12 Superfoods That Are Beneficial for Your Kids’ Brain Development

12 Superfoods That Are Beneficial for Your Kids’ Brain Development

Which superfoods for kids are beneficial for your child’s growth and development? As parents, we know that the first years of our kids’ lives are the most important, as studies have shown that it is during this time that their brain develops rapidly. Apart from stimulating your little champs’ minds with brain-boosting activities, it is important to take note of the food that you give to them.

Karin G. Reiter, Medical Nutritionist and Founder of Nutritious N’ Delicious, emphasised that kids should be fed with “grow foods” which will help them stay focused, energised and empower them to get through the day with without feeling worn out.

In addition, Noa Harari, Nutritionist and Founder of Nutrition on the Run, shared that it is crucial to make sure that your kids get balanced meals at regular intervals, with three main meals and a light, healthy snack approximately every three hours each day.

With input from both Reiter and Harari, we’ve compiled a list of food that is known to help with your kids’ brain development and cognitive functioning, together with some tips on how you can serve them to your little champs:

Superfoods for Kids – #1. Avocado

superfoods for kids
This green fruit is rich in monosaturated fat, a really healthy fat that is essential for the development of your child’s brain, eyes and nervous system. As shared by Reiter, 100 grams of avocado contains a string of brain-boosting nutrients such as Vitamin E, Vitamin K, and Folate, among others.

Serving tip:
Mash a ripe avocado to treat your kids to a homemade guacamole dip served with healthy crackers and vegetable sticks. This makes the perfect after-school snack that errs on the healthy side.

 

 

Superfoods for Kids – #2. Berries

superfoods for kids

Not only are berries a beautiful sight, Harari notes that there have been studies that show how a diet rich in berries can help to increase learning abilities, sharpen the brain and improve memory function.

Another plus point of these superfoods is that they are also packed with antioxidants and vitamins, which benefit our immune system.

Serving tip:
You can enjoy berries with almost anything, from salads and yogurt to mixing it up into a simple shake.

 

 

Superfoods for Kids – #3. Breast Milk

superfoods for kids
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for up to 6 months of age, while mothers are encouraged to continue breastfeeding along with appropriate complementary foods up to two years of age or beyond.

According to Harari, breast milk contains Long Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (LCPUFA) derived from omega-3 and 6 fatty acids, which are known to be very important for the development of the brain, eyes and nerves.

Feeding recommendation:
Studies have shown that babies who were not breastfed, but whose mothers added LCPUFA supplements in their formula milk, had an increase of at least 6.5 points in their IQ. So, if breastfeeding is not possible, Harari recommends that mothers opt for a formula milk that contains this supplement.

 

 

Superfoods for Kids – #4. Chia Seeds

superfoods for kids

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chia seeds are tiny black seeds from the Salvia Hispanica plant that is grown in South America. Known as one of the healthiest foods on the planet, chia seeds are loaded with nutrients that benefits both the brain and body.

According to Reiter, just 2 tablespoons of chia seeds has:

  • 5 times the amount of calcium in milk
  • 3 times the amount of antioxidants in blueberries
  • 3 times the amount of iron in spinach
  • 2 times the amount of protein of any other bean, seed or grain
  • 2 times the amount of potassium in a banana

Serving tip:
Chia seeds are extremely easy to incorporate into your diet. They can be eaten raw, soaked in juiced, or added to porridges, puddings and baked goods. You can also sprinkle them on top of cereal, yogurt or rice dishes.

 

Superfoods for Kids – #5. Colourful Vegetables

Superfoods for kidsBright-coloured vegetables such as capsicum, carrot and beetroot are good sources of antioxidants to keep brain cells healthy. On the other hand, green leafy vegetables such as spinach and celery are also rich in magnesium, a nutrient that is beneficial for neural transmission.

Serving tip:
Harari recommends that parents make it a point to serve their kids fresh vegetables every day – either as a snack or as part of their main meals. It is also important that parents set themselves as a good example to their kids when it comes to healthy eating.

 

 

Superfoods for Kids – #6. Crab

Superfoods for kids
If your kids can’t get enough of crab, you’ll be glad to know that this crustacean comes with huge brain-boosting benefits.

According to Forbes.com, one serving of crab gives you more than the daily required amount of phenylalanine, an amino acid which is necessary for the creation of brain neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine. Although there are many types of fish and seafood that are rich in phenylalanine, crab is less likely to be high in mercury, which makes this a safer choice for young children.

Serving tip:
Add fresh crab meat into salads and sushi rolls, which make great mid-day snacks for your kids.

 

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