What should you be feeding your little ones to nourish their bodies and minds. Here's what…
If your child is struggling to concentrate in class and doesn’t have much energy on the playing field, you need to take a look at their diet.
A quarter of the food energy we consume is used to keep the brain functioning, so it’s important to know what foods sustain your child’s brain and which can rob their body of vitamins.
Try to involve the whole family in decoding food labels, spotting high sugar content and additives. If your child’s brain is getting what it needs, you will find they perform better – from playing guitar and sitting exams to playing rugby, football or netball.
So, how do you tell a brain goodie from a brain baddie?
Here’s what to look out for:
Colour Naturally bright-coloured foods are good for you. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, prunes and so on, are great because they contain antioxidants that have been linked to improving memory.
Omega 3 Omega 3 is great for struggling students. A study was carried out on children who were having trouble focusing and were falling behind in class. They were given a supplement of omega 3 fish oil each day, and, soon, their learning difficulties lessened and they started to improve.
Omega 3 also supplies fatty acids that are associated with increasing visual clarity and brain alertness in young children.
Breast milk is rich in these fatty acids, and foods such as flax seeds, canola, soybeans, walnuts, butternuts and red and black currents are also valuable sources. Oily fish is a great way to get your dose of omega 3, and you should join your children on this one, as it has been found to reduce the damage caused by dementia.
One study showed that eating at least one fish meal per week may significantly lower the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Vitamin B Foods that include B vitamins are great to help with stress. Vitamin B can be found lurking in whole grains like wheat and oats (so giving your little ones porridge for breakfast is a good idea), fish, chicken, meat, eggs, milk, yoghurt, cheese, green veggies and oranges.
Water Six to eight glasses per day helps your brain and whole body. Water speeds up your metabolism and flushes toxins out of your body. Much better than fizzy pop for thirsty nippers.