5 tips to help nourish and support your child’s brain development
We all know the importance of a healthy diet for growing children. Growing bodies need many types of nutrients, but the brain needs just as much nourishment too when growing.
Here are some key foods to consider incorporating into your little ones’ diet to help support their brain development:
Eggs contain protein, iron and vitamin A which is important for growth and development. The yolk is packed with goodness, including choline, which is necessary for the creation of memory cells. Convenient for a healthy meal or snack, you can hard-boil eggs for lunchboxes, fry them for breakfast, or scramble them with vegetables on wholegrain toast for dinner.
Fish such as salmon, tuna and sardines contain the fatty acids EPA and DHA, which are important for brain development. Salmon has more fatty acids than tuna so try swapping the tuna sandwich for a salmon one, make salmon patties or salmon pasta bake using fresh or canned salmon. Homemade fish fingers go down a treat.
3. Dark green vegetables
Green vegetables such as broccoli, spinach and silverbeet are all packed with antioxidants and vitamins such as vitamin K, folate and lutein. Some studies suggest that these nutrients are important for cognitive function. Green leafy vegetables also contain iron which carries oxygen around the body, important for oxygenating the brain.
Walnuts are one of the few plant sources of the omega 3 fat EPA, which is beneficial for brain development and cognitive function. They are also high in zinc, which is essential for brain function.
More than just fiber, wholegrains contain many valuable vitamins and minerals, including a little iron, which carries oxygen around the body, including to the brain. Swap white bread for wholegrain, white rice for brown and try using wholemeal flour in baking.
Tell us, what are your favourite “brain food” snacks/recipes to make for your little one?