Parenting: The Best Foods For Your Baby’s Brain Development

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Adorable black baby girl playing with blocks - foods for brain development
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Parenting: The Best Foods For Your Baby’s Brain Development

What your baby eats during the early years plays a key role in their development. Breast milk is the best diet for babies given how nutrient-rich it is. In the first two years, the baby’s brain is developing at a rather rapid rate and certain foods can help boost their brain development after weaning. This spectrum of foods helps boost babies brain development in those early years.

Leafy greens

Vegetables like spinach, kale, collard greens, and Swiss chard are great for a baby’s brain development. They contain a nutrient called lutein that serves as the main carotenoid in the brain related to memory, sensory skills, and learning. Leafy green vegetables are among the foods highest in lutein making them fantastic for brain health. Leafy greens also have iron and folate which are essential to ensure the proper functioning of the brain.

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Avocado

Avocado is so packed with nutrients that it is considered a superfood. They are packed with B complex Vitamins, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids, and a wide array of minerals involved in brain development. Vitamin E plays a role in building brain cells. The healthy fats in avocado help in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, control blood sugar, and support cardiovascular health. Avocado also has a soft creamy texture making it easy for babies to consume. They are definitely one of the best foods for brain development and overall health for babies.

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Yoghurt

Yoghurt contains calcium, protein, and healthy fat. It keeps the brain cell membranes flexible, helping the brain send and receive information. The B complex vitamins in it are necessary for the growth of brain tissues and neurotransmitters. It also promotes gut health with recent studies drawing a link between gut health and brain health. Babies also like the rich, creamy texture of yoghurt which is a plus.

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Whole grains

Whole grains improve concentration in babies by providing their brains with a constant supply of energy. They have a low glycemic index and slowly release glucose into the bloodstream keeping the baby alert throughout the day. They also contain folate which is essential for the proper functioning of the brain. Offering a baby a whole-grain cereal blend is a nutritious option. Whole grain oatmeal and whole-grain bread are also good options. Whole grains like quinoa help the blood carry oxygen to the rest of the body and help boost memories as well.

Broccoli

Broccoli has a nutrient called DHA which helps neurons connect. This vegetable also aids in detoxification, helps rebuild vitamin D stores, helps combat inflammation and lower cholesterol as well as has cancer-fighting properties.

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Nuts

Traditional nuts in their crashed butter form are a good source of healthy fat, protein, and fat-soluble vitamins. Peanuts, cashew, and almond butter are among the best to give babies. These nuts are high in vitamin E which prevents cognitive degeneration.

Nuts also contain zinc which enhances memory and brain development. Mix some nut butter into your baby’s cereal or porridge. Nuts should be introduced early and often to prevent the development of food allergies down the line. Be careful with nuts especially peanuts because some children have a peanut allergy.

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Berries

Berries boost cognitive function. The high vitamin C in them improves memory in babies and also prevents oxidative stress in the brain which results in the damage of healthy cells.

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Bananas

Bananas are packed full of potassium which improves the baby’s brain function. Bananas Are Good For Your Health – Here Is Why You Need To Eat More Of This Delicious Fruit

Apples and plums

Apples and plums contain quercetin which helps stimulate brain activity. Quercetin also fights decline in mental skills which is why they are great snacks for school-age kids whenever they feel sluggish. The skin is packed with the most nutrients.

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Lentils

Lentils are a great source of fibre, vitamin B, iron, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids all of which are listed among the nutrients that have a great impact on brain development.

Chickpeas also known as garbanzo beans are rich in vitamin B6 which is one of the nutrients crucial for a baby’s brain development in the first 1,000 days of life. Chickpeas also have high fibre content and have bone supporting nutrients like iron, phosphate, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and vitamin K.

Fish

Fish like tuna, salmon, and mackerel contain omega-3 fatty acids which provide the building blocks of the brain tissue. The omega-3 fatty acids aid in the growth and function of the brain in babies. Regular consumption of fish will improve the child’s mental skills.

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Oatmeal

Oatmeal boasts a nutrient-rich profile full of brain development essentials like vitamin K, protein, iron, phosphorus, sodium, thiamin, niacin, and folate.

One study found that kids who eat oats for breakfast perform significantly better at tasks that evaluate spatial reasoning.

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Sweet potatoes

The nutritional value of sweet potatoes is outstanding. They are high in vitamin C, vitamin A, beta-carotene, and potassium. Vitamin A is a potent signalling molecule in the brain. It improves learning and memory and can even stave off infections6 Health Benefits Of Vitamin A And Food Sources

Sweet potatoes also contain vitamin E, calcium, and folate. Sweet potatoes also have antioxidants that help keep the brain cells healthy. Their high fibre content also helps promote regular bowel movements for the baby and it’s delicious to boot.

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Getting Started

Start slowly introducing them one by one to see how they react.

Cut up, mash, and puree foods to avoid choking hazards.

Mix it up to prevent monotony and also to expose them to the different nutrients and flavours.

Eat as a family because it promotes healthy food habits right from the start.

Check out

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