The first three years of a baby’s life is the most essential when it comes to development, with the brain being one of the most vital areas of development that needs to be cared for to ensure the child does not experience problems later in life.
The brain food for babies helps in supporting the development of the baby’s brain. He figures out how to think, react and solve problems. Activities like playing games, listening to music and letting him explore his surroundings encourage the functioning of his grey cells. When it comes to nurturing your child’s brain, nutrition plays a critical role. Here are a few foods that can boost your baby’s brain development.
Vegetables that have rich, deep colours are excellent sources of antioxidants. Antioxidants help to keep the brain cells healthy. Some of the best vegetables for the brain are sweet potato, pumpkins, and carrots. Green leafy vegetables like kale, chard, spinach and collard greens are rich in folate, which keeps dementia at bay. Kale contains Sulforaphane and Diindolylmethane, which aid the growth of brain cells.
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Bananas are full of carbohydrates, which provide sustained energy, as well as fibre to support a healthy digestive tract. They’re a perfectly portable baby food, as they come in their own easy-to-peel packaging. When serving bananas to young babies, make sure they are ripe and thoroughly mashed. Older babies can eat chopped bananas as finger food, but they should also be ripe so they’re easy for young eaters to mash and chew.
Eggs are packed with goodness. Egg whites are mainly protein and the yolks provide zinc and vitamins A, D, E, and B12. The yolk also has choline, which research shows, is crucial for brain health and development. Traditionally, paediatricians have advised parents to not serve eggs — especially egg whites — until after the first year because of the potential for allergic reactions. But that advice is now changing, and some experts believe that eggs should be delayed only in families that have a history of allergies. Since eggs are an excellent source of protein and other nutrients, talk to your paediatrician once your baby starts eating solid foods to see when it’s OK to introduce them.
Whole grain porridge
Offering your baby a whole grain cereal blend is a nutritious option. Whole grains such as oatmeal, quinoa and barley should be pulverized and blended into a fine powder form and boiled with water. Once cooked, mix it accordingly with breast milk, yoghurt or a fruit/ vegetable blend. Whole grains offer fibre and are a source of protein.
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Avocados have the highest protein content of any fruit and are rich in the good, monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids that little ones need in their diets for good health. They also have a high-calorie content, which makes them good for growing tots. Ripe, mashed avocado is the perfect, easy, super-healthy baby food. You can serve this for six months.
Meat and fish
Meat is abundant in zinc, iron, and protein, which ensure your baby’s brain health. Fish, such as salmon are also full of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which will make your baby mentally agile. These can be fed in the form of soup or stew in combination with potatoes and carrots. Boil the meat along with your baby’s favourite vegetables. Puree the mixture and give it to your little one with mashed rice or simply as a stew.
Oats contain adequate amounts of zinc, B-complex vitamins, and Vitamin E. Also a rich source of fibre, it will not only give your baby’s brain and body lots of energy but also ensure a great memory.
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This is a commonly known fact – milk is good for babies. Sometimes, however, the brain benefits of milk are overlooked. Scientists have discovered that the consumption of dairy products can lead to healthier levels of glutathione in the brain, which is a powerful antioxidant that assists with brain power and performance.
While it’s easier to feed babies their favourite foods, it’s important to make sure they’re eating a range of healthy foods. We all tend to pick one or two things the child likes and not stray too much from them. But if you are really looking at developing good brain health, then you really must look at a variety of foods.