5 foods for kids to boost brain health

Health, according to the World Health Organization, is “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity”.[1] A variety of definitions have been used for different purposes over time. Health can be promoted by encouraging healthful activities, such as regular physical exercise and adequate sleep,[2] and by reducing or avoiding unhealthful activities or situations, such as smoking or excessive stress. Some factors affecting health are due to individual choices, such as whether to engage in a high-risk behavior, while others are due to structural causes, such as whether the society is arranged in a way that makes it easier or harder for people to get necessary healthcare services. Still other factors are beyond both individual and group choices, such as genetic disorders.

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Want your kid to do better in school? Take a closer look at the little one’s diet and add these foods to boost brain power.

Since a baby’s stomach is tiny, it is even more important that everything we feed them is packed full of nutrients and health benefits. Good food is the basis of all healthy body functions and the brain is no exception. The brain needs a constant supply of energy throughout the day. This is even more important for growing children because the brain supports their cognitive development too. 

It’s a no-brainer really that we all want our kids to have a healthy brain, and that they should be as smart as possible. We all want to maximize their cognitive capabilities, don’t we? All in all, as parents, we want only what is best for our kids. 

brain foods for kids
Ensure your kids are consuming a balanced diet. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

This is exactly why we are here to discuss how you can enhance your kid’s learning skills, memory and focus. Dr Aditi Mudaliyar, Consultant Nutritionist and Dietitian, Motherhood Hospital, Kharadi, Pune, says, “Certain foods can help in brain development and cognitive health. These foods can help children increase their cognitive development and concentration. It will be imperative for parents to take note of certain foods that should be included in the diet on a daily basis.”

Read on to know more about these wonderful foods and don’t forget to include them in the diet:

1. Greens

Even though the kids refuse to eat greens, it will be imperative for the parents to make them eat them. Greens like spinach and amaranthus are jam-packed with folate, fibre, vitamins, antioxidants and these nutrients will aid in the growth of new brain cells. You can add these foods to keep cognitive health intact: 

  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Arugula
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower

Include these greens in soups, salads, and sabzi.

2. Eggs

Eggs are clearly a storehouse of nutrients. Dr Mudaliyar says, “Eggs are dense in protein and will help the kids to concentrate better. ” Do not forget to include egg yolk because it is packed with choline that helps in memory development. Moreover, eggs contain iron, iodine, omega 3 fatty acids, zinc, lutein, and vitamins A, D and B12 all of which enhance brain cell connection in children. 

Also, read: Covid-19 Omicron variant: Keep calm, and keep your kids safe and sound

Include eggs in breakfast – think boiled, scrambled or omelet, or serve it as the beloved anda curry.

3. Apples

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away”- who hasn’t heard it before? This old saying has some truth to it. 

“Apples are lunchbox-friendly and loaded with quercetin, an antioxidant that enhances one’s mental health,” says Dr Mudaliyar. It is important to add apples to your kid’s diet to maintain long-term brain health. Apples are in season and should be given throughout the season.” In addition, pectin, the soluble fibre found in apples, helps the kid’s digestion, regulates insulin levels, and promotes healthy gut flora. 

brain foods for kids
Take a bite! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Keep the apple’s skin on for extra fibre and nutrients.

4. Fish

“Fish is a potent good source of vitamin D and full of essential and omega-3 fatty acids that prevent memory loss,” says Dr Mudaliyar. These essential fatty acids are not just important for healthy brain function, but they’re important for heart, joints and general well-being of a child as well. Opt for salmon, tuna, rohu, hilsa, katla and sardines to help in keeping the brain running smoothly and improve concentration in kids. 

Also, read: 5 effective ways to prevent gut problems in kids

You can grill them and give them to your child.

5. Berries

Berries are brain healthy superfoods! They are packed with antioxidants which fight free radicals in the brain. Moreover, berries are great for the heart’s health, manage weight, regulate blood sugar levels and strengthen immunity like no other. 

Dr Mudaliyar says, “Strawberries, cherries, blueberries, blackberries help to improve memory. They can be added to a bowl of salad.”

Feed these foods to your children, and see them grow well and smart!

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