Which food is good for brain development in babies

Baby brain food: 7 foods to fuel brain development

If you’ve ever spent time with a toddler, you probably know they learn quickly and absorb new information like a sponge. But brain development begins long before a child can walk and talk.

Brain cells multiply at an astonishing rate as a baby develops in the womb. The brain continues to grow during infancy as motor functions such as balance and coordination develop. During the toddler years (ages 1 to 3), the brain increases cognitive ability — how quickly a child can interpret and relay information to perform complex tasks.

During these periods of peak growth, nutrition plays an important role. For toddlers, not getting the right nutrients can have a detrimental impact on cognitive development — affecting memory, attention and academic ability later in life.

Key nutrients for baby brain development

While all nutrients are important for brain growth and functioning, some play a bigger role in early brain development than others. The American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Nutrition recommends certain nutrients for healthy brain development in toddlers:

  • Choline
  • Folate
  • Iodine
  • Iron
  • Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as omega-3 fatty acids
  • Protein
  • Vitamins A, D, B6 and B12
  • Zinc

Best foods for baby and toddler brain development

No one food or “superfood” can ensure optimal brain development for toddlers. But some foods are packed with a variety of the necessary nutrients. Just be sure to monitor all new foods to ensure there’s no potential allergy.

1. Eggs

Eggs are nutritious and typically a crowd-pleaser for young children. Brain-boosting nutrients in eggs include choline, vitamin B12 and protein. Choline is especially important for normal brain development and can improve cognitive functioning. Two whole eggs a day provide the choline that children age 8 and younger need.

2. Seafood

Oily fish and other seafood provide a lot of bang for the buck when it comes to brain development —protein, zinc, iron, choline, iodine and omega-3 fats. But avoid feeding your toddler seafood that is high in mercury such as tuna and swordfish. Too much mercury can have harmful effects on a child’s developing nervous system. Instead, opt for low-mercury options such as shrimp, salmon, tilapia, crab or cod. Children under age 3 can have a 1-ounce serving two to three times a week.

3. Leafy green vegetables

There’s a reason that parents try to hide extra leafy greens, such as spinach and kale, in their children’s smoothies and pasta sauce: They’re a great source of iron and folate. Research shows that children who get enough folate tend to have better cognition than kids who don’t get enough. Iron plays an important role in the development of the hippocampus — the part of the brain responsible for learning and memory.

4. Lean beef (or meat alternative)

Lean beef qualifies as brain food because it is an excellent source of zinc and iron. Iron is especially vital for young children because they are more likely to experience anemia (low iron levels). Nearly one in 10 American children age 3 and younger has an iron deficiency, which can contribute to learning difficulties and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Black bean or soy burgers work as great iron-containing burger substitutes.

5. Yogurt

Unsweetened yogurt is an easy, kid-friendly way to support brain growth. It contains nutrients such as protein, zinc, choline and iodine. Children need iodine to produce thyroid hormones, which are vital to brain development and neurological processes. Even mild iodine deficiency may affect a child’s overall cognitive function and ability to reason.

6. Nuts & seeds

Food such as nuts, seeds and nut butters make a protein- and zinc-packed snack. Protein contributes to healthy brain growth and the development of long-term memory. Zinc also plays an important role during the toddler years, when the brain is growing rapidly. Insufficient amounts of zinc may affect your child’s cognitive development, impairing their memory and ability to learn.

Whole nuts and seeds can be a choking hazard, so try adding water to small amounts of peanut butter, or giving peanut-flavored “puff” snacks instead. Just make sure to choose puffs made from real peanuts with no artificial flavoring.

7. Beans

Beans offer several beneficial nutrients for a developing brain including zinc, protein, iron, folate and choline. Some types of beans, such as kidney, pinto and soybeans, also contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. For vegetarian children, the iron and protein in beans make them an excellent substitute for meat.

If you are concerned about your toddler’s diet or want more guidance about what your toddler should be eating, reach out to your child’s primary care physician.

