Children’s brains grow and change rapidly.
The foods they eat are important. “These years are critical for brain development, and what they eat affects focus and cognitive skills,” says psychiatrist Drew Ramsey, MD, co-author of The Happiness Diet and Fifty Shades of Kale.
These seven foods can help kids stay sharp and affect how their brains develop well into the future.
The protein and nutrients in eggs help kids concentrate.
Fat is essential to brain health. A full-fat Greek yogurt (which has more protein than other yogurts) can help keep brain cells in good form for sending and receiving information.
Full of folate and vitamins, spinach and kale are linked to lower odds of getting dementia later in life. Kale is a super food, packed with antioxidants and other things that help new brain cells grow.
Fish is an excellent source of vitamin D and omega-3s, which protect the brain from declining mental skills and memory loss. Salmon, tuna, and sardines are all rich in omega-3s. The more omega-3s we can get to the brain, the better it will function and the better kids will be able to focus.
Nuts and Seeds
Packed with protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals, nuts and seeds may boost mood and keep your nervous system in check.
Protein- and fiber-rich oatmeal helps keep heart and brain arteries clear. In one study, kids who ate sweetened oatmeal did better on memory-related school tasks than those who ate a sugary cereal.
Apples and Plums
Kids often crave sweets, especially when they are feeling sluggish. Apples and plums are lunchbox-friendly and contain quercetin, an antioxidant that may fight the decline in mental skills.