Our brain also absorbs nutrients from the food we eat like the rest of the body. That’s why it is very important for children to take food rich in highly nutritious elements. Healthy and nutritious food helps you to improve your memory, concentration and brain function. As we know, the brain also absorbs essential nutrients as per its requirement, which are helpful during its various functions. Renowned dieticians give some suggestions in this article on brain boosting superfoods for your growing children, which we are mentioning below.
Best Brain Boosting Superfoods For Growing Children.
Adding something rich in carbs, protein and a small amount of healthy fat to your child’s breakfast plate will help them to stay energized throughout the day. Eggs are rich in protein and as an added bonus they contain choline. Which helps in increasing memory power.(1)
2. Oily Fish.
Fish such as salmon, mackerel, fresh tuna, trout, sardines and herring are high in omega-3 fatty acids. If non-vegetarian people want to consume it, they can it consume two to three times a week.
3. Oats/ Oatmeal.
Oatmeal are one of the excellent natural sources of energy which act as a “fuel” for the brain. Oats are high in fiber which keeps babies satisfied for a long time. Due to which children are saved from eating junk/fast food etc.
The amount of vitamin E, B complex and zinc is also high in oats, which help the brain of children to work in the best possible way. You can use any topping you want to entice the kids. For example, serve oats by mixing apples, bananas, blueberries or even almonds, cashews.
Nowadays, some colorful vegetables are also found in the vegetables available in the market. These vegetables are rich in anti-oxidants. Which plays an important role in keeping the brain cells healthy and in their formation.(3)
Tomatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, carrots, spinach, capsicum are some of the vegetables that you can include in your child’s diet. You can include them in your diet by steaming them or by making soup of all these vegetables.
5. Milk, Curd and Cheese.
Milk, curd and cheese are rich in protein and B vitamins. Which are essential for the development of brain tissue, neurotransmitters and enzymes. All these play an important role in the development and formation of the brain. These foods are also high in calcium which is absolutely necessary for the development of strong and healthy teeth and bones.(4)
Dairy products like yogurt are a good source of iodine, which is essential to the body for brain development and cognitive function. Studies show that children who do not consume enough iodine they are more likely to have cognitive impairment than children with iodine-adequate diets.
By the way, the calcium requirement of children varies depending on their age. Therefore, growing children must consume two to three calcium-rich sources every day.
Don’t worry if your child doesn’t like milk. Include other dairy products in their diet. For babies who like milk, you can use milk instead of water when making porridge, pudding or pancakes. Due to which both nutrition and taste will increase.
Among the different types of beans available in the market, including green beans such as kidney beans are a great natural source of protein, vitamins and minerals for your kids. Thus kidney beans have more Omega 3 than any other beans.
They are packed with beneficial plant compounds which are called anthocyanins. It is effective for brain health in many ways. They increase blood flow to the brain, works effectively during inflammation, associated with the production and formation of new nerve cells etc. It contains brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which play important roles in learning.
8. Green Leafy Vegetables.
By the way, feeding green vegetables to children is like a challenge. But research shows that these nutritious vegetables are important for brain health in children. Green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, and lettuce have brain-protecting compounds which include folate, flavonoids, carotenoids, vitamin E and vitamin K.
Cocoa products have anti-inflammatory and protective properties against brain tissue. Studies have shown that they are effective for brain health. It contains flavonoids which increase blood flow to the brain and improve visual processing. In research, these were thought to be responsible for the performance of creative tasks in adults.(5)
Oranges are a popular citrus fruit and are a favorite of children because of their sweet taste. Including oranges in your child’s diet can improve their overall health including their cognitive health.(6)
Flavonoid present in oranges is very effective. Studies show that flavonoid-rich foods and beverages like oranges and orange juice help to increase nerve activity and blood flow to the brain. It also contain vitamin C, which is an essential nutrient for brain health. Vitamin-C is an essential nutrient for proper brain development, neurotransmitter production and development.
11. Iron Rich Foods.
Iron deficiency is common around the world and especially among children. Low iron status in the body can negatively affect cognitive development and academic performance in children.(7)
So, make sure your child’s diet includes plenty of iron-rich foods to prevent iron deficiency. These include red meat, poultry products, seafood, beans and spinach.
So now, you all have came to know about what are the brain boosting superfoods for your growing children. A healthy, balanced diet is important for your child’s overall health. Including their brain health. Studies have shown that certain nutrients and foods, including seafood, eggs, berries and others on this list, are particularly important for cognitive performance. Including the foods listed above in your child’s diet will help to provide the nutrients their brain needs to develop and function optimally.
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- Choline: an essential nutrient for public health; https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19906248/
- Effects of Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids on Brain Functions: A Systematic Review; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9641984/#:~:text=Ingestion%20of%20omega%2D3%20fatty,from%20an%20omega%2D3%20supplement.
- Brain foods: the effects of nutrients on brain function; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2805706/
- Relation between dairy food intake and cognitive function: The Maine-Syracuse Longitudinal Study; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3895502/
- Effect of Cocoa and Cocoa Products on Cognitive Performance in Young Adults; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7760676/
- Flavonoid-rich orange juice is associated with acute improvements in cognitive function in healthy middle-aged males; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5009163/
- Impact of Beef and Beef Product Intake on Cognition in Children and Young Adults: A Systematic Review; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6722791/