Kid's Nutrition

A Little Food for Thought

Eating well is good for your child’s mental health, not just his physical wellbeing. After all, his brain needs nutrients, in exactly the same way his heart, lungs and muscles do. So let’s take a look at some of the ‘brain foods’ that could boost your child's cognitive development and bump up his IQ.

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By The Scott's Team   | 3 min read

By The Scott's Team
3 min read

                                 Age groups

0-2   2-4   4-6    6-8    10-12

As every mom knows, it takes brains to succeed in life. Luckily, we can give our little ones a head start by following a few simple guidelines and making sure they’re eating a properly balanced diet.

Strike the Right Blood Sugar Balance

Sugar is fuel for the brain. But you need to make sure your child is eating the right types of sugar and the right amount – at the right time!

Too much sugar and your child could become hyperactive and find it hard to concentrate. Too little, and he may feel tired and irritable – and again, he'll find it hard to focus.

Eating a little and often helps keep his energy and concentration in balance. To maintain this balance, give him ‘complex’ carbohydrates that slowly release glucose into the blood. These include porridge, wholewheat pasta, brown rice, rye or brown bread, fruit and vegetables (ideally not potatoes).

A little Food

A Wrongly Timed Chocolate Bar Could Slow Down his Brain

Try to avoid the kind of refined sugars found in sweets, candy and fast food – these are absorbed more quickly by the body, resulting in short-lived sugar highs and inevitable ‘crashes’ that follow.

Is He Getting Enough Essential Fats?

Believe it or not, 60% of a dried brain’s weight is fat. So it’s no wonder deficiencies in particular types of fats such as Omega-3 can have a knock-on effect on children’s intelligence and behaviour.

If you’re giving your little one at least two portions of oily fish a week (mackerel, herring, sardines, anchovies, tuna steak and salmon are all good), he should be getting enough Omega-3 to boost his cognitive development. To sneak in a little extra, you could always try sprinkling a few sesame seeds or walnuts onto cereals, soups or salads.

Vitamins and Minerals Make Smarter Kids

To make sure he's getting enough vitamins and minerals, give him at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day. They’re packed with antioxidants that help build the brain and protect it from everyday wear and tear. But if five-a-day isn’t always possible, a chewable multi-vitamin and mineral supplement makes a great back-up plan.

Don’t Forget the Choline!

Choline is an essential nutrient for brain development and memory function, and also helps the brain communicate with the rest of the body. You’ll find it in eggs (especially the yolk), beans, broccoli, cauliflower, yoghurt, tofu, buckwheat and lean beef.

One Last Thing…

We know some of the brain-boosting foods we’ve just talked about might not be your kids' favourites right now. But if you're willing to be patient and serve them up regularly (maybe with a little treat on the side now an then) they soon will be. If your little one still needs some persuading, why not print off our brain foods wallchart and stick it on your kitchen wall? That way, he’ll know you’re not making it all up!

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By The Scott’s Team

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KIDS FAMILY TREES

HEALTH CLIMBING

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