Diet is one thing you need to take a close look at if you would like your child to perform better in school. Some "brain foods" can help enhance the growth of a child's brain, improve concentration, memory, and brain function. The brain is an incredibly hungry organ. It is one of the first organs in the body to absorb nutrients from consumed food.
The best foods are unprocessed, fresh, and whole; they include whole grains, fresh vegetables and fruits, as well as home-cooked meals. You should offer food in ways that your child can easily manage. For instance, you can mash food or cut it into pieces to prevent choking, especially in young children. If your child's brain is healthy, he/she will be, too. Here are seven foods guaranteed to keep your child's brain healthy.
Milk And Yogurt
Dairy foods are a rich source of B vitamins and protein, which are critical to the growth of brain tissue, enzymes, and neurotransmitters. Yogurt and milk also pack a bigger punch with protein and carbohydrates, which is the brain's preferred energy source. Depending on their age, the vast majority of children need to consume anywhere from 2 to 4 glasses of milk every single day, particularly if they are not drinking or eating any other foods with high calcium content.
Low-fat milk with cereal and juices fortified with vitamin D and calcium are incredibly simple ways to get these critical nutrients. Cheese sticks are wonderful snacks; low-fat yogurt parfaits are also fun. Layer yogurt with berries (dried, frozen, or fresh) and chopped nuts (walnuts or almonds) in a tall glass. Milk is an exceptional source of vitamin D, calcium, as well as protein for children and should be part of every child's diet, except those allergic to milk.
Fatty fish such as salmon are an exceptional source of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. Both are necessary for proper brain growth and function. Healthy fats containing essential fatty acids that the body cannot make, such as omega-3 as well as omega-6, have to come from the diet.
One easy way you can incorporate salmon into your child's diet is to prepare a salmon salad for sandwiches instead of tuna sandwiches. Mix canned salmon with non-fat plain yogurt or reduced-fat mayo, chopped celery, raisins, and carrots. It should then be served on whole grain bread, which is another good food item for the brain.
Eggs are a rich source of protein and contain some iron, as well as numerous other minerals and vitamins. Eggs are a well-known source of protein, but yolks also contain choline, which promotes the development of memory. Wondering about cholesterol? The truth is that eggs contain cholesterol; however, they don't contain a lot of saturated fat, which is a significant factor when it comes to raising the cholesterol level of a person. An egg every other day is fine for the vast majority of children.
Eggs are full of vitamins as well as other nutrients that promote brain health. Choline, which is found in egg yolks, is an essential component of cell membranes used by the body to create crucial neurotransmitters for carrying messages to and from the nerve. It has been proven to play a critical role in the development of the brain in an infant and a fetus. According to studies, choline enhances memory development and improves mental function.
Feed your children blackberries, blueberries, cherries, and strawberries. In general, the higher the intensity of the berries' color, the higher the nutrition. Berries contain antioxidants, particularly vitamin C, in high amounts, and this can aid in cancer prevention. Studies have shown that strawberry and blueberry extracts can improve memory. The seeds from berries are also a source of omega-3 fats.
Blueberries and other berries, such as blackberries and strawberries, contain anthocyanins as well as other flavonoids that have been shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation and oxidative stress can lead to adverse effects on neurological processes. You can add berries to cold or hot cereal, yogurt, or dips. Top a mound of berries with some non-fat whipped topping to prepare a light dessert.
Vegetables And Leafy Greens
Pumpkin, spinach, sweet potatoes, and vegetables that have a rich, deep color are some of the best sources of antioxidants that are responsible for keeping the cells of the brain healthy and strong. Try out sweet potato fries - chop up your potatoes into sticks or wedges, then spray them with vegetable oil cooking spray before baking them in the oven at 400 degrees or 20 minutes or until they start to brown. Blend the vegetables into a smoothie with fruit in case you have a child who's a picky eater or stir into noodles or rice dishes.
Cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage and broccoli, and dark leafy greens are rich in antioxidants that protect the brain and body against damage caused by free radicals. Leafy greens such as spinach are excellent sources of folate, which is critical for cell maintenance and repair and DNA development. Vegetables are also an essential component of an overall balanced diet, which is why you need to ensure that your children consume enough vegetables every day.
Whole Grains And Oats
Whole grains and oats are great sources of fiber and keep the children feeling energized and full for longer. They help in the regulation of glucose release into the blood, preventing any blood sugar spikes that result in crashes in concentration and energy. Oats and whole grains are also prime sources of nutrients, which include potassium and zinc, vitamin E, and vitamin B that help ensure that your child's brain works at full capacity.
Oats are some of the most familiar hot cereals for children and are incredibly nutritious. Oats are an energy or fuel source for the brain that children need first thing in the morning. Oats are loaded with fiber and keep a child's brain fed throughout the morning while at school. Toss in a handful of dry oats into a smoothie to thicken it or into a waffle, muffin, pancake, or granola bar recipe.
Lean Beef And Other Iron-Rich Sources
Iron is an essential mineral that ensures that children stay energized and concentrate at school. One of the best-absorbed sources of iron is lean beef. Just one ounce every day has been shown to help the body absorb iron from other sources. Beef is also a good source of zinc, which aids with memory.
Soy and black bean burgers are iron-rich meatless options for vegetarians. Beans are an invaluable source of nonheme iron, which requires vitamin C for absorption. Eat strawberries, orange juice, red bell pepper, tomatoes, as well as other "Cs" with beans to get maximum iron. Spinach is a burger-less iron source. It is also a rich source of nonheme iron, too.
If you are a parent, helping your children learn healthy eating habits is one of the most vital things you should do. Children require a balanced diet that contains food from all three food groups - whole grain products, fruits and vegetables, as well as protein foods. Children require three meals a day and one to three snacks. Healthy snacking is just as valuable as the food that's served at meals.
Children's appetites change constantly. Since their stomachs are small, children have to eat small amounts usually throughout the day. Children are aware of the amount of food they need and will eat the amount needed by the body, so you should not worry too much if you suspect that your child is not eating enough. If your child's size and weight are on track, then your child is probably getting what he/she needs. All you need to do is offer the child a variety of foods from all food groups to be sure that he is getting the right nutrients.