10 Foods to Build Baby's Brain Development

Has the time come to transition your baby into the world of solids? (Raise your hand if you’re feeling excited.) Each baby’s first experience with solids is different—some babies take to their first foods right away, while others require some trial and error. Allow your baby to sample a variety of healthy and nutritious foods, and let patience—and nutrition—be your guide, especially to support that growing brain.

Remember to not start solids until your baby is 6 months old (not 4 months, as used to be the case), and always check in with your child’s pediatrician before starting solids, in case there are any specific considerations for your little one. Once you get the go-ahead, focus on foods that are rich in nutrients that support your baby’s healthy growth.

1. Avocado

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Creamy, mashed avocado is a popular first food. Avocado is a nutrient-dense fruit with plant-based fat, vitamins and minerals. Not only is it nutritious, as fats contribute to brain cell development, but the texture is soft and easy for baby to tolerate.

Related: AAP recommends breastfeeding for at least 2 years. Here’s how to make that happen

2. Greek yogurt

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Whole-milk yogurt is a nutritious early food because it contains calcium, protein and healthy fats. The culturing process involved in making yogurt helps break down the proteins, making them easy for babies to digest, and incorporating fats into your baby’s diet will help develop their brain cells. Plus, babies tend to like the rich, creamy texture of Greek yogurt. Because it contains cows’ milk, some pediatricians recommend waiting to introduce yogurt between 9 and 10 months of age, so check with your child’s doctor first.

Related: Everything you need for starting solids with your baby



Dark berries like blueberries are packed full of antioxidants, which protect the brain from stress and damage. You can offer blueberries mashed or blended into a smoothie, yogurt or oatmeal or as a finger food.

4. Eggs

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Egg yolks contain cholesterol, which is what comprises the outer lining of brain cells. In addition, they contain fat-soluble vitamins as well as choline, selenium and vitamin B12—all important for brain development.

Related: 5 ways to help your picky eater get the nutrition they need

5. Whole grain oatmeal porridge

Offering your baby a whole-grain cereal blend is a nutrient-rich option. Whole grains such as oatmeal, quinoa and barley should be pulverized and blended into a fine powder form and mixed with water or breast milk. You can also mix in a bit of yogurt or a fruit/vegetable blend. Whole grains offer fiber and a source of protein.

6. Nut butters

Traditional nuts in their butter form are a good source of healthy fat, protein and fat-soluble vitamins. Peanut, cashew and almond butter are all options to offer your baby when you feel they’re ready.

You could offer it as a small spoonful mixed into your baby’s cereal or porridge blend, yogurt or even applesauce.

7. Apples

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These nutritious fruits contain quercetin, which helps stimulate brain activity. Apples, whether pureed, cooked soft or raw, are easy to offer as a first food and throughout your baby’s transitional food stages. (Check out this great applesauce recipe!) As they become more comfortable with finger foods and as they develop teeth, you could offer apples with nut butter as a healthy pairing.

Related: Should I give my baby vitamins? A dietitian weighs in

8. Lentils

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Lentils are available in various forms and are especially nutritious because they contain fiber, iron and protein. They’re soft and easy to cook (no long soaking periods required) and can easily be blended into puree or soup form. They’re also one of the more neutral-tasting legume and bean options to initially offer.

9. Leafy greens

While these may be hard to offer initially as a single vegetable, they could be used as a blend so they’re tolerated better. For example, you could blend spinach with apple or carrots, or make a spinach pesto to coat pasta once your little one is older. Because many leafy greens contain nitrates, some pediatricians recommended them as a later introduction at perhaps closer to 10 months onwards.

Leafy greens such as spinach or kale offer lutein and vitamin K, which contribute to brain activity.

10. Salmon

Babies’ growing brains require DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid that is essential to cognitive development. Salmon is an excellent dietary source of DHA. You could mash some cooked, mix into a puree or even create a salmon burger or nuggets if finger foods are accepted.

Related: Yes, you can eat fish while pregnant—new study shows relationship between pregnancy and mercury exposure

A version of this post was originally published on Sept. 28. 2021. It has been updated.

