Is there such a thing as brain food for kids?
“As long as you’re providing appropriate portions of healthy meals, LEAVE IT TO your child TO decide how much to eat.” Ms Ong Jia Xin, Dietitian
Not exactly, but certain nutrients, such as iron, zinc, folate, iodine, B vitamins and essential fatty acids, support a child’s cognitive development, and improve memory and concentration.
HAVE MORE OF THESE TO BOOST BRAIN POWER
• Wholegrain breads and cereals, brown rice and oats – these high-fibre, vitamin B-rich carbohydrates give a slow, steady release of glucose, our main energy source for brain (and body) functions
• Lean red meat and poultry – these great sources of vitamin B12, zinc and iron help oxygen reach the brain and improve attention span
• Omega-3-rich oily fish (such as salmon and tuna), walnuts, chia seeds and flaxseeds – these support brain, eye and nerve development
• Dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurt – they not only keep the bones strong, but are also vital for the efficient transmission of neural signals
• Fruits and vegetables – these have fibre, antioxidants, and vitamins and minerals such as folate to help boost brain function and build immunity against illness
IMPROVE YOUR CHILD’S HEALTH
• Start early; help your child develop healthy food habits from young
• Be a role model. Kids follow the lead of adults, so eat a variety of healthy foods
PUT AN END TO DINNER TABLE DOWNERS WITH THESE TIPS
• Have patience; if you don’t succeed at first, try again (and again!). It can take more than 10 tries t o get a child to try a new food
• Use positive reinforcement instead of scolding your child. Encouragement will make mealtimes so much more positive
• Create an interest in healthy eating in your child; take him grocery shopping, let him help with simple food preparations, or leave it to him to choose his own (healthy) meal