Apple is a superfood that has a rich source of antioxidants that keeps your mind active the entire day. Have an apple a day and improve your brain function every day and reduce your risks of Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. This is a must-add fruit to your child’s everyday diet. All you need to do is to pack sliced apples in your child’s lunch box and this would do good.
Since time immemorial walnuts have been known for their brain-boosting benefits because of its content of omega 3 and DHA. So, what do these compounds do to the brain? Well, it protects the brain health of newborns and improves levels of concentration among children. Packing walnuts in your child’s lunch box will do the work.
6. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate contains caffeine that increases wakefulness and helps the child concentrate better. However, you need to consume it on a limited basis as it could lead to serious medical problems. The high levels of cacao content found in dark chocolate can prevent stress and memory-related diseases. However, it is advised that you consume less of it as this also has a lot of health problems associated with it.
7. Cow’s Milk
Unlike packaged milk, cow’s milk is considered to be organic and more healthy because of its high source of vitamin D, calcium and potassium content. Moreover, it benefits your bones, heart and brain. One glass of cow’s milk for breakfast is advised every day as this will give you all the nutrients needed to keep your body functioning at ease. If you have a newborn, then you need to consult a doctor before opting for cow’s milk.
8. Whole Grain Foods
Whole-grain foods such as barley, brown rice, millet, oatmeal etc have loads of health benefits that can prevent you from diabetes, heart diseases and aids in weight loss. So, how would this benefit your child’s brain? Well, whole grain foods contain vitamin E, an antioxidant that prevents you from Alzheimer’s disease and also nourishes the brain and keeps it functioning normally. The best time to feed your child some whole-grain foods for breakfast.
9. Avocados (Butter Fruit)
This is a superfruit because it prevents heart disease, diabetes and reduces blood sugar levels in the body. So how do avocados help in brain health? This fruit improves concentration and your overall cognitive function. This is because of its high content of vitamin K and folate that protects the body from strokes and blood clots in the brain. It is also recommended that you consume fewer quantities of this fruit. Also, make it a point to talk to your dietitian.
Nuts and seeds contain omega 3 fatty acids that nourish your brain and aids in better brain functioning. It also contains vitamin E that aids in better concentration and protects your brain from oxidative stress. Some of these nuts and seeds include sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts etc. Consuming fewer quantities of these nuts and seeds will work well on your body and add numerous benefits to your brain.
Why is Nutrition Important For Your Child?
Nutrition and brain health plays an important role in how your child thinks, acts and feels in society. All these aspects are surrounded by teaching your child healthy eating habits and practising a healthy lifestyle. You need to understand that your child’s childhood is what will determine their adulthood and so teaching them healthy food habits will be one of the best things to do.
Nutrition comes from the sort of diet you program for your child’s eating habits. Eating the right kinds of foods will determine their overall health in the future. The best time that you could ever feed your child some of the best nutrition is during breakfast. All you need to do is serve whole grain bread with omelette along with a glass of milk and this will do them good. You could also pack some nuts for their lunch as it would curb their appetite and ensure that they stay healthy and fit.
National Nutrition Week
First initiated in March 1973, the members of the American Diabetic Association figured out that diabetes was the result of bad nutrition among people since their early ages. Also, national nutrition week is celebrated worldwide by many countries who ensure that nutrition is the key to a better lifestyle. Here are some questions that will give you a better insight into why it is celebrated worldwide.
- When is national week celebrated?
National nutrition week is celebrated from 1st September to 7th September.
- Why is it celebrated?
In order to educate people about the importance of nutrition and the effects of malnutrition, nutrition week is celebrated.
Nutrition plays a vital role in a child’s physical and mental development and getting the right nutrition will determine a person’s well-being. Here are some frequently asked questions that will give you an insight into some of the most nutritious foods that you can add to your everyday diet.
- How does nutrition help in brain development?
In order for your brain to function with ease, it needs adequate nutrition for its growth and development. This nutrition is got from the type of food we intake. Pregnancy and infancy are two important periods of a child’s brain formation. Thus an expecting mother or the mother of a newborn has to consume the right kind of nutrition that is the foundation for the child’s cognitive and socio-emotional skills.
- Which is the best fruit for the brain?
Blueberries is said to be the best fruit for the brain that can boost cognitive function and aid in stronger memory as you age. This is because of its high content of antioxidants that help boost brain function.
- What foods are bad for your brain?
There are foods that can reduce brain function and cause mental problems. Such foods must be avoided or consumed in fewer quantities. Here is a list of foods that are bad for your brain.
- Sugary soda drinks
- Trans fat (Frosting products, snack foods, ready-made cakes etc.)
- Processed foods (instant noodles, packaged chips, microwave noodles etc.)
- Artificial sweeteners.
A child’s thinking and mental growth come from the sort of surroundings, habits and also the sort of food that it consumes. Nutrition is vital for brain development and feeding your newborn with the right kind of nutrition is vital. The above-listed foods aid in brain function for children as it will help in better concentration and strengthens memory. Some of these foods will also reduce the risks of age-related psychological problems such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Neurodegenerative Diseases. Make it a point to teach your children what foods are good for them and it is advised that you avoid giving them sugary soda drinks.