9 Foods Your Baby Must Eat For Strong Memory & Concentration, & How To Feed Them
7 mins read
Food & Nutrition for Baby, Toddlers
As parents, all of us want our kids to do well in school. But for the brain to work properly, it must be supplied with the right nutrients from an early age. Doctors recommend that we must feed our babies certain brain foods to improve concentration and attention span. These foods will also improve your child's memory and aid in their all-round development.
The type of food a child eats doesn’t only benefit his body but affects his brain as well. In fact, the brain is the first organ to absorb nutrients from food! Eating healthy is key to a healthy brain, which is why it’s important to make sure your child’s diet is nutritious and has ample ingredients to make his concentration sharp!
Brain Foods For Concentration in Kids
No, the colour is not important merely for visual appeal (though as moms we know that colour surely helps in making food more appealing to your fussy eater). Veggies such as tomatoes, spinach and carrots which are rich and deep in colour are full of antioxidants. These antioxidants slow down brain-aging and help brain cells to remain healthy and strong. This lets your child's concentration develop from an early age. Make sure to include green leafy vegetables in your diet - they've been found to slow cognitive decline due to their Vitamin K content.
How To Feed: We recommend Tomato Basil Soup, Creamy Palak Soup, and good old Gajar Ka Halwa.
Berries such as strawberries, cherries, blueberries and blackberries are packed with Vitamin C and antioxidants, which are excellent brain foods for concentration and memory. The seeds of the berries also contain omega-3 fatty acids that further aid brain development and functioning. In fact, research on pregnancy diet and cognitive development suggests that berries and other fruits consumed during pregnancy will boost the baby's intelligence!
How To Feed: The best pick for summers is this Berry Milkshake. Please be careful that your baby does not have any allergies to berries; some babies do. It might be best to start feeding this only after your little one turns 1.
This is one of the most nutritious grains for the brain. Oats are full of fibre and are a good source of Vitamins B and E as well as potassium and zinc, which help both the body and brain function properly.
How To Feed: Try out this Oats Porridge with Chikoo recipe. Best part is, during the morning rush, this oats porridge recipe can come to your rescue as an instant breakfast not just for your baby but for your complete family!
Eggs certainly are one of the best sources of proteins. But did you know that they’re also one of the best foods to increase concentration in toddlers and babies? Choline, which helps in boosting memory power, is present in egg yolk.
How To Feed: Include an egg a day in your child’s diet so he can reap the benefits of this wonder food. Avoid feeding egg whites to babies under 1 as some babies may display an allergy toward it, or find it hard to digest.
Did You Know: Even your choice in Pizza can improve your brain function! The right toppings on your pizza like olives and chicken tikka masala (due to its turmeric content) can boost your brain power. Other takeaway foods that help in boosting brain function and memory include falafel, egg fried rice & salmon-filled sushi.
Milk is a leading source of energy for the brain! It contains vitamin B, which is essential for the growth of brain tissue and enzymes, and proteins and carbohydrates.
How To Feed: You can start feeding cow's milk or soya milk to your child after he turns 1 year of age. Before that, it is best to stick only to breastmilk or formula milk as cow's milk may be too heavy for their delicate tummy. You can also try other dairy items such as cheese and paneer. Be careful and slow while feeding these items to rule out symptoms of allergy or intolerance.
Who doesn’t like nuts? But they are also extremely beneficial foods for the brain apart from being tasty! Peanuts, almonds and walnuts are amazing and doctor-tested foods for brain power and concentration. The presence of zinc & Vitamin E in nuts also makes them a good source of food for memory enhancement and brain development. In fact, as per a study on Vitamin E benefits, high Vitamin E intake might help in preventing cognitive decline as your child grows older.
How To Feed: Your child can start eating nuts (powdered, and not whole as whole nuts can be a choking risk) after he turns 1. Nuts allergy is fairly common so please watch out for any rashes or tummy upsets, in which case you need to consult the doctor. It is better to feed nuts mixed with foods and shakes rather than offering them separately at a young age. You can serve nuts by making nuts-powder and adding it to milk, porridge, or laddoos.
The brain requires a regular supply of glucose, and whole grains is a rich source of the same. Providing a steady supply of energy to the brain helps improve concentration. Whole grains also contain folate that assists in the proper functioning of the brain.
How To Feed: Opt for whole grains over processed or refined flour. You can look at brown rice, barley and whole wheat pasta. Try out this Vaangi Baath With Brown Rice recipe. It is a good combination of grains and nutritious veggies. You can cut down on the spices as per your child's age, and remember to avoid sugar and salt till your baby turns 1.
Fishes such as tuna and salmon are a great source of fatty acids like omega-3. Eating fatty/oily fish at least once a week can improve memory and keep the brain healthier. According to some studies, omega-3 is critical for brain function and structure, while also an essential dietary component for better mental health.
How To Feed: Make sure you select fish properly and stay away from fish that could have high-mercury, such as king mackerel, shark and tile-fish. You can instead feed tuna, salmon and catfish - they are nutritious as well as safe. You can serve fish in mashed or pureed form initially, after de-boning and cooking it.
Finally, the good old yoghurt is also a super baby brain development food that you shouldn't miss out on. As per doctors, yogurt keeps the brain cell membranes flexible and helps the brain to send and receive information. It is also rich in Vitamin B complex which are necessary for the growth of brain tissues and neurotransmitters.
How To Feed: You can start feeding yoghurt to babies around 7-8 months of age, or even at 6 months. It is best to select a whole milk yogurt (or homemade) to avoid any preservatives or additives.
In addition to these foods, you can also try out a few games for cognitive development. These games are apt for kids in preschool and older.
Key Takeaway: Find out about games for cognitive development in early education with help from an experienced educator in this free video clip.
Including essential nutrients in a child’s diet is very important for his physical as well as mental development. Our brain is shaped by what we eat, and as parents, it is our responsibility to make our little one's diet as nourishing as possible! If you know of other foods to eat for concentration in kids, do let us and other moms know. Just drop in a comment below.