Baby nutrition: foods for mental development

In the first year of life, a child’s weight triples, physical skills, first words and sentences are mastered, but the most impressive changes occur in the brain.

In the first months of life, the brain develops most intensively – millions of neural connections are created in one second, thanks to which feelings, physical skills and thinking are improved. The brain up to three years of life realizes its potential much more actively than in adulthood, so it needs good nutrition and a lot of energy.

Mother’s milk up to six months is the best menu option for a small child. Breast milk contains all the essentials to support brain development, the immune system and physical activity. After the sixth month, nutrition no longer consists only of milk, new products are gradually introduced, the quality of which should be at a high level. Of course, all natural products are useful, but not every one of them has a huge impact on intelligence.

Valuable omega-3 fatty acids 

You have probably heard of them. DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), ARA (arachidonic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) are the constituents of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA) that contribute to the proper development of the central nervous system and brain. Thanks to them, children grasp information “on the fly” and better navigate their own actions. DHA is specialized in improving vision, and together with EPA stimulates the production of happiness hormones – serotonin and dopamine.

Omega-3 encourages the child to explore the world around him and motivates him to independently solve complex problems. ARA protects the brain and restores neurons. The correct dosage of LC-PUFA is passed in mother’s milk or through powdered milk formula. In the second half of life, these fats can be obtained from fatty sea fish (salmon, mackerel, sardine, cod), vegetable oil (rapeseed) and avocados.


Products for the mental development of the child include minerals. The kid receives a lot of new impressions, so as not to lose stimulating information, the brain needs impeccable cooperation of neurons, which is supported by iron and zinc. The first element improves concentration and work efficiency, facilitates the transfer of oxygen to cells. The second one takes part in the processes of memorization and stabilizes the perception of emotional experiences. For the coordinated functioning of the brain, iodine is also necessary, which fights toxins that destroy neurons.

Studies show that iodine deficient children have problems doing well in school. Note that all these substances are found in breast and artificial milk, however, iron is almost completely absorbed only from mother’s milk. When expanding the children’s menu, don’t miss out on foods like eggs and meat.


The kid is interested in everything at once, one toy is replaced by another in a minute, and all the slides and swings will be tried on the playground in 10 minutes. The ability to concentrate on one action leaves much to be desired. The ability to focus on one thing is necessary in learning, and it develops not only through games, but also with the help of nutrition. The development of concentration is supported by B vitamins and lecithin, the sources of which are wheat germ, dairy products, poultry meat, leafy vegetables and potatoes.

Regular meals

In addition to useful substances, the regular intake of food that improves intellectual abilities is important. Newborns eat 10-12 times a day, when the child begins to actively explore the world, the intervals between feedings are reduced. If more than 3-4 hours pass between meals, physical and mental performance decreases. Make sure that the baby eats varied meals at least five times a day, then the products for mental development will have the greatest impact on his body.