When it comes to feeding your baby, as a parent you must find yourself thinking twice before choosing any meal. Nutrition is crucial for children, especially at a young age. As your child grows, you will find yourself making some important decisions regarding their feeding habits. One of the many things that parents struggle with is the selection of appropriate food items.
With market aisles stocked to the brim with processed and packaged foods, it can be very tempting to opt for those options. However, nothing beats natural food choices. As your toddler grows, you must ensure that the food choices you select nurture their mind and body alike. Every parent wants the best for their child. And the best way to do that is to make sure that they are nourished through a rich and diverse diet.
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Here is a list of 8 delicious brain-boosting foods that will improve your child’s intelligence.
Avocados are exceptional first foods for babies. Not only are they easy to consume and digest, but they also qualify as exceptional brain-boosting food. Avocados assist in the improvement of cognitive function ( source ). Packed with healthy fats, folate, omega-3s, magnesium, vitamins (A, B, C, D, E, K), and potassium, avocados improve concentration and memory.
While avocados are famously known for reducing the risk of stroke and blood clotting diseases in adults, their benefits for toddlers are lesser-known. Besides, they are quite versatile to eat.
If you ask us, eggs are truly underrated. One of the main nutrients in eggs is choline. Choline is crucial for brain development, allowing your toddler to improve in learning and development. Moreover, choline helps with memory retention as well ( source ).
Eggs are also a great source of protein. The best part is that there are so many ways to cook and serve eggs. From omelets to boiled eggs, you can experiment until you find what your toddler loves best.
Berries are famously full of antioxidants but that is not all the pack. Berries are also rich in omega-3s and vitamin C ( source ). All of these nutrients work wonders in improving and boosting brain function. In the long run, they keep the brain healthy and reduce the chances of brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and even dementia ( source ).
The antioxidants present also ensure brain inflammation stays minimal. The lack of oxidization of cells enables better coordination and movement that greatly assists toddlers.
You can serve berries fresh or whip them into delicious smoothies. In the summers, you can even make frozen treats and popsicles out of the wide array of berries in season.
4. Greek Yogurt
Yogurt has always been a favorite by all parents. However, what most parents tend to opt for are flavored yogurts. These may not contain all the nutrients you think they do. On the other hand, full-fat Greek yogurt is full of nutritious proteins, vitamins, and minerals. Besides, it also has plenty of probiotics that boost gut health.
Another little-known nutrient in Greek yogurt is iodine. When the brain is supplied with sufficient iodine, focus and concentration improve ( source ). Hence, babies will be able to learn faster and easier.
Switch out your flavored yogurt choices with Greek yogurt instead. You can always make your own fruit yogurt by adding berries or natural sweeteners like honey.
5. Nuts and Seeds
You can absolutely not go wrong with nuts and seeds – as long as you make sure your child does not have any allergies. Nuts and seeds contain a lot of nutrients and just a small quantity goes a long way. Despite being small, nuts and seeds contain an array of nutrients from proteins to fatty acids, iron, zinc, and omega-3s. All of these nutrients work together to improve memory development as well as overall brain function ( source ).
Some of the healthiest choices you can make in nuts and seeds are peanuts, sunflower seeds, and almonds ( source ). They contain antioxidants and also improve blood flow to the brain. Both of these lead directly to an improvement in memory and concentration.
A lot of parents are concerned about nuts being a choking hazard for children. There is a very easy way around this issue. Simply opt for nut butter while your child is still young. Make sure to opt for natural butter choices that do not contain artificial preservatives and sugars. You can even make your own at home.
6. Whole Grains
It is no secret that whole grains are far healthier than white flour. They are important for the development of muscles and bones. They are also great for the cardiovascular system and brain health.
Whole grains contribute to a healthier brain and improved cognitive functions ( source ). They also are a great way to avoid brain fog as they keep supplying the brain with energy throughout the day. This boosts toddlers’ and children’s cognitive development allowing them to learn new skills and master them in a shorter span of time.
Does this one surprise you? Well, don’t be. Beans are packed with a ton of nutrients including healthy fibers, carbohydrates. omega-3s, vitamins, and minerals. It is an important brain- and intelligence-boosting food ( source ). There are many different ways to cook beans and make sure they are delectable for toddlers and children.
Whether you mash them into a dip or spread them on tortillas or crackers, beans are deliciously versatile. You can even incorporate them in soups for the colder winter months.
Fish is an important source of DHA, omega-3s, and EPA. These nutrients are imperative in aiding brain development and growth. One of the healthiest and top picks amongst parents is salmon. While most people feel like fish is a hard food to diversify, that is not true.
Fish soup? Fishcakes? Oven-baked? Air fried? Steamed? There are so many ways to make sure your child loves eating fish. Adding this important superfood to your child’s diet will definitely help in boosting their intelligence and brain development.
It is important to make sure that your child’s diet is nutritionally diverse. Food can definitely be tricky for parents (especially first-time parents) but it does not have to be a challenge. Using out simple guide of brain superfoods, you can easily adjust your child’s diet. You can also switch up between the different foods and ways of cooking depending on your child’s growth.
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For instance, instead of nut butter, switch to whole nuts once your child starts teething. Similarly, beans and berries need not be mashed once your toddler is a little older. You can always play around with textures and flavors to keep the food exciting and delicious for your child.