Food for the mind: foods that improve brain function at different ages smarter even in old age. Of course, it is better to “feed” the brain correctly throughout life, starting from the prenatal period.

What does our brain need?

Although our brain is only the size of a small head of cauliflower, it is the most voracious part of the body. By weight, it makes up only 2.5% of our total weight, and absorbs up to 20% of the calories we consume. There are several types of important foods, the regular use of which throughout life improves brain function, provides it with high-quality raw materials for the formation of new cells, and thus preserves our intelligence, preventing mental decline. To satisfy the "brain" hunger, you need two types of food. Firstly, the fuel necessary for the daily work of brain cells and replenishing energy reserves. And, secondly, substances that would support his daily activities.

The following nutritional recommendations will help extend the life of our brain.

Before birth (fetal development)

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What the brain needs

Children today are often diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Scientists have found out how the quality of the food of a pregnant woman affects the development of this syndrome in an unborn child. In particular, they turned their attention to omega-3 fatty acids. One of the leading experts on ADHD, Dr. Alex Richardson of the University of Oxford, says that there is no specific treatment or diet for this type of disorder yet, but foods rich in omega-3s can help relieve symptoms and improve overall health. After all, in order for the 100 billion brain cells with which a child is born to develop, a sufficient supply of folic acid, omega-3 fatty acids, iodine, iron and zinc is required.

What products contain it?

Bread, cereals, green vegetables, oranges or fruit juice are needed even during pregnancy, as these foods are rich in folic acid. Doctors also recommend that pregnant women take 0.8 mg of folic acid every day until the 12th week of pregnancy, and preferably at least 4 weeks before conception. Since some women require higher doses, it is best to discuss this with your doctor.

Fatty fish such as sardines, tuna, salmon, mackerel are the best source of long chain omega-3 fatty acids (EPA, DHA, DPA). And canola, flaxseed, and walnut oils provide us with ALA, another type of these fats.

Use iodized salt. Table salt is recommended for cooking pasta and vegetables, and sea salt can be added to ready-made dishes. Other sources of iodine are fish, dairy products, eggs, and baked goods with iodized salt.

Red meat is the most affordable source of iron. If you don't eat meat or fish, include plenty of legumes, fortified breads and cereals in your diet. For better absorption of iron from these foods, take them with fruit juice, but not tea - it impairs the absorption of iron. Most of these products will also provide you with zinc.

Be careful!

Meat is a great option, but don't overdo the liver. It is an excellent source of iron, but it contains too much vitamin A. Too much of it can damage the brain development of the unborn baby. It is enough to eat liver dishes once a week. And be careful with fish oil supplements, they are also too high in vitamin A. Before taking them during pregnancy, check with your doctor.
Smoking and alcohol abuse are also dangerous for a child's brain development. During pregnancy, it is really important to give up bad habits.

Children under 3

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What the brain needs

At birth, a baby's brain has about 100 billion cells, but it is only 15% developed. As they say, "the lights are on, but no one is home." The cells are already there, but there are no connections between them yet. The brain will be almost fully developed by the baby's third birthday, and in the first 3 years of life, impulses should begin to pass from one cell (neuron) to another. To ensure proper development of the baby, the process of connecting these brain cells must begin already in newborns. For this to happen, children need omega-3s, iron and zinc.

What products contain it?

Breastfeeding is the best food for young children as it provides them with everything they need during their growing season, including omega-3 fatty acids, especially DHA.

Iron-rich foods are just as important, if not more so, for babies than for pregnant women. Babies are born with a supply of iron that lasts about 6 months. After that, they require dietary sources of iron. Meat purees should be introduced at the age of 6-7 months. Baby cereals, vegetables, beans and lentils also provide us with iron, as does fish, which can be introduced from about 8 months. Most of these products also contain zinc.

The use of these products during the first 3 years of life and beyond is very important so that the brain cells can work to their full potential. Do not rush to transfer a child from breast milk or infant formula to cow's milk, poor in iron - this may affect his health in the future.

