In today’s rushed life kids whiz from classroom to sport activities to home and back again, during this time their brains are growing and changing rapidly.
The foods that kids eat are critical important for brain development and what they eat affects cognitive and focus skills.
Here are 7 ideas of foods that help kids stay sharp and affect how their brains develop into the future.
Eggs contains protein and nutrients that help kids concentrate. Fold scrambled eggs into a whole-grain tortilla for a filling breakfast or late afternoon snack. The protein-carb combo tides kids over until the next meal and has no sugar-induced energy crash. Try serving devilled eggs or an egg salad sandwich.
Healthy fats are important to the brain and Greek yogurt can help keep the brain cells in good form for sending and receiving information.
For lunch pack, Greek yogurt with some fun mix-ins like cereal with at least 3 grams of fiber and blueberries for a dose of nutrients called polyphenols. Dark chocolate chips are another great idea and also contains polyphenols. The nutrients are to keep the mind sharp by hiking the blood flow to the brain.
Spinach and kale is full of folate and vitamins and are linked to lower odds of getting dementia later in life. Kale is seen as a super food that is packed with antioxidants and other things that help new brain cells grow.
Unfortunately most kids do not like greens, so rather than serving a salad, try whipping spinach or kale into smoothies for a snack. Add spinach to omelettes or lasagne. Cut kale from the stems/ribs, drizzle with olive oil and a bit salt and bake till crisp.
Fish contains vitamin D and Omega-3s that protect the brain from declining mental skills and memory loss. Sardines, salmon and tuna are rich in Omega-3s. By introducing more Omega-3s into kids diet, kid’s brains will function better and they will be able to focus. Grill the fish and add a sauce for dipping, make tuna sandwiches or add fish to tacos.
Nuts and seeds are packed with protein, vitamins, minerals and the essential fatty acids which may boost kids moods and keep the nervous system in check.
One of kids favourites are peanut butter, or you can also buy or make sunflower seed butter. Sunflower seeds are rich in folate, selenium and vitamin E. Make pesto combining nuts with olive oil and dark leafy greens, this makes a healthy and tasty sauce you can serve over whole- grain pasta.
Oatmeal is rich in fiber and protein and helps keep the heart and brain arteries clear. Add cinnamon to oatmeal, as cinnamon protects brain cells.
Often when kids are feeling sluggish and they crave sweets it is a good idea to keep apples and plums in the house, they are lunchbox-friendly and contain quercetin which is antioxidant that may fight decline in mental skills.
The goodness is often in the skin of fruit, try buying organic fruit, wash well and put in a fruit bowl for quick snacks.