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The first five years of your child's life is very crucial, this is the time when the one's brain development is at its peak. 'A healthy balanced diet is not only good for kids' growth but also for their brain development. Beginning with required nutrition at the early stage supports healthy eating practice and motivates them to build the appropriate food choices later in life,' Jasmin James, Consultant Nutrition, Motherhood Hospital, Sarjapur Road. Here she lists out certain foods that are crucial for your toddler's brain development and should be definitely included in the little one's diet one way or the other.
#1 Whole grain cereals: Whole grains especially oatmeal is good sources of complex carbohydrates and fibre. It gets digested slowly providing kids with a steady stream of energy. It contains vitamin B which is good for the nervous system and stabilizes the glucose level. Oats are a great food to give during weaning through toddlerhood. A healthy start to the day can improve focus, concentration and memory in younger kids too.
#2 Egg: They are rich sources of protein. The protein inside the egg is of the highest quality and it also contains vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E and vitamin B12. Egg yolk contains a concentrated amount of choline which helps in the brain development of kids. Choline also helps to boost memory. Egg yolk contains iron which is important for good brain function. The high choline in eggs obtained from the mothers' diet can help the brain develop normally and may even prevent birth defects in the fetus.
#3 Nuts: Walnuts, almonds and peanuts are packed with vitamin E, an antioxidant that protects nerve membranes. Walnuts are the top nut for brain health. They have a significantly high concentration of DHA, a type of omega-3 fatty acid. Among other things, DHA has been shown to protect brain health in the newborn.
#4 Dark-colour vegetables: Vegetables like tomato, sweet potato, pumpkin, carrot are excellent sources of antioxidants to keep the brain cells healthy. These foods can be given right from the weaning days.
# 5Fatty Fishes: Fish is also considered as best food for brain development in children. Fatty fishes like salmon, sardines, and mackerel are high in omega 3 fatty acids. These essential fatty acids are needed for brain growth as well as the well-being of heart and joints. Fish is also a good source of vitamin D. This nutrient is important for bone health and for supporting the immune system.
#6 Yogurt: Dairy products are good sources of vitamin B which is necessary for the growth of brain tissue, neurotransmitters, and enzymes. It's a great source of protein and carbohydrates. Yogurt can be given from weaning age. Yogurt also contains a healthy number of good bacteria that help to boost your child immune system as well as aid digestion.
#7 Greens: Green vegetables such as spinach, kale and chard are good sources of folate and other vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and iron. These essential nutrients are important for brain health. In pregnancy, folate has been long linked with supporting fetal neural tube development.
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