But food for a child's brain is not only food. All the experience accumulated by a child in 3 years affects his ability to learn and behavior in the future. Children need a safe and comfortable home with a variety of intellectual stimulation options. Talk, read, sing and play with your children, let them feel that you love them.

By the way!

Food alone is not enough to improve brain function. Scientists recommend doing exercises for the brain - neurobics. The basic idea is simple: do the usual things in an unusual way, and you will not let the brain "wither". The more varied and non-standard tasks that you set for yourself, the better. In scientific terms, this is what will happen: new synapses-connections are formed between neurons, the cerebral cortex thickens and becomes more tortuous. In general, the brain is literally "pumped". Read more about neuroscience here.


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What the brain needs

At this age, the brain processes a lot of new information every day. Proper nutrition has a positive impact on children's school performance. These conclusions were reached by researchers from Canada, who studied the diet of 5,200 honors students. Children whose diets were rich in fruits, vegetables, grains, dietary fiber, protein, iron, calcium, and vitamin C performed better in reading and writing than those whose diets were rich in saturated fat, salt, and "empty" carbohydrates . Previous research has shown that malnourished children were uncollected and did worse in school. Conclusion: in school years, the brain needs proteins, carbohydrates, omega-3s and various vitamins and minerals.

What products contain this?

Breakfast, heavy or not, gives the brain fuel to work. Toast, porridge, eggs, fruit or yogurt is a great start to the school day.

Any protein food, such as meat, fish, nuts, cheese or milk, makes the student attentive. It stimulates the feel-good hormone dopamine, helping him enjoy lessons he usually doesn't enjoy.

A peanut butter sandwich helps to transmit impulses from neuron to neuron as quickly as possible. If the student cannot tolerate peanuts, replace them with an egg, lean meat, or cheese.

Oily fish is important for both academic success and growth. Canned fish is suitable for sandwiches or rolls, which can be given to the child with him to school.

Try adding fruits and vegetables to every meal to ensure you get a full complement of brain-friendly vitamins and minerals. It's also a good solution for a healthy break snack. No proper food can replace a good night's sleep. At the lesson, at the stadium or at the exam, the child will be able to do much more if he gets enough sleep.


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What does the brain need?

About 2/3 of each brain cell consists of fats. To effectively send messages, its walls must be flexible, which depends on their content of omega-3. If there are too few of them, the cell walls become rigid, if there are too many, they become soft and sluggish. It all depends on the right amount. The ratio between omega-6 and omega-4 is also important as these two types of fat compete with each other. Omega-3s will be neutralized if they are dominated by omega-6s. Since we get a lot of omega-6 from food (from vegetable oils), it is recommended to eat more food containing omega-3, such as oily fish.

With over 40 years of experience, we want to think as clearly and quickly as possible. To perform at its best, the adult brain needs a continuous supply of energy throughout the day. Only starchy carbohydrates can provide this.

What products contain this?

Wherever you eat: at home, in the car or at work, breakfast is just as important for an adult as it is for a student. Eating only air, you will not be able to fully work.

If morning tea is part of your workflow, pair it with a fruitcake, a sausage roll, or a large biscuit from a local café.

Drinks containing caffeine, such as coffee and tea, are helpful throughout the day. The caffeine burst will help you in meetings and conferences, but keep in mind that it only peaks an hour after you've had coffee or tea.

Eat at regular intervals during the day, this will help you keep the fuel for the brain at the proper level. Find time for lunch. Keep an emergency supply on your desk in case you can't go to lunch. Canned fish, beans, fruit or rice pudding keep well, and crackers, nuts, or low-calorie granola bars will do as well.

Avoid chocolate or muffins in the middle of the day when energy levels are low. But don't give up sugar altogether. After lunch, take a walk around the office or get some air to stimulate the brain. If you weren't able to eat lunch, eat a sandwich or fruit for a long-term energy boost.

