Guest Post by Kendra Stewart:
Every once in awhile, like when I don’t feel like writing or I have a headache, or I am going on vacation, or just want to spend time with my family instead of wasting my life on Facebook, I like to give other writers/bloggers/moms an opportunity to share their wisdom and thoughts about parenting and health. This gal approached me and asked if she could share her wisdom on “brain foods” for kids – so I figured this fitness expert knew a few things since one of my kids only wants to eat turkey hotdogs and PB & J. So without further adieu…let’s make some MART KIDS!! ~ Nurse Mommy
Do you want your children to perform optimally in school? It is important that you understand that their diet is very important to their overall academic success. The foods we eat play such an important role in influencing our moods, emotions and mental health. There are powerful “brain foods” that can help foster a child’s brain growth, as well as improve memory, brain function and concentration. This can really translate to success in the classroom.
You may be surprised to learn that your brain is an incredibly hungry organ that is ready to absorb nutrients from the foods we eat, according to Bethany Thayer, MS, RD, a Detroit nutritionist and spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association (ADA). Your brain consumes roughly 25 percent of all the calories you eat, which is quite a large amount when you consider the fact that the brain accounts for less than 2 percent of a person’s body weight.
So, what are some excellent brain foods you should incorporate in your children’s diet? Let’s take a look at five of them. Read on, curious mommy…
Salmon is such an incredible source of the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, both of which are necessary for brain growth and function. According to WebMD, omega-3 fatty acids can boost heart health and lower triglycerides, a blood fat that is a risk factor for heart disease. Studies have also revealed that omega-3 fatty acids may help with such conditions as rheumatoid arthritis and depression. The bottom line is that you should add salmon to your children’s diets.
Oatmeal is a classic breakfast item that is also an excellent brain food for your children. Oatmeal is packed with fiber that will keep your children’s brains fed all morning at school. Oats are also a rich source of vitamin E, B-vitamins, potassium and zinc, which enables our brains to function optimally. A hot bowl of oatmeal can be topped with cinnamon, applesauce, pecans, brown sugar, almonds or dried fruit.
Eggs are another excellent way to start the day right. Eggs are a rich source of protein but the yolks are also packed with choline, which aids in memory development. The yolk portion provides your kids the ability to focus and improve their overall concentration. Your kids may enjoy a breakfast egg burrito before classes start early in the morning.
Glucose is the obligatory energy substrate for the brain and whole grains provide a constant source of glucose. Whole-grain is a must for the sandwiches your prepare for your children and you should make the switch to whole-grain tortillas, chips and wraps.
Milk & Yogurt
Dairy foods are loaded with proteins and B-vitamins, which foster the growth of brain tissue, neurotransmitters and enzymes. According to WebMD, children and teens need 10 times more than the recommended dose of vitamin D. Vitamin D plays an important role in brain development and function and low levels may impair cognitive function. Dairy foods such as milk and yogurt are an excellent source of vitamin D.
Food is fuel. By incorporating these “brain foods” into your children’s regular diets, you can ensure that they are energized and ready to tackle a day at school and engage in extracurricular activities afterward.
Kendra Stewart is a proud wife and mother of two children, freelance writer in the health and fitness niche and web content coordinator BabyChangingStation.com. Kendra has incorporated these powerful “brain foods” into her children’s diets.