Brain food for kids

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Nutrition plays a key role in providing children with a critical physiological foundation to help them succeed in school. The quality of food that we provide our children significantly affects their behavior and academic performance during the school years. While catering to heightened brain function, significant brain foods also help with energy drive and allow kids’ bodies to function as healthy as possible.

Contents

Why should I be aware of this?

The foods that we give our children directly affect the performance of their brain. By giving them the right food, we can boost their IQ, improve their mood, make them emotionally stable and sharpen their memory. With the right nutrients, children will be able to think quicker, have improved memory, better coordination, balance and concentration.

All about brain food for kids

Children's brains are built differently depending on what they are fed during their growing years. As a child’s brain grows, it selects building blocks from among the fatty acids available in what he eats. DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), one of the Omega-3 fatty acids, is the most prevalent structural fat in the brain, and according to a large number of studies, low DHA levels are associated with problems with intelligence, vision, and behavior.

Iron is another nutrient that is essential to optimal brain function. Isolated, individual nutrients are not able to boost kids’ brains and school performance. What is needed is a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and fiber. Antioxidants in foods have been linked to improved memory and brain function.

Antioxidant levels can vary in the same food depending on how the food is grown. Organic foods, on average, are about 30 percent higher in antioxidants than their nonorganic counterparts.

What can I do?

Ensure your child gets the right brain booster in his growing years. Some simple tips are:

Breakfast

Breakfast is the first food in your child's brain power arsenal as it is truly the most important meal of the day for anyone, but most of all for a school going child. Avoid the high sugar-laden snack type breakfast foods in favor of the ones which are sure to give the child's brain a boost. Ideal breakfast is eggs, combined with cheese and a meat such as sausage or bacon, with muffins.

Oatmeal, a high-in-fiber whole grain, is slow to digest and thus gives kids an uninterrupted flow of protein-rich energy. Strawberries and blueberries, which need not be limited to breakfast alone, are power-packed fruits rich in antioxidants and excellent brain boosters.

Lunch

Whole wheat bread - packed with fiber and foliate, is an important and healthy meal option for kids. Try winning kids over to whole wheat by offering fun mini-sandwiches using their favorite fillings or sending whole wheat crackers or tortillas with fun toppings.

Milk - Flavoring milk with chocolate or strawberry syrups gives no more sugar than the average fruit juice, so let the kids take a favorite flavor for lunch, as milk is a great source of calcium and protein.

Fruit - It is not necessarily brain food but is essential in keeping kids' bodies regular, and avoiding constipation which is a common problem for children.

Post-school snacks

Water and a snack of whole grain cereal would be a great way to boost the body for that time period after school yet before supper time. Encourage kids to drink enough water to avoid dehydration, which is most likely after a long day at school.

Suppertime

If you involve the kids in the making of the evening meal and they'll be more likely to eat a variety of choices. A super food such as beef can be done many ways-burgers, steak, fun kebobs. Being sure to include several choices of fruits and vegetables makes for good, brain-rich, lifelong eating habits for all.

CopperBytes

  • The brain needs food in the same way as the rest of the body.
  • Adequate hydration is essential to keep energy levels. Kids must be provided with plenty to drink
  • Omega 3 oils A group of fatty acids essential for a healthy life and are great for nourishing the brain
  • The best way to learn quickly and effectively is to be in tip top condition

References:

  • Brain food for kids
  • Back-To-School Brain Foods for Kids
  • http://www.ecoliteracy.org/publications/rsl/alan_greene.html