A child’s brain needs the right nutrients to reach its full potential with good nutrition to lay the groundwork for your child’s growing years. 360° mental development can be achieved through four key areas that are essential for a child’s well-rounded development: Cognitive, Motor, Emotional and Communication. Hence, it’s vital to provide nutrients that support dynamic brain activity in your child during his growing years.

 

salmon, protein

Salmon, Bluefin tuna, black cod

Why they are important
  • Deep-water fish, such as salmon, are rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids (DHA), calcium and vitamin D, which are essential for brain function
  • Calcium supports nerve and muscle function
  • Vitamin D promotes the absorption of calcium and phosphorus
 

Nuts and seeds 

Why they are important
  • Good sources of arachidonic acid (ARA), vitamin E and choline
  • ARA is a key omega-6 fatty acid in the brain, essential for brain and vision development
  • Choline plays a role in memory and learning by supporting brain cell signaling
 

Avocados

Why they are important
  • A fatty fruits, but they’re also a monounsaturated fat, which contributes to healthy blood flow, which promotes brain health
  • Provide vitamin E, vitamin C, folate and potassium
  • Folate helps the development and growth of blood cells in the brain and throughout the body

Dark Green Leafy Vegetables

Why they are important
  • High in iron, calcium and folate - Iron is vital to the formation of red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the brain and fuel its growth
  • Vitamin E protects vitamin A and essential fatty acids, which are abundant in the brain
 

Berries 

Why they are important
  • Blueberries with vitamin B-6, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid and folic acid help the body metabolize carbohydrates, protein, and fats
  • Strawberries and citrus fruits are a good source of vitamin C, which plays a significant role in the brain development
  • Mangos and bananas are high in vitamin B6, for good brain health
 

Whole Grains

Why they are important
  • Source of magnesium that build bones and releasing energy from muscles and selenium protects cells from oxidation
  • Provide iron, most of the B vitamins, vitamin E and folate, and are a good source of carbohydrates - Vitamins B1 (thiamin), B6 and B12 are all essential to healthy development of the central nervous system - Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) helps the body use energy from the other nutrients

Beans 

Why they are important
  • Beans are rich source of soluble and insoluble fiber that can help to maintain healthy weights
  • The B vitamin folate is essential for the production of red blood cells in the human body
 

Eggs 

Why they are important
  • Those fortified with omega-3 can provide DHA in addition to ARA, choline, vitamin D, protein and zinc, all essential to the development and functioning of the central nervous system
  • Protein helps build, maintain and repair tissues, and it can provide energy
 

 

References:

1Published by the Food and Nutrition Board. Institute of Medicine/The National Academies Press (1998)

2http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/blueberries.html

3http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/yf/foods/fn1643.pdf

4http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/grains-why.html

5http://www.californiaavocado.com/usda-dietary-guidelines/