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Children’s Brain Development Foods

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Right from birth, on average, a child’s brain will increase by 2 grams per day, by the age of 7 the child’s brain will have reached about 90% of the adult brain size. Nutrition plays a very important role in the brain development of children.

In order for children to develop their best physical strength, it is always necessary to ensure that in the daily diet for children, there are enough 4 groups: starch, vegetables, protein, and fat. So what should parents give their children to be smart and healthy, and develop comprehensively? Here are some foods that are good for young brains.

1. Good starches for children’s brains

Starch is mainly from rice, grains such as rice, corn, potatoes, cassava…

The brain is the organ that consumes the most glucose in the body (accounting for about 20% of the sugar supplied to the body). For the brain to function properly, blood sugar needs to be stable (not too low or too high).

Studies show that a drop in glucose levels can have negative effects on concentration, memory, learning, and cognition. The brain also uses more glucose during times of intense mental need.

Without enough glucose, the central nervous system is affected, which can cause dizziness or mental and physical weakness.

2. Eggs

Eggs are also a good source of choline. Choline is an essential nutrient that helps form cells deep inside the brain. Eggs also contain high levels of protein, iron, and vitamin A, which promote cell growth and repair.

Children can eat 1-2 eggs per day. The recommended amount of choline for children is: 

  • 7 to 12 months: 150 mg daily
  • 200 mg daily from 1 to 3 years old
  • 250 mg daily from 4 to 8 years old
  • 375 mg daily from 9 to 13 years old
  • 550 mg daily from 14 to 18 years old

3. Milk, yogurt, cheese

Milk, yogurt, and cheese are rich in lactose, when in the body, lactose will be broken down into glucose molecules. Meanwhile, our brain and nerve tissue are made up of galactose and other nutrients. Therefore, milk also plays an important role in the intellectual development and normal functioning of the brain.

Children need to be exclusively breastfed from birth until they turn 6 months old, then reasonable complementary foods combined with breastfeeding until 2 years of age or longer.

Dosage of milk and dairy products for each age of children:

  • For children over 2 years old: Should choose milk and milk products suitable for each stage of the child’s development. If children are at risk of being overweight or obese, they should choose low-fat or skim milk and milk products.
  • Children 3-5 years old should have 4 units of milk and dairy products per day, equivalent to 15g of cheese (1 piece of cheese), 100ml of yogurt (1 box of yogurt), and 200ml of liquid milk (2 glasses of milk). small).
  • The Children 6-7 years old should have 4.5 units of milk and dairy products per day, equivalent to 15g of cheese (1 piece of cheese), 100ml of yogurt (1 box of yogurt) and 250ml of liquid milk (2). ,5 small glasses of milk).
  • Children 8-9 years old should have 5 units of milk and dairy products per day, equivalent to 30g of cheese (2 pieces of cheese), 100ml of yogurt (1 box of yogurt), and 200ml of liquid milk (2 glasses of milk). small).
  • From 10-19 years old should use 6 units of milk and dairy products per day, equivalent to 30g of cheese (2 pieces of cheese), 200ml of yogurt (2 boxes of yogurt), and 200ml of liquid milk (2 glasses of milk). small).

4. Green vegetables

Green vegetables such as collard greens, sweet vegetables, spinach, kale… are rich in folate and vitamins, minerals and fiber that are good for young brains.

If children are lazy to eat vegetables, you can add sauce to vegetables to attract children to eat vegetables more.

5. Nuts

Early in life, a child’s mind and brain grow very quickly. Right after birth, the average baby’s brain will increase 2 grams per day, by the age of 7 the child’s brain will have reached about 90% of the adult brain size.

Omega is a very important nutrient that supports the formation and development of the brain because the gray matter of the brain is mostly omega fatty acids. Omega mainly includes DHA, EPA, and ALA, helping to create the sensitivity of neurons, helping to transmit information quickly and accurately, helping to increase concentration, and attention, and supporting cognitive improvement for children. , helps children to react quickly, remember well, and increase their ability to learn, evaluate, and imitate.

If there is a lack of omega, in the process of development children will have low IQ and EQ, increasing the potential risk of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, behavioral disorder, or depression.

Omega has 2 sources: plant omega and animal omega. Plant omegas are found in many nuts: green beans, black beans, peanuts, flaxseeds, walnuts, and black currants.

6. Types of fish

As analyzed above, omega is very important for brain development. Animal omega is abundant in fish, especially marine fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring… Feeding children fish will be very good for brain development.

7. Lean meats, seafood

In beef, lean pork, and seafood (shrimp, crab, clam, …) there is a lot of iron. Iron is an essential micronutrient for blood formation. If iron deficiency will lead to anemia in the body, anemia in the brain, fatigue, poor concentration, a feeling of drowsiness, and loss of alertness.

8. Fruits

Fruits often contain a lot of antioxidants, which help children’s brains develop better. Strawberries, apricots, guava…. Apples are rich in antioxidants. Bananas are often considered brain food because they are rich in potassium and magnesium.

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