Read on to know which foods are a complete no-no for your child!
Parents are constantly worried about the foods their child must be eating. While it is important for your child to have proper, balanced meals, it's also imperative that they eat the right foods that not only provides them with the required nutrition but also helps improve their brain and memory.
Yes, that's right! Though we as parents worry about the nutrition content of the food that our kids eat, we rarely give a thought to the foods that can also affect your child's brain, memory and thinking ability.
theindusparent spoke to dietician Pavithra K Raj from the Columbia Asia hospital in Bangalore to know about how foods affect your child's brain and memory and what are the foods that are worst for your child's brain:
1. How does the food your child eats affect your child's brain? Are there any foods that can help improve your child's memory?
The art of feeding children, the right way, has to be well monitored by their parents for their proper physical and mental growth of children. Healthy eating can stabilise children’s energy, sharpen their minds, and even out their moods.
Children who don't get proper nutrition during their first three years may be losing ground in intelligence to their better-nourished peers and hence children should be encouraged to eat healthy foods from an early age, and to avoid foods that are high in fat and sugar, as far as possible.
Nutrition has been called the single greatest environmental influence for children, and it remains essential during the initial years of life.
2. What are some nutrient-rich brain foods that your child must be eating?
Here are some foods that are a must-eat for every growing child:
- Eggs: While everyone knows that eggs are an excellent source of protein, the yolk of an egg is packed with choline, a compound that helps in memory development.
- Milk & Yogurt: Dairy foods are packed with protein and B-vitamins that are essential for growth of the brain tissue, neurotransmitters, and enzymes. Milk and yogurt also provide a bigger punch with both protein and carbohydrates, which are the preferred source of energy for the brain.
- Colourful Veggies: Tomatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, carrots, spinach and other vegetables of such families that have a rich, deep colour are the best sources of antioxidants that keep the brain cells strong and healthy.
- Pulses or Beans: They are also crucial for your child as they are special they contain energy from protein and complex carbs plus they are loaded with fiber, and other essential vitamins and minerals. Pulses make for an excellent brain food as they child's energy and thinking level at peak. Kidney beans and pinto beans contain more omega 3 fatty acids than other beans, specifically ALA, another of the omega-3 important for brain growth and function.
- Fruits like Berries: Strawberries, cherries, blueberries, blackberries, avocado have high levels of antioxidants, especially vitamin C, which may help prevent cancer. The seeds from berries are also a good source of omega-3 fats.
- Nuts: Peanuts and almonds are good sources of vitamin E, a potent antioxidant that protects the nervous membranes. They also contain thiamin to help the brain and nervous system use glucose for energy.
- Whole Grains: The brain needs a constant supply of glucose, and whole grains provide that in spades. Whole grains also have B-vitamins, which nourish a healthy nervous system. The fiber helps regulate the release of glucose into the body.
- Oats/Oatmeal: Oats are one of the most familiar hot cereals for kids and a very nutritious grain for the brain. Oats provide excellent energy or fuel for the brain that kids need first thing in the morning. Loaded with fiber, oats keep a child’s brain fed all morning at school. Oats also are good sources of vitamin E, B-vitamins, potassium and zinc -- which make our bodies and brains function at full capacity.
- Meat: Fatty fish like salmon are an excellent source of the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA -- both essential for brain growth and function.
Continue reading on the next page to know about the foods that your child should not be eating!