Numerous studies confirm the close relationship between nutrition and brain function. When our brain is forced to work hard, it needs to be properly “fed”. It primarily requires oxygen and water to function properly.
If water is replaced with high-sugar fruit juices or carbonated drinks, the conduction of nerve impulses will be difficult, so it is not recommended to offer them to schoolchildren as a snack.
Pure still water should become a constant companion of a child of any age, so that thinking helps him make the right choice in any situation and solve school problems. Adults are responsible for a properly composed menu, they also need to set a good example in their own habits.
How to feed a student so that his brain develops successfully
To create neural pathways that allow learning, remembering, recreating knowledge and using it in practice, the following nutrients are needed:
- Magnesium. It is an important ingredient in the formation of neural networks in children, increases memory capacity. It is found in foods such as buckwheat, legumes, green leafy vegetables, cocoa, seeds, nuts, oatmeal.
- B group vitamins. Necessary for the proper development and functioning of the nervous system, increase the ability to remember and prolong the time of concentration. Contained in products: millet, buckwheat, legumes, nuts, eggs, dairy products, meat.
- Iron. Necessary for the proper development of cognitive (intellectual) functions, the metabolism of neurotransmitters and the process of myelination (this process determines the rapid transmission of impulses). Foods containing iron include: offal, meat, legumes, parsley, cocoa, whole grains.
- Omega-3 fatty acids. These are the main building blocks of the cell membranes of the nervous tissue, they are responsible for the production of new nerve connections, ensure the efficient transmission of nerve stimuli, ensure the proper development of the brain in childhood and strengthen vision. Products containing essential fatty acids: mackerel, salmon (wild), tuna, herring, sardine, rapeseed oil (cold-pressed, unrefined), linseed oil, chia seeds, walnuts.
- Antioxidants. Prevent cell destruction by free radicals, supporting optimal brain function. Where to find them? Vitamin C: blackcurrant, rosehip, parsley, red pepper, broccoli, kale, spinach, strawberries. Vitamin E: vegetable oils, seeds, hazelnuts. Beta-carotene: yellow, orange and green vegetables; carrots, parsley, dried apricots, spinach and pumpkin.
Best Sources of Antioxidants for Kids: Dried oregano, rosemary, thyme, basil, cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, cocoa, chokeberry, elderberry, blueberry, grapefruit, strawberry, raspberry, cherry, dark grape, blackberry, garlic, red onion, nuts, celery root, leaves and parsley root.
What foods harm the development of the child’s brain and can reduce the formation of intelligence
These foods include trans fats, saturated fats, simple sugars, fast food, and sweets. All of the above impair concentration and memory, reduce the ability to think and combine facts, and also cause distraction, lack of motivation to learn, and increase the risk of aggressive behavior.
The consequences of malnutrition are visible to the naked eye – children gain weight faster, get tired faster and get sick more often, so you need a properly balanced diet, that is, one that will provide the body with energy and all the necessary nutrients in the right amount throughout the day. What to exclude from the student’s menu? The list of the most harmful for the development of the child’s brain is presented below.
- Cow’s milk. This is one of the most insidious products. For many years we lived with the belief that milk is one of the main components of the children’s menu, but in the end, at the moment we are aware of cases of allergic reactions, allergens indicate improper absorption of substances, which means that calcium is not absorbed properly leading to its deficit. Many studies confirm that cow’s milk for children is a very controversial food. It is recommended to replace it with rice, oat, almond, soy or coconut milk if an undesirable reaction of the body is observed in the form of indigestion or skin rashes.
- Wheat. Modern wheat is the most genetically modified food in the world. Replace wheat with buckwheat, barley, rye, coconut or almond flour. Wheat quickly increases sugar and calorie levels, while being almost completely devoid of nutrients.
- Processed food. Pizza, kebabs, hamburgers, fried meats, crispy fish fingers, chips are not food for learning children. A diet rich in saturated fats (mainly animal fats) and trans fats (produced during processing) is the cause of lower intellectual performance.
- Sugar. One of the main culprits of poor brain function. Children are drawn to sweets as their main source of energy. For breakfast, sugary cereals, sugary drinks at school, candy bars, candies, cookies, and muffins. The energy received in this way increases sharply and also rapidly decreases, after which the brain requires another dose of sugar, which is an empty energy value – without any valuable vitamins and minerals. What to choose for a healthy snack? Carrots, apples, nuts and raisins.
How to develop healthy eating habits
Make a list of healthy meals that your family will enjoy, don’t cook different meals for everyone. Give up emotional manifestations at the table, from watching TV and eating with gadgets. Do not snack an hour before the main meal, so as not to show a bad one.
Also, let the children take part in the preparation of meals, talk about their benefits and why homemade meals are preferable to eating in cafes and restaurants.