Kids these days lead very busy lives, whizzing from the classroom and extracurricular activities to home and back again. While all this is going on, their brains are rapidly changing and growing, and this requires that they are getting the right nutrition to ensure they have good levels of focus and healthy cognitive development. Here are 7 foods that are perfect for this:
The proteins and nutrients in eggs can help kids concentrate. Try folding scrambled eggs into a whole-grain tortilla to give your kid a filling breakfast or late afternoon snack. The combination of protein and carbohydrates in this meal will tide them over until the next meal with no energy crashes to speak of. Other ideas are egg salad sandwiches or deviled eggs.
2. Greek Yogurt
Fat is important for brain health, so a full-fat Greek yogurt is ideal for your kid’s brain health and function. Greek yogurt also contains more protein than other yogurts, so it can help keep brain cells in good form for sending and receiving information. Pack a Greek yogurt in your kid’s lunch and add in some cereal, blueberries, and dark chocolate chips for an amazing, brain-boosting mix.
Greens are full of folate and vitamins, with particular reference to spinach and kale. Not only do they lower odds of the development of dementia in later life, but they’re also packed full of antioxidants and other nutrients that foster the growth of new brain cells. Admittedly, getting your kids to eat greens is no easy task, but you can whip spinach or kale into smoothies – perhaps mixed with fruit. Other ideas include adding spinach to an omelet or lasagna, or making kale chips from the stems or ribs.
Fish is a good source of vitamin D and Omega-3 fatty acids, which protect the brain from mental decline and loss of memory. Salmon, tuna and sardines are all good bets to ensure your kid’s brain is getting plenty of vitamin D and Omega-3. Grilling is probably the best way of getting your kid to eat it. Serve it with a tasty dipping sauce, add the fish to tacos, or if you’re using tuna, make tuna sandwiches.
5. Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds contain loads of nutritional goodies, such as fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. What’s more, they can boost mood and keep the human nervous system in check. Make sure your kids get plenty of nuts and seeds by serving them peanut or sunflower seed butter. Sunflower seeds are rich in folate, vitamin E, and selenium.
Oatmeal is rich in protein and fiber, which help to keep the brain arteries clear. Despite it not being the most appetizing thing to eat in the world when it’s by itself, you can try adding cinnamon, which is thought to protect brain cells from harm.
7. Plums and Apples
Apples and plums will give your kid the sweet taste they crave from candies, while also being lunchbox-friendly and containing antioxidants that help to prevent mental decline. Give your kid organic apples and plums, because most of the nutrients are in their skins. Just make sure you wash them well beforehand (the fruit, not the kid that is).