Want your children to do better in school? Give them these brain boosting foods!

African children eating

Want your child to do better in school? Take a close look at diet. Certain brain-boosting foods may help boost a child’s brain growth — plus improve brain function, memory, and concentration.

Rule Number one: Never send your child to school without breakfast.

ALSO, READ; Healthy Breakfast: Kick-start your day with these nutritious breakfast ideas!

What A Young Brain Needs to Really Succeed

Food is one of the main factors that affect a child’s brain development. Children need 2-3 times more nutrients per kg body weight than adults. Because children have high energy and nutrient needs but have small stomachs, they need nutrient dense snacks.

Vegetables and fruit are a good source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Kids should aim to eat a total of 5 servings a day of fruit and vegetables. You can do this by giving them a piece of fruit at the end of a meal in place of a dessert – it’s still sweet but better than a slice of sponge cake!

A brain, just like any other organ is changing every day and what we feed our children can contribute to their brain development. Balance is key to a healthy diet where a brain thrives on what we put into our bodies.

Here Are The 5 Brain-Boosting Foods Your Child Needs

BANANAS. Bananas are an excellent energy-boosting carbohydrate. Eating a banana as a snack will help your child sustain his or her energy levels and concentration throughout the morning. Include bananas in their school bag instead of salt crisps or biscuits as a healthier mid-morning snack.

Kids between ages 9 and 11 were given a choice of oatmeal, cold cereal, or no breakfast at all, and then tested their memory at school over several weeks. The oatmeal-eaters performed significantly better on spatial-memory tasks (children were tested on map skills). Researchers believe it is because of oatmeal—a whole grain that is high in fiber—digests slowly, providing kids with a steady stream of energy, as well as giving them protein.

FISH. Women who eat fatty fish, such as salmon, during their third trimester of pregnancy have babies who tend to perform better on cognitive tasks. Researchers think the omega-3 fatty acid DHA is needed during this time to build neurons and their connections. DHA and EPA, two types of omega-3 fatty acids, are important for brain development. They are found mainly in fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and tuna.

They are well-known as a great protein source. The egg yolks are also packed with choline, which helps memory development. Eggs Choline is vital for the creation of memory stem cells, formed deep within our brains. The more cells we have, the better our memories. It’s a nutrient experts have long recognized as vital for pregnant and lactating women, because so much brain development occurs in infants.

WHOLE WHEAT. Wheat bread is rich in fiber and B vitamins which includes folate. Folate is recommended for moms during pregnancy to enhance neural developments of their babies. Folate found in wheat is a B vitamin that is used to manufacture memory cells in the brain.

If possible, try and let your children enjoy a variety of foods, here are a few tips for maintaining a balanced diet for optimal energy and brain performance for your little ones: 

  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables every day 
  • Eat legumes e.g. dry beans, peas or lentils regularly 
  • Chicken, fish, meat or eggs should be eaten daily 
  • Make starchy foods the basis of most meals 
  • Include the right quality of fats in your diet 
  • Use salt sparingly 
  • Drink lots of clean, safe water

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