The elderly

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As we age, our brain becomes more like a sieve. Brings memory, reactions. It is more difficult for us to remember, even more difficult to remember, analyze, focus on the thought process. And this, in essence, is a natural phenomenon: our gray matter, like the whole body, is subject to the process of oxidation - the same one that corrodes metal with rust, or covers an overripe apple with brown spots. This is why as we age, more than ever, our brains need antioxidants and B vitamins, especially choline.

What products contain it?

The main allies in the fight against brain aging are antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables. By the way, they also help to slow down oxidative processes throughout the body, moreover, without any plastic surgery. Include carrots, beets, broccoli, tomatoes, kiwi, blueberries, avocados in your diet. In addition, the “menu” of a mature brain must include nuts and seeds, cereals, butter and dark chocolate (necessarily of high quality). These products inhibit the oxidation of gray matter.

To get the vitamins of group B necessary for the normal functioning of the brain in old age, you need to eat various types of meat, citrus fruits, vegetables, grain bread. The most useful product for the brain of an aged person is an egg, a source of choline. It has been scientifically proven that people with Alzheimer's disease and senile dementia have a lower content in the body of such an important substance for the functioning of the brain as acetylcholine. You can prevent its decrease in the body by eating eggs, milk, liver and red cabbage. There are a number of studies proving that the so-called "Mediterranean diet" (fatty fish, fresh fruits and vegetables) is useful for older people to prevent the development of senile dementia.

Don't forget about the benefits of an active lifestyle in adulthood - no matter how good your diet is, but adequate exercise for the brain is also important.

10 products, beneficial for the brain at any age:


  • Cranberry

  • Fat fish, tuna, sardins, salmon

  • 901 901 901 901 901 901 901 901 Nuts: hazelnuts, peanuts, cashews

  • Claires and MURULY

  • Bread

  • Eggs

  • Red -haired cabbage

  • Yogurt

9000 9020

Anna Borisova, Svetlana Lyuboshits

Food for thought - NCCH

Senior preschool (from 4 to 6 years old) and junior school age (from 6 to 10 years old) are two very important periods in a child's life. It was at this time that the intensive development of memory, speech, attention takes place, the formation of character, the emotional sphere and many habits, including food habits, takes place.

In order to ensure the correct development of the child in different age periods, food, not only quantitatively, but qualitatively, must strictly meet the physiological needs and capabilities of the child's body.

It is especially important to properly approach the issue of nutrition for children who will go to school for the first time. During this crucial period of increased psychological, physical, mental and emotional stress, the child's body should be supported with all the necessary nutrients.

The brain makes up only 2-3% of body weight, but consumes about 20% of all energy received from food.

The dependence of intelligence on the quality of nutrition can be considered proven. Large-scale studies have reliably confirmed that maternal malnutrition during pregnancy and poor nutrition of the child in infancy have an almost irreversible negative impact on the development of mental abilities.

The cells of the brain, like all other cells of the body, are composed of proteins, fats and carbohydrates.

The role of proteins in the life of a child's body is exceptionally great and diverse. Since the child has practically no reserve reserves of protein, he needs a constant supply of protein from food, primarily protein of animal origin, which includes essential (not formed in the body) amino acids.

Fats are part of cells and cell membranes. The intake of essential polyunsaturated fatty acids with food, which perform the most important functions in the body, is very important. They are necessary for the normal development of the brain and organs of vision, the formation of immunity, etc.

Polyunsaturated fatty acids, especially omega-3 acids, regulate cholesterol levels. They are rich in cod liver, fish oil and in general oily fish - trout, chum salmon. Useful corn, soybean, linseed vegetable oil. One tablespoon of any vegetable oil is enough to meet the daily requirement for polyunsaturated fatty acids. By the way, vegetable oil is the more useful, the closer to the north the oilseed crop is grown.

Our brain needs a lot of glucose to work properly. We usually get it from foods rich in carbohydrates - such as bread, cereals, confectionery, sugar. By the way, glucose is the only source of energy for our nerve cells - neurons, they are very sensitive to its content in the blood, so its insufficient supply immediately affects the brain.

With a varied diet, the child receives not only proteins, fats and carbohydrates, but also vitamins and minerals, which are also necessary for the active functioning of the brain.

Vitamin B1 (thiamine) is the vitamin of the mind. With physical and mental stress, the need for this vitamin increases by 10-15 times. It affects metabolism and the function of the nervous system. Vitamin B1 is contained in large quantities in the shells of grain products, cereals (buckwheat, millet, oatmeal), shelled peas, yeast, potatoes, blackberries, raspberries, chicory, blueberries, rose hips, sorrel.

Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) - metabolism stimulant. It is involved in tissue respiration, affects tissue regeneration. The need for this vitamin is well covered by plant foods: these are cereals, bread, peas, many vegetables and fruits. There is a lot of riboflavin in sea buckthorn, dandelion, chicory, rosehip.

Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) - vitamin of strong nerves - affects the excitability and contractility of the neuromuscular apparatus, improves long-term memory, increasing the efficiency of intellectual processes. Found in bananas, potatoes, oatmeal, tuna, chicken. The daily norm can be obtained from 200 g of beef and 50 g of bran flakes. Dishes made from potatoes, wheat, cabbage, peas, buckwheat, sweet peppers, rice, and some fruits are rich in this vitamin.

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) - immunity vitamin. With a deficiency of ascorbic acid, performance decreases. It is possible to develop a disease such as scurvy. Ascorbic acid is an antioxidant and strengthens cell membranes, increases resistance to oxygen deficiency and other extreme factors. The main source of vitamin C is plant foods: most vegetables and fruits, as well as black currants, citrus fruits, kiwi, rose hips.

Vitamin A (retinol) affects visual acuity. The need for vitamin A increases 3-4 times during competitions, physical exertion, and stress. Vitamin A in the form of carotenoids is found not only in cultivated plants (carrots, spinach, peppers, onions, lettuce, tomatoes), but also in wild plants (hawthorn, blackberry, shadberry, viburnum, raspberry, mountain ash, blueberry, dog rose).

Vitamin E (tocopherol) increases the speed of nervous processes, reaction time and intelligence. Tocopherol has antioxidant properties. There is a lot of vitamin E in vegetable oils, cereal germs, green vegetables, sea buckthorn, wild rose, as well as blackberries, mountain ash.

Vitamin P - permeability vitamin. Vitamin P is understood as a large group of diverse (over 500) chemical compounds (polyphenolic compounds, or bioflavonoids). They not only strengthen capillaries, as was previously thought, but also have antioxidant, antimicrobial, antiviral, antitoxic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, antiulcer, regenerating, antitumor and choleretic effects. Bioflavonoids are found in the same foods as vitamin C, i.e. vegetables and fruits.

Lack of vitamin F can lead to depression and memory impairment. It is found in greens, cabbage leaves, spinach.

Choline is a fat-like substance that helps maintain communication between different parts of the brain. Its deficiency leads to absent-mindedness, inability to concentrate. Choline is one of the components of lecithin, which is found in egg yolks, offal (beef and pork liver, kidneys).

Calcium . Universal regulator of vital processes. It takes part in the transmission of nerve impulses, the secretion of hormones and mediators, the activity of analyzers, etc. , stabilizes the excitability of cells. It has recently been found that this element is able to fight depression. Found in dairy products, dried fruits, broccoli, almonds, sardines. Many fruits and vegetables also contain significant amounts of calcium. These include apricots, grapes, peas, cabbage, green onions, parsley, lettuce, plums, mulberries, etc. Sorrel and spinach are rich in calcium, but the presence of oxalic acid prevents its absorption. Calcium is ideally absorbed in the composition of eggplant, beets, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes. Calcium is also found in many wild-growing edible plants: lingonberries, dogwoods, blueberries, etc.

Potassium . Participates in the processes of transmission of nervous excitation, conduction of impulses along nerve fibers, regulates muscle excitability, promotes the expansion of the capillary network, improves blood supply to working muscles. It is especially necessary for the normal functioning of the heart. The most rich in potassium are dried fruits, such as apricots, raisins, dried apricots, dry peaches, dates