6 Great Foods That Could Impact Your Baby’s Brain Development
This blog is written by Jump and Clap in-house experts. All credit goes to Jump and Clap.
Alyson Shaw, a paediatrician at Ottawa’s Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario recently echoed that boosting your baby’s brain development doesn’t need to be complicated or complex. It is definitely not as daunting as it may sound. In fact, it is supposed to be a simple part of the daily routine. The most important aspect to care for is what you actually feed your little one on a daily basis. Naturally, you want to give the best head start possible and obviously that starts with the head or more precisely, your baby’s brain which will undergo rapid development in the first few months of life.
Here, we will try to enlist the best 6 foods that can be vital in ensuring your baby gets the best possible diet. But it is important to note that after breast milk, the best diet for babies is one that includes a variety of nutrient-rich food.
According to Dr Sarah Jane Schwarzenberg, a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Nutrition, ” we want paediatricians to be recommending a healthy spectrum of foods and not simply telling parents to give their baby certain foods.”
But anyway, as part of a diverse and varied diet, we would suggest the following foods to support your baby’s brain development.
Almonds and for that matter, almond butter would be a great source of zinc as it plays a crucial role especially in your baby’s formative years. Almonds are also a great source of healthy fats and proteins.
Recent research ✓ found that introducing nut products early can dramatically decrease the likelihood that your baby will develop an allergy later. You can easily incorporate almond butter in your baby food recipes especially in the first 6 months.
For example, Dr Tanya Altmann, in her article in ‘Today’ listed nut butter as one of the surprising foods to give your baby. She said that suggested you melt one tablespoon of the butter into one ounce of baby whole-grain oatmeal.
Later, when the baby starts to self-feeding, you can spread a thin layer of almond butter on a thin slice of whole-grain bread.
Packed with carbohydrates, whole grains provide essential glucose and energy to fuel the brain. They are also full of B-vitamins, which nourish a healthy nervous system. According to the research done by Caroline R.Mahoney and Priscilla Sammuel ✓, a breakfast filled with whole grains improves short-term memory and attention. Whole grains are found in baby cereals, granary breads, rye, wild rice, quinoa and buckwheat. Wholegrain foods are also high in fiber, which regulates glucose supply into the body. It is easy to find more whole grain cereals these days but just make sure a whole grain is the first ingredient listed.
Whole grains such as oatmeal should be pulverized and boiled with water. Once cooked, mix it accordingly with yoghurt or fruit of baby puree blend. effect of breakfast composition on cognitive processes in elementary school children.
Babies’ growing brains required DHA, an Omega-3 fatty acid that is essential to cognitive development. Salmon provides an excellent dietary source of DHA. Susan Brewer ✓ in her studies noted that babies and toddlers have immature livers and can’t synthesize enough DHA to ensure an adequate supply to their developing nerve tissues.
If small children are going to get DHA, they must ingest in their food. Salmon fish can be introduced into your baby’s diet from around six months of age. It is recommended they have two portions a week.
By enjoying salmon, babies brains can develop to their best potential. Infants who get the Omegas they need have been proven to have higher IQs.
In 2014, Science line✓ explains that salmon, in particular, is packed with DHA, an Omega- 3 fatty acid which wakes up more than two- thirds of the brain’s fatty acid.
Though admittedly it is not easy to offer a single vegetable, they could be used as a blend so they are tolerated better. It is easier if you could blend carrots with spinach and apple.
But studies recommended that such leafy vegetables should only be introduced to babies when they are closer to 10 months onward. It must be noted that leafy greens such as spinach or kale provide some important nutrients like lutein and Vitamin K which contribute to positive brain activity.
They also are an excellent source of iron, calcium, Vitamins A and C. Studies have found that Kale contains Sulforaphane and Diindolylmethane which aid the growth of brain cells.
Eggs are superfood for brain development. The egg yolk is a storehouse of vital vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It is also packed with Choline which helps memory development.
Recently one new study ✓ suggests that feeding babies one egg per day for six months could dramatically boost brain function. The study followed 163 babies over several years. Around half of the babies ate an egg every day, while the other half didn’t eat any eggs. A subsequent blood test proved that the babies who had eaten eggs had a significantly higher level of Choline and DHA.
Therefore, you should consider introducing more eggs into your baby’s diets sine Choline and DHA play a vital role in brain development a function. You can also add egg into any suitable homemade baby food recipes to fortify their diets with Choline and DHA.
Avocados are a good source of food to promote babies’ brain development. According to Steven Pratt ✓, avocados are rich in monounsaturated fat which contributes to healthy blood flow which means a healthy brain. Simply put, avocados are a goldmine for nutrients that are beneficial for brain health.
Apart from monounsaturated fat, they are rich in potassium, vitamin K and foliate. You can offer your baby avocado as soon as 4 to 6 months old and ready to start solid food. Avocados are easily mashed and be mixed with other fruits like bananas and peaches as well as with yoghurt.
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