Top 10 Brain Development Food For Toddlers & Kids
A happy day must begin with a great mealtime! So you must know that your child’s brain is twice as active as that of an adult. That makes them more intriguing & active. They may often overwhelm you with a lot of questions that you may fall short of answers to because these intelligent little minds have a mountain-size bag full of curiosity. They somehow manage to be so knowledgeable at a blooming age, no wonder how.
Well, the credit goes to an effective brain development exposure right from their birth. Tickle Right suggests taking both nutritious brain development food & right brain learning to crack the code for your baby’s brain growth. Please remember, it’s not okay to feed anything to your little one assuming that it would do right to do overall development. This can also make them cranky at times. So, read ahead to know what you must feed to your toddler to get them going!
Table of Contents
Nutrients & Vitamins For Child Brain Development
Essential nutrients & vitamins make up for a child’s healthy brain development. These brain-boosting nutrients will be a smart start for healthy eating practices –
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids – Low-mercury seafood
- Choline – Eggs, poultry
- Iron – Spinach, lean meat
- Zinc – Peanut butter, lean meat
- Iodine – Milk, egg, canned tuna
- Protein – Meat, eggs, yogurt
- Folate – Spinach, avocado, orange juice
- Vitamin A – Egg, milk, sweet potatoes
10 Best Brain Development Food For Kids
Now that we are aware of a child’s active brain development phase & the nutrients they require for brain-boosting. Let’s get into knowing the exact food items that will help them outgrow their brain potential. These best brain development food for children are often recommended by pediatricians across the world as top brain foods.
Instead of tuna sandwiches, go ahead with salmon fillings in sandwiches & tacos! A fatty fish like salmon is highly rich in Omega-3 fatty acids Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) & Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA). It meets the requirement of essential brain growth & its functioning. You must include it in your child’s diet as whole foods. Making salmon patties or serving the yummy soup is also a potential option. As per research, a rich source like salmon is good for transforming sharper minds.
Please Remember: Deep frying the fish may lead to substantial Omega-3 fat losses. Besides, you must monitor the health & freshness of the fish.
Eggs are considered the best brain development food for children for a very long time. It is a great source of protein, choline (egg yolks), & other vital nutrients. Well-known to improve concentration, they play a key role in increasing the percentage of brain mass. We’re sure that you remember our parents insisting on consuming eggs every day in our developing years. However, you can present it as per your kid’s preference – scrambled eggs, egg salad, egg sandwiches, or the all-time favorite deviled eggs.
Please Remember: It is recommended that young kids consume fully-cooked eggs to avoid any health risks. Such as food poisoning. If a child ages between 1-8 years & above, consuming 2 whole eggs (contain 294 gm choline) meets 100% choline requirement.
3. Green Vegetables
Green vegetables are generally no child’s first choice. So, consider yourself lucky in case your little one is eating up the greens without any tantrums. Green leafy vegetables like spinach & others contain folate and vitamins that are crucial for kids’ brain health. Other than that, kale consists of antioxidants that support the growth of brain cells. It also lowers the chances of developing dementia in gray years. However, it is surely a challenge to feed greens to current-age kids. But parents, you gotta be innovative to get there.
Please Remember: Pressure cooking & boiling greens can lead to substantial losses of healthy components. You can go ahead & prepare smoothies for lower losses.
What better than seafood for developing great brain health? None. Seafood contents are a world-renowned rich source of many nutrients. It contains vitamin-D, Omega-3 fats, iodine, & zinc. Well, iodine supports thyroid hormones & zinc is needed for cell proliferation. The other mentioned nutrients are required for brain functioning & to protect the brain against the degeneration of mental ability, resulting in loss of memory in later life. Therefore, it is good to offer low-mercury child seafood to kids. Such as clams, shrimp, salmon, and trout.
Please Remember: Medical research suggests frequent consumption of fish with high mercury content can negatively impact brain function.
5. Nuts & Seeds
Nuts & seeds are full of protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. They are highly nutritious and show the best results for improved cognitive function. As per research, consuming nuts help improve the diet quality by uplifting the overall consumption of necessary nutrients. Such as healthy fats & fiber. This also helps keep a check on the nervous system. Consumption of nuts, seeds, nuts/seeds butter, & pesto sauce can nutrify meals. All these health-friendly benefits can be related to high academic performance.
Please Remember: You are free to cook the food content as it does not reduce or lead to losses of nutritional value.
6. Apples & Plums
Children are infamous for demanding sweets and candy at all hours of the day. Since no parent fancies dealing with a sugar rush and the inevitable sugar crash, a healthier alternative to sate your little one’s sugar cravings is apples and plums. These fruits contain quercetin, an antioxidant known to fight the decline in mental skills. Since the fruit skin is usually nutrient-dense, it is advisable to eat the fruits without peeling them. Just wash them thoroughly before consumption.
Please Remember: Going organic should be your first preference. Offering fruit skin is a must for essential nutrients. Besides, washing the fruit thoroughly is another prerequisite for healthy consumption.
7. Lean Meat
Lean meat is another best brain development food item for young minds. They are highly rich sources of zinc & iron. The meat is packed with high protein for a child’s overall growth. Such minerals like iron support the production of red blood cells that carries oxygen to the entire body. However, the role of zinc is to fulfill the cognitive & attentional requirements that cater to healthy eating. You can offer several serving options to your little one – tiny meatballs, meatloaf muffins, tacos, & pasta & meatballs.
Please Remember: Cooking meat does not lead to mineral losses. However, stir-frying, baking or roasting can also result in a reduction in losses.
8. Dairy Products
Dairy products like yogurt fulfill a child’s body requirements for effective brain development & neural functions. It’s a highly-protein-packed snack that is available in different flavors for taste-building purposes. Offering unsweetened yogurt for breakfast will make up for the iodine sufficiency. As the mineral deficiency can more likely lead to cognitive impairment at times. Other dairy products like milk & cheese have high calcium content that plays a key role in strengthening bone health. It keeps the brain cells & brain tissues active & going!
Please Remember: Milk does not generally lose its calcium content while cooking.
Strawberries, cherries, blueberries, blackberries – what is your child’s favorite? Considered to be another best brain development food that contains anthocyanins. This improves the blood flow and promotes the proliferation of new brain cells. As it’s suggested, the more vigorous the fruit color pigment, the more nutritious it is. Consumption of berries with veggies will offer an excellent flavor choice. As per research, a low intake of fruits, vegetables, & berries by the 6-8 years age group was linked to lower brain function. So, feed what’s right.
Please Remember: Fruits when cooked in water leads to a loss of antioxidants.
Last on the list are the oranges! They are a great source of minerals & vitamins, especially vitamin C. A child can be introduced to them as soon as they attain 6 months of age. It helps immuning the overall health. As they are packed with flavonoids and can be experimented with to produce different tastes. You can pair it with avocado, blueberries, and sweet potatoes. It stands responsible for boosting brain activity. The fruit must be bought clean & fresh & must be cut down to small bits before feeding.
Please Remember: Remove seeds, peels, & fibers from the orange before giving it to your little one. Mash the fruit into a puree in case they find it troubling to chew.
How To Feed Brain Development Food To Your Kids?
Many of the best brain development food items can be incorporated into a child’s diet by various means. It can be –
- For Infants – A child about 6 months or older can begin with solids at this point. You must rely on whole grains & puree forms of brain needs for your kid.
- For toddlers – A child at this stage grows rapidly. Salmon, scrambled eggs, berries, & peanut butter will fulfill all the healthy brain functioning requirements.
- For young kids – You must offer varied healthy choices to a kid at their mealtimes. Offering smoothies, open-faced sandwiches, seeds, & nuts will be a smart choice.
What are the top 5 brain foods?
The following are the Top 5 brain foods for kids –
- Green Leafy Vegetables
- Lean Meat
- Dairy Products
- Apples, Oranges, & Plum
What fruits are best for a child’s brain development?
The following foods are the best for a child’s effective brain development –
What are the five tips to encourage healthy eating?
During the initial years of a child’s development, they undergo an active brain development phase. This period requires sincere attention to a child’s diet by choosing healthy snack alternatives. And encouraging your child to shift to healthy eating patterns boosts immunity, strengthens bones, & supports brain development.
Therefore, the following tips encourage healthy eating –
- Offer small portions of a complete diet
- Choose healthy snack alternatives with healthful & limited fats
- Have healthy family meals together & be a role model
- Offer healthy food choices with a protein & fiber-filled diet
- Avoid encouraging sugary drinks & processed food items
We as adults have an essential responsibility to partake here as well; to nourish our young ones with nutritious brain development food. Do try these yummy and healthy brain development foods for your child and help them get brainier and stay mentally active lifelong. Please share with us more such tasty and nutritious recipes below for kids.