13 Healthy Foods For Brain Development In Children

13 Brain Development Foods for Kids

A child’s brain develops quickly during childhood and needs the right nourishment to capitalise on that growth. If you’re a parent, looking for ways to help develop your child’s brain better, we’ve curated a list of twelve foods that enhance brain development. Read on to find out what these foods are!

Video: 12 Best Brain Development Foods for Kids

Brain-Boosting Foods for Children

Here are some of the best brain foods you can include in your little Einstein’s diet to keep his brain ticking:

1. Spinach

Spinach contains antioxidants that help rectify the damage caused by free-radicals (toxic by-products produced due to various factors). It is thought that free-radicals damage brain cells and lead to mental decline. Spinach also contains folate that helps in all-round brain development.

How to Serve

Getting kids to eat spinach by itself can be a complicated affair. The trick lies in combining spinach with a dish that compliments its tastes. One can try serving it with macaroni, chicken, and cheese. Be sure to finely chop the spinach so that it is small enough for your child to notice but big enough to give a pleasant green colour to the dish.

2. Eggs

Eggs contain choline, a nutrient that helps in retaining neural pathways to keep memories intact. Did you know that a single egg is enough to supply a kid with a quarter of their choline needs? Now that you know, that’s what you should include in your child’s diet.

How to Serve

A boiled egg neatly cut into thin slices can be served in a sandwich made of whole-grain bread. Make sure you slap in some lettuce for that extra crunch along with some ketchup.

3. Curd

Curd improves gut health and reduces inflammation. Good health is always important for good brain development in children. Therefore, curd/yoghurt is another brain food we highly recommend.

How to Serve

Many kids love curd, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if they devour it alone without a second thought. To those kids who have some difficulty eating curd, add a teaspoon of honey, and they’re bound to be satisfied.

4. Fish

Fish contains Omega-3 fatty acids which are vital for brain development. Omega-3 fatty acids improve the structure of brain cells. The power of this is so widely accepted that numerous manufacturers of baby formula often boast of their product containing Omega-3 fatty acids.

How to Serve

Fish can be marinated in curd, lemon, turmeric and other spices before being baked and served. While fried fish may seem delicious, its nutritional value may get diminished if fried, so it’s best avoided.

5. Berries

Just like spinach, berries too contain antioxidants that help stop or even reverse the harmful effects of free radicals on the brain. Another brain-enhancing component found in berries is flavonoids that make their way to the hippocampus and are known to help improve learning capabilities.

How to Serve

Berries that can be consumed include blackberries, blueberries and strawberries.  You can serve them in a variety of forms or as accompaniments to various dishes like pancakes. You could also make a smoothie with a cupful of berries, a cup of yoghurt, some orange juice, a banana and honey for taste.

brain boosting foods

6. Turmeric

One of the overlooked foods to improve kids’ brainpower is turmeric. The main compound that gives turmeric its magic is curcumin which has anti-inflammatory as well as antioxidative properties. And both properties reduce any damage the brain may have sustained over time. Another benefit of turmeric is its ability to stop the growth of beta-amyloid plaque in the brain.

How to Serve

Turmeric blends well with milk and a smoothie filled with fruits such as pineapples, mangoes or oranges. Make sure you add some pepper as it can help in the absorption of curcumin in the blood. Serve chilled with some honey to get those taste buds tingling.

7. Walnuts

The Omega-3 fatty acids present in walnuts help improve memory as well as reduce inflammations in the brain. If that weren’t enough, it also removes excess protein deposits in the brain which helps in revamping memory power.

How to Serve

You could mix walnuts with some other healthy foods, preferably yoghurt. A combination of yoghurt, bananas, walnuts with a dash of honey will have your kids asking for more.

8. Oatmeal

While oats are famous for their power to aid the digestive system, they haven’t received due credit when it comes to helping in brain development. Children who eat oats for breakfast consistently perform better at school as it regulates blood sugar in the body.

How to Serve

While oats by themselves are bland and tasteless, they work well by adding a couple of fruits to the mix. Put in half a pomegranate and a kiwi fruit to a bowl of oats and you’ll find it all empty every single time. And, you won’t even need to add sugar as the fruits are naturally sweet.

9. Beans

Beans are rich in protein and have important minerals that together aid brain development. Beans and lentils also provide a good amount of iron, which is also essential or the development of the human brain.

How to Serve

Beans, specifically kidney beans, are great for the brain. Serve your kids some traditional rajma-chawal (kidney beans and rice), or go for a lentil soup as a warm mid-day or evening snack.

10. Apples

Apples can help in the production of a chemical called acetylcholine which helps in the transmission of messages between nerves in the brain. The presence of antioxidants is a bonus that helps to reverse any damage done by free radicals to the brain.

How to Serve

The best part about an apple is that it requires no fancy presentation. Just make sure you thoroughly clean the apple or peel off the skin as some producers add wax to the skin to increase its shelf life.

11. Avocados

These exotic fruits are coveted by health enthusiasts around the world for their high nutritional content. Apart from Vitamin K and potassium, they contain folate, which helps in brain development. In fact, pregnant women are advised to have a regular supply of folate in their diet to prevent any neural birth defects in the foetus.

How to Serve

Avocados are creamy in nature and can be easily used as a bread spread or a dip. Add some cucumbers along with some cheese and your kids will keep wanting more.

12. Amla

Also known as the Indian Gooseberry, amla is known for numerous health benefits such as boosting immunity and improving eyesight. Amla contains antioxidants that help in fighting off harmful free radicals in the brain.

How to Serve

Amla can be made into chutney and goes well with South Indian dishes such as idlis, dosas and upma.

13. Flaxseeds

Flaxseeds are also an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids. They also provide fibre, protein, and several other minerals that together enhance brain development.

How to Serve

If you enjoy baking, you can add flaxseeds to multigrain bread doughs or breakfast muffins. Flaxseeds smoothies tend to become an instant hit with kids if it has their favourite fruit. You can also make a chutney by grinding roasted flaxseeds, a few cloves of garlic, some red chilli powder and salt. This chutney can be enjoyed with rotis, parathas, and even dosas.

Now that you know what the best foods are, that can be used to give your child’s brain development a boost, feel free to tweak the ingredients in the recipes to cater to your kid’s palette. Over time, you’ll have the best combination of brain food available for every day of the week.

Also Read: Best Foods to Increase Height in Children

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