Nutrition for the Mind
From the classroom to after school activity…
From activity to home…
From home to playground and back…
Our kids race through their daily schedule. And while they do that, their brains are growing and changing just as rapidly.
All that growth needs to be fueled by the right nutrition. These early years are important for brain development and what they eat affects their focus and cognitive skills.
So, what are the foods that help kids stay sharp and shape how their brains develop in the future? Here’s a list of the top 8 brain-boosting foods that help memory, concentration and focus be as sharp as it can be.
Serve it scrambled, fried or boiled – the proteins and nutrients in eggs help children concentrate.
The brain needs energy to function. The ability to concentrate and focus comes from a steady supply of energy, which is found in wholegrain bread, pasta, cereal, rice etc.
Spinach, kale and other greens are full of vitamins and antioxidants that help new brain cells grow. For kids who are fussy about greens, add them in smoothies or soups, even in omelets or pasta.
Fish, especially the oily fish like salmon, mackerels, tuna etc., are rich in Vitamin D and omega-3, which aids brain functioning and enhances focus.
Walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios and seeds like sunflower, pumpkin and flax, are packed with protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. They boost the mood and protect healthy brain function. Serve as a nut butter or sprinkle in a salad or in bake in homemade muffins, cakes etc.
Rich in antioxidants and protective compounds called anthocyanins, blueberries boost short term memory.
Broccoli is rich in Vitamin K, which is known to boost cognitive function and enhance brain functioning.
8. Fortified Milk
Fortified milk, like NIDO® FortiGrow, has all the benefits of milk in addition to being a great source of IRON and Vitamin C, which are essential nutrients for your child’s brain development.
So, make sure to give your child 2 glasses of NIDO® FortiGrow daily as part of a healthy balanced diet, which provides him 47% of daily iron and 54% of daily vitamin C he needs to support his cognitive development
While these superfoods can greatly boost your child’s brain development, there are a few other factors that can help your budding learner get the nutrition she needs.
a. Ensure your child gets a hearty breakfast.
Experts say, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It enhances your child’s physical and mental performance, as well as his ability to learn.
- A glass of Fortified milk with whole-grain cereals and a piece of fruit
- A glass of fortified milk with a whole wheat bread halloumi and tomato sandwich
b. Pack healthy snacks for more energy, mental activity and concentration
A healthy morning and afternoon snack will not only satisfy your child’s hunger, but also provide him with the energy and nutrients he needs to continue his activities at school and after school, as well as improving his ability to learn.
- Fresh fruit salad or fruit skewers
- A glass of fortified milk or a bowl of yoghurt (plain or fruit-flavored) with 2 pieces of kaak
- Whole-wheat toast topped with cheese or labneh or peanut butter
- Fresh cut vegetables with hummus or labneh dip
- A boiled egg with half cup of fresh fruit juice
c. Ensure a good night’s rest
A good amount of sleep at night is associated with a better attention span and more alertness at school and thus a better ability to learn, so encourage an early school night.