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5 Brain Foods for Preschoolers

5 Brain Foods for Preschoolers

Preschoolers love adventures: they like to explore their surroundings, feel textures, and try new things. For this reason, helping boost their brainpower should be a priority. One way to do it is by giving them brain superfoods. Here are some brain foods for preschoolers.

Eggs

Eggs are not only rich in proteins; they are also a type of brain superfood. One study involving 2,500 participants revealed that those who ate an equivalent of 1 egg daily scored better on some cognitive tests than men who ate eggs less often.

According to experts, it’s probably because eggs are packed with “choline,” a chemical that our body transforms into acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that helps brain cells communicate.

What’s even more promising is that some reports indicate that choline may also protect us from cognitive decline later in life.

brain foods for preschoolers

Leafy greens

Your kid may not like them, but we’re definitely including leafy greens in our list of brain foods for preschoolers.

Researchers discovered that leafy greens might help preserve our cognitive functions.

In the study, the participants who ate an equivalent of 1 serving of leafy greens daily exhibited a cognitive function comparable to that of someone 11 years younger than them.

The report also mentioned that green, leafy vegetables contain nutrients like lutein, vitamin E, and folate that help slow down cognitive decline.

Berries

If you’re shopping for foods for preschoolers’ brain development, don’t forget to add berries to the list.

A large-scale study noted that women who ate more berries (strawberries and blueberries) appeared to have “reduced rates of cognitive decline.”

Furthermore, experts explain that berries are rich in flavonoids that can cross the blood-brain barrier. These flavonoids can potentially promote learning and memory functions because of their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

In the study, the women ate half a cup of berries daily. When serving them to your preschooler, don’t forget to chop them into smaller pieces to reduce choking risk.

To learn more about your preschooler’s nutritional needs and serving sizes, you can check out this article.

Nutritional Needs of Preschoolers: Guide for Parents

Oily fish

Did you know that our brain is the fattiest organ in the body?

So, it’s not surprising that it needs some kinds of fats to keep it healthy. Interestingly, oily fish like salmon, tuna, sardines, and mackerel contain omega-3 fatty acids that help fuel the brain. And as the doctors explain, a healthy brain promotes focus and learning in kids.

Oily fish also helps boost your preschooler’s brainpower because it contains vitamin D, which, according to experts, is one of the “crucial brain foods all children need.”

Milk

The main reason you encourage your child to drink milk is likely because it’s excellent for their bones; but did you know that milk is also one of the foods for brain development in preschoolers?

According to experts, milk contains proteins and vitamin B, essential nutrients that promote the formation of brain tissues, enzymes, and neurotransmitters. Additionally, it also contains carbohydrates, which is the brain’s preferred energy source.

What’s even more promising is that one study revealed that drinking milk potentially increases glutathione in the brain. Glutathione is an antioxidant capable of staving off damage-causing oxidative stress.

Here’s a good tip: from time to time, you can also give your preschooler yogurt. Like milk, it also packs vitamin B and proteins.

Preschool Stage: Nurturing Cognitive Development

Reminders

When giving brain foods to your preschoolers, you need to take note of the following reminders:

  • You might be tempted to frequently give them these superfoods for the brain, but keep in mind that a balanced diet with a variety of foods is crucial for their overall health. It will surely help to consult a pediatrician regarding your child’s nutritional needs.
  • How you prepare food matters. Your preschooler may not readily accept new foods (especially fish and leafy greens), but don’t give up. Get creative in food preparation and arrangements to make foods more enticing to them.
  • Diet is just one part of boosting your kid’s brain development. Spending time with them while doing fun, learning activities also helps promote cognitive functions.

Learn more about Parenting a Preschooler here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

High cholesterol intake and eggs do not increase risk of memory disorders
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/01/170109093015.htm
Accessed December 31, 2020

Nutrients and bioactives in green leafy vegetables and cognitive decline
https://n.neurology.org/content/90/3/e214
Accessed December 31, 2020

Dietary intakes of berries and flavonoids in relation to cognitive decline
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/ana.23594
Accessed December 31, 2020

Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids and the brain: a review of the independent and shared effects of EPA, DPA and DHA
https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnagi.2015.00052/full
Accessed December 31, 2020

Milk could be good for your brain
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/03/150324101447.htm
Accessed December 31, 2020

The crucial brain foods all children need
https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/brain-food-children-nutrition-2018012313168
Accessed December 31, 2020

Picture of the author
Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. on Jan 04
Medically reviewed by Hello Doctor Medical Panel
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