Best foods to feed your child’s brain

Best foods to feed your child’s brain


Nutrition advice from our dietitian  Caroline Kanaan

Children learn at an incredibly fast rate. Their brains are growing very quickly from ages 1 to 4 . The same way their bodies need the right nutrition to grow, their brains need specific nutrients as well.

Here are some of the top nutrients and foods that children from ages 1 to 4 can benefit from and feed their brains with.

Nutrient Sources Tips and ideas
Omega 3 Fish like sardines, anchovies and wild caught salmon contain Omega 3. They are also found in flax seeds, chia seeds and walnuts. The best way to serve these are in small doses every day. You can try grinding flax and chia seeds in your spice grinder and sprinkling or hiding the powder in their foods.
Vitamin B12 The best sources of Vitamin B12 include eggs, cheese, milk products, meat, fish, shellfish and poultry.  B12 is mostly found in animal foods. Children who follow a vegetarian diet have to make sure that they are getting enough B12 from their diets. Ground meat is an easier way to get kids to eat meat to get an intake of B12. The softer it is the easier it will be to chew and swallow!
Iron Non vegetarian sources of Iron are beef, lamb and chicken.Vegetarian sources of Iron include lentils, sesame seeds, olives and spinach. Cook the vegetarian foods with ingredients high in vitamin C like tomato paste or lemon juice to make it more absorbable. For example squeeze some lemon juice onto a lentil soup before serving.
Choline Eggs and turkey are important sources of choline. It is also found in cauliflower, broccoli and asparagus. Eggs make a great breakfast or dinner. You can also make frittatas or quiche with it. Try to use organic ones as often as possible.
Folic Acid Avocadoes, peas and citrus juice are good sources of folic acids. Guacamole is a super snack that is rich in folic acid. Mash some avocadoes with lemon juice and a chopped tomato. Serve it as a fun dip with some carrot and cucumber sticks.
Zinc Beef is the best source of zinc. Other good sources include spinach, sea vegetables, oats and pumpkin seeds. Serve your kids oatmeal and top it with a pumpkin seeds for a nutritious breakfast.

 Children at this age can be very picky eaters. You may be reading this post and thinking that the information sounds great but it may be a bit difficult to get your child to even touch some of these foods.  Picky eating can have several causes including physiological causes. Caroline is a dietitian that can help you pinpoint the cause of your child’s picky eating and give you advice to help you with your child’s feeding issues. To discuss your child’s nutrition needs you can e-mail her at [email protected]