It may not be surprising to hear that many Americans have a poor track record regarding what they feed their children. Candy, soft drinks, cupcakes and pudding can be fine occasionally, but these are not for everyday consumption. Overindulgence in unhealthy foods can lead to obesity and to poor brain development. If you want a smart child, feed him or her healthy foods that support brain development, such as the four nutrient-rich food categories listed below.
Greens, such as spinach, should be a regular part of your child’s diet. Child care experts say that this fantastic brain food is thought to reduce the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s later in life. Other greens, such as kale, contain sulforaphane, which helps the body detox and aids in the growth of new brain cells. Broccoli is another great brain food that can help keep your child sharp in school.
Fish is another fantastic brain food for children and adults alike. Fish is a good source of vitamin D, as well as omega-3 fatty acids, which help protect the brain. For example, salmon helps increase your child’s brain power by building tissue in the brain. However, fish containing high levels of mercury should be avoided. These include shark, tilefish and king mackerel.
Oatmeal and Whole Grains
Oatmeal is widely known to be rich in protein and fiber. These nutrients help keep the blood vessels and arteries that lead from the heart to the brain clear. Replace sugary cereals with naturally sweetened oatmeal. Flax seeds are full of ALA, which is a healthy fat that helps the cerebral cortex function more effectively. The cerebral cortex is the portion of the brain responsible for processing sensory information. Whole grain bread can improve circulation and contains essential fibers, vitamins, and some omega-3 acids. Make sandwiches from whole grain breads to support your child’s healthy brain development.
Naturally sweetened fruits
Fruits, such as apples, plums and white grapes can help curb your child’s craving for sweets. These fruits contain quercetin, which aids in combating the effects of cognitive decline. Blueberries, a childhood favorite, improve mental function, balance and coordination.