Superfoods for Brain Development in Children – A Must-Have Guide for Parents

Thu, 20 May by Kunal

What kids eat determines the growth of their brains, and consequently, their intelligence. Therefore, parents must make sure that their child's diet consists of all the essential nutrients critical for developing their brain.

To help you, we have explained below the role of essential nutrients in brain growth and the top superfoods for brain development in childrena.

Essential Nutrients For Brain Development In Children

Although all nutrients are essential for kids, these four are particularly excellent to ensure complete nutrition for a child's brain development

  • Antioxidants

    Antioxidants protect children's brains as well as bodies from wear and tear.

  • Choline

    Choline is one of the best brain-boosting nutrients for kids since it is essential for the development of brain, memory, and muscle function. It is also a critical nutrient that helps the brain communicate with the body.

  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids

    Omega-3 fatty acids are healthy fats that include ALA, DHA, and EPA. They help in stabilising the mood and are also critical for brain and eye development.

  • Complex Carbs

    Complex carbohydrates are critical in developing and enhancing the brain's functionality. To put it in simpler words, complex carbs are the source of fuel for the brain. They are broken down into glucose, which is then used as energy by the brain as well as the body.

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Child's Brain Development Foods

Let's read in detail about the top 10 child's brain development foods.

  • Whole Grains

    Whole grains can be considered the best foods for a child's brain growth since they consist of vitamin E, an antioxidant that nourishes the brain and prevents Alzheimer's disease. Whole-grain foods include brown rice, barley, millet, oatmeal, etc.

  • Peanut Butter

    Peanut butter is rich in protein, which is critical in protecting the nervous system and boosting mood.

  • Nuts and Seeds

    Nuts and seeds, such as walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, and sunflower seeds, are superfoods for brain development in children since they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that promote better brain functioning. They also consist of vitamin E, which is known for protecting the brain from stress and improving concentration.

  • Eggs

    Eggs are rich in protein and help in improving concentration in kids.

  • Fish

    Fatty fish (for example, salmon) consist of healthy fats, such as DHA and EPA. These fatty acids are necessary for the development of the brain and its functions.

  • Greek Yoghurt

    Greek yoghurt has good fats that help in regulating signals to and from the brain.

  • Greens

    Leafy greens such as cabbage, spinach, kale, and mint are superfoods for brain development since they consist of various nutrients, including iron, vitamin, and protein. Moreover, antioxidants in these leafy vegetables help brain cells grow, which prevents diseases and aids in sharp thinking.

  • Beetroot

    Beetroot provides the right nutrition for a child's brain development. It regulates blood flow to the brain, and therefore, sharpens kids' minds.

  • Apples

    Apples are easily one of the best foods for a child's brain growth since they are a rich source of antioxidants that improve brain function and reduce the risk of diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.

  • Dark Chocolate

    Caffeine in dark chocolate wakes the brain up and helps children concentrate better. Also, cacao in dark chocolate helps in preventing memory-related diseases. However, make sure to keep the consumption of dark chocolate in children limited.

Kid-Approved Recipes Using For Brain Development & Powerful Memory

One way to help your child is to feed them right. That now just provides nutrients to their bodies but also feeds their brain for proper development. The right foods eaten in the right way can help your child concentrate and improve their memory as well.

Here are 8 kid-approved recipes that you can make quickly and easily for your child. They are loaded with brain foods that help in improving memory, focus and concentration. There are recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and we have included a dessert recipe as well.

Get started with the shopping list of ingredients you will need to make these 8 power-packed recipes. When going through the recipes, you will also find brainy facts about ingredients used in the recipes.

 

Braintastic Oatmeal

This oatmeal recipe is the ultimate breakfast recipe to give your child a jumpstart first thing in the morning. It is jam-packed with brain foods.

Oats help with blood flow in the brain, improving attention and concentration. Berries help boost brain function. Apples protect brain cells. Walnuts enhance cognitive performance. Pumpkin seeds protect the brain from free radical damage. Dark Chocolate improves brain function. Honey improves memory-related brain function.

  • Ingredients

    • ½ cup Oats
    • 1 cup Milk
    • ¼ cup Water
    • ¼ cup Berries
    • ½ Banana
    • ¼ Apple
    • 5 Walnuts
    • 2 tbsp Pumpkin Seeds
    • 2 tbsp Dark Chocolate Chips
    • 1 tbsp Honey
  • Instructions

    • Cook oats in milk & water on the stovetop
    • While oats are cooking, slice the berries & bananas and shred the apple
    • Pour cooked oatmeal in a bowl and top with fruit
    • Add chopped walnuts, pumpkin seeds & chocolate chips
    • Drizzle the honey on top & serve

Power Omelette

Omelettes are the perfect food to start your child's day with a dose of superfoods for their brains.

Eggs help regulate mood and memory while aiding in brain health and development. Yoghurt & Cheese both support brain function. Ginger & Garlic are good for proper brain and nervous system functions. Black Pepper improves cognitive function. Spinach helps to slow down cognitive decline. Coconut Oil is excellent for instant brain energy.

  • Ingredients

    • 2 Eggs
    • 1 tbsp Water
    • 1 tbsp Yogurt
    • ¼ cup Cheese
    • ¼ cup Cooked Spinach
    • ½ tsp Chopped Garlic
    • ½ tsp Grated Ginger
    • Salt & Pepper to taste
    • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • Instructions

    • Whisk together eggs, water & yoghurt and heat coconut oil in a pan
    • Pour the egg mixture into the hot pan and let it sit until the edges seem cooked
    • Gently flip the omelette and cheese & spinach to one half
    • When cooked, fold the other half on top ad serve

Peanut Butter & Jelly Smoothie

Smoothies are a great way to sneak nutrition-rich foods into your child's diet. This one, in particular, is a kids favourite while being super-duper good for their brain health.

Milk helps brain performance. Peanuts help keep the brain healthy and functioning properly. Berries help boost brain function. Bananas are good for brain energy. Chia Seeds keep mood stable and make sure that the brain keeps working at its best.

  • Ingredients

    • 1 cup Milk
    • ¼ cup Peanut Butter
    • 2 tbsp Berry Jam
    • 1 Frozen Banana
    • 1 tsp Chia Seeds
  • Instructions

    • Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
    • Serve in a fun glass with a colourful straw
    You can add 1 cup Frozen Berries (any) instead of Jam You can add 1 cup of Spinach for an extra dose of brainpower

Brainy Dal-Palak

Dal is perfect for lunch or dinner, and it can be used as the main or a side dish. It can be eaten by itself, with roti or with rice. This versatile dish is the perfect brain food for the growing minds, especially when spinach is added to it.

Urad Dal is a great brain food and makes it healthy. Spinach helps to slow down cognitive decline. Ginger & Garlic are good for proper brain and nervous system functions. Turmeric helps with stem cell growth in the brain.

  • Ingredients

    • 1 cup Urad Dal Soaked & Boiled
    • ¼ cup Mixed Dal Soaked & Boiled
    • 1 cup Chopped Onion
    • 1 cup Chopped Tomato
    • 3 cups Chopped Spinach
    • 2 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste
    • 1 tsp Turmeric
    • 1 tbsp Sambhar Masala
    • Salt & Chili Powder to Taste
    • 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
    • 4-6 Curry Leaves
    • 1 tbsp Coconut Oil
  • Instructions

    • 1 cup Urad Dal Soaked & BoiledTemper mustard seeds and curry leaves in coconut oil and add ginger garlic paste
    • Add onions and cook till translucent and then add tomatoes and cook till soft
    • Add spices and cook till mixed
    • Add dal and bring to boil
    • Finally, add spinach, close the lid and let it simmer until spinach is cooked
    • Serve however your child likes – with roti or with rice

Whole-Grain Palak-Paneer Paratha

Paneer is often a kids favourite and so are stuffed parathas. This recipe puts them together with a lot of added brain superfoods.

Whole grains help with blood flow in the brain, improving attention and concentration. Spinach helps to slow down cognitive decline. Paneer & Cheese both help brain activity. Black Pepper improves cognitive function. Coconut Oil is excellent for instant brain energy.

Paratha Dough

  • Ingredients

    • Whole Wheat Flour
    • Pureed Cooked Spinach
    • Coconut Oil
    • Salt to taste
  • Instructions

    • Mix enough spinach with flour to create paratha dough, adding oil and salt as needed - no need to add extra water.

Paratha Stuffing

  • Ingredients

    • Equal Parts Paneer & Cheese
    • Chopped Onions
    • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Instructions

    • Pulse all ingredients except the oil in a food processor until desired stuffing consistency is reached.
All you have to do now is assemble, roll and cook the parathas and serve! They also make sure great tiffin lunches.
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Brainy Pasta Sauces

Kids love pasta, and it's the best way to sneak brain foods into their diets. So make these two sauces that are loaded with power foods for the brain to help your kids with better brain function, memory, and improved attention & concentration.

Spinach-Walnut Pesto

Spinach, walnuts, olive oil, cheese, garlic, black pepper are all brain-healthy ingredients in this Pesto Sauce.

  • Ingredients

    • 4 cups Spinach
    • 4 cups Walnuts
    • 1 cup Olive Oil
    • 1 cup Parmesan Cheese
    • 2 Garlic Cloves
    • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Instructions

    • Blend everything together in a food processor until smooth
    • Serve with your child's favourite pasta
    • Add a dash of cream if your child likes creamy sauces

Tomato-Beetroot Sauce

Beets, olive oil, garlic and black pepper make this tomato sauce into a little something extra for your kid's brainpower.

  • Ingredients

    • 4 cups Tomato Pasta Sauce Ready (any recipe)
    • 2 cups Beet Puree
    • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
    • 2 Garlic Cloves
    • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Instructions

    • Heat olive oil in a pan with crushed garlic
    • Add beet puree and let it thicken
    • Add tomato sauce and season with needed salt and pepper
    • Serve with your child's favourite pasta
    • Add a dash of cream if your child likes creamy sauces. You can also use this on pizzas

Chocolicious Beetroot Brownies

These beetroot brownies are a great way to sneak in this power root vegetable without even your kids noticing. They are so yummy that you probably will need to bake several batches.

Beetroots are great for mental health and help with memory. Dark Chocolate improves brain function. Whole Grains improve attention and concentration. Eggs help regulate mood and memory while aiding in brain health and development.

  • Ingredients

    • 1 cup Beets Boiled, Peeled & Pureed
    • 250 g Butter
    • 8 oz Dark Chocolate Chopped
    • 1¼ cups Whole Grain Flour
    • 1½ tsp Baking Powder
    • 4 Eggs
    • 1 cup Coconut Palm Sugar
  • Instructions

    • Preheat oven to 350°F.
    • Melt chocolate and butter in a saucepan.
    • Whisk eggs and coconut palm sugar until light and airy.
    • Add beet puree and then slowly add the chocolate mixture until combined.
    • Add flour and baking soda and mix just until combined.
    • Pour batter into prepared pan.
    • Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until a knife, comes out with a few crumbs.
    • Cool and serve.

Brain Foods Trail Mix

Trail mix is a very convenient, easy to make, kid-approved snack that is also perfect for parents on the go.

The seeds are great for protecting the brain from free radical damage. Berries & Dark Chocolate help boost brain function.

  • Ingredients

    • 1 cup Sunflower Seeds
    • 1 cup Pumpkin Seeds
    • 1 cup Flex Seeds
    • 1 cup Dried Blueberries
    • 1 cup Dried Cranberries
    • 1 cup Dark Chocolate Chips
  • Instructions

    • Mix everything in a big bowl till combined
    • Transfer to an airtight box.You can add mini marshmallows to this train mix also if your child wants. Pack ½ servings into small bags and keep this mix handy for a super brain & energy booster snack whenever your child wants.

Now that you know what foods can act like superheroes for your kid's brain, make sure you replace junk foods, sugar, and highly processed foods in your child's diet with these superfoods for brain development. You will be amazed to see the wonderful results.

  • Find out how educational programs by PlanetSpark can help shape their mind.

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