10 brain-boosting foods to help your toddlers grow smarter
Fuel brain development during the early years with these brain-boosting food for toddlers! Discover how your child can benefit from these nutritious food!
Your toddler is growing so quickly that it’s hard to believe. While it only seemed like yesterday when he/she learned how to crawl, your little one walks, talks, and is learning so much more! In fact, your child’s brain triples in size by the time he/she turns three-years-old!
Food plays a big role in helping your child grow. Getting the right nutrients and minerals help build your little one’s cognitive abilities.
He/she is learning how to focus for longer, solve problems, and think more critically.
Ensuring your child has the right fuel will go a long way towards nurturing your child’s brain development.
We’ve rounded up a list of brain-boosting food for toddlers and how to introduce them to your kids.
10 brain-boosting food for toddlers (with serving suggestions)
Berries are packed with antioxidants and flavonoids. They clear up free radicals and prevent them from doing damage to your little one’s central nervous system. Flavonoids contain anti-inflammatory properties, so it boosts your child’s immune system as well!
How to serve your toddler: Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries make great healthy snacks on their own.
You can also add them to a bowl of oatmeal porridge or yoghurt for the additional taste! Not to mention the fibre boost you get as well.
As a sweet treat, you can throw a few berries on top of pancakes or cereal.
Eggs are one of many great superfoods that have the whole package. You’ll find choline, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, and lutein.
Choline helps with your child’s metabolism, while omega-3 fatty acids help to boost your memory and concentration!
They’re also an effective source of protein which helps with muscle development, as well as feel satiated for longer.
How to serve your toddler: Eggs are versatile and can be served in different ways to suit your little one.
Scrambled eggs go well on toast. Hardboiled eggs can be sliced and tossed with salad to make veggies more appealing.
An omelette gives you the chance to stir fry different types of vegetables.
You can also break a whole egg and stir it into a seasoned broth or porridge.
Avocadoes are another kind of superfood, full of omega-3 fats alongside vitamins C, E, K, and B-6.
The creamy fruit lowers blood pressure and increases blood flow, which helps your little one’s brain grow!
How to serve your toddler: Avocadoes are great to eat raw! Serve your toddler in small slices as finger food.
You can also spread it on toast or sandwiches.
Salmon is a fantastic source of omega-3. It contains a lot of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which is known to help brain development.
Eating enough salmon helps your toddler have better memory and perform well in cognitive skills tests.
How to serve your toddler: Salmon can be used as a healthy protein in any dish. You can prepare it by grilling, pan-frying, or baking.
You can serve pan-fried salmon with some veggies. Or mix in some salmon to make fish porridge.
5. Green Vegetables
Vegetables are rich in iron. Your little one needs plenty of this mineral as it’s a core component of your blood cells.
Maintaining enough iron levels helps your child’s attention span and memory stay sharp. Iron deficiency is linked to poorer learning.
How to serve your toddler: Leafy greens like spinach and kale are rich in iron.
You can blend them with apples or carrots for a tasty juice.
Mix them into your little one’s favourite rice or noodle dish.
They also serve a great side dish or finger food if you have a tasty dip on hand.
6. Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are easy to add to your toddler’s diet because they’re so small and can be mixed with other foods.
They contain fatty acids, iron, zinc, and protein. These essential fats boosts your toddler’s brain and enhances memory.
How to serve your toddler: Sunflower seeds or sesame seeds can be sprinkled on top of your little one’s favourite cupcake.
Spread peanut butter onto toast or bread.
You can also add nuts and seeds to cereal as well.
7. Whole Grains
Fibre is well-known for helping the digestive system work optimally.
But it also regulates blood glucose. A lot of your toddler’s processed foods can have high sugar content. This can cause lapses in concentration due to sugar rush.
Oats and whole grains are also great sources of vitamin B and E to keep your child’s brain ticking over.
How to serve your toddler: Consider replacing white rice with brown rice, and wholegrain bread for white bread.
Switch up cereal for breakfast with oatmeal porridge instead.
Wholegrain pasta is another source of fibre for your toddler.
8. Greek Yogurt
In addition to boosting your little one’s immune system with probiotics, yoghurt also has vitamins and minerals that promote good brain health.
Full-fat Greek yoghurt is rich in protein to keep your little one fuller for longer. It also contains essentials fats.
How to serve your toddler: Yoghurt can be enjoyed on its own, or with berries and nuts for different textures and flavours.
Create a frozen dessert by pouring yoghurt into ice lolly stick packs. It has less sugar than ice cream and keeps your little one cool on hot days!
9. Citrus fruits
Citrus fruits have a lot of vitamin C. This nutrient keeps your little one mentally strong by getting rid of free radicals, which can degrade brain cells.
It also boosts your child’s immune system so he has a clean bill of health all around.
How to serve your toddler: A glass of orange juice in the morning starts the day off right.
You can alternatively add slices of fruit, like orange, to cereal, yoghurt, or even salad!
10. Lean meat
Meat is a rich source of iron and protein. In addition to promoting healthy blood flow, it also helps your child’s brain grow.
Meat is a necessary source of nutrients and vitamins and should be eaten regularly.
How to serve your toddler: Stir fry chopped pieces with vegetables to eat with rice.
For finger food, beef makes excellent meat patties for burgers!
Kids love pasta, so throw in some minced beef with fresh tomatoes and herbs for a yummy dinner.
Help your toddler’s brain continue to grow by feeding him/her the right foods!
Mums, what are some of your favourite brain-boosting recipes that your toddlers love? Do share them with us!
Republished with permission from theAsianparent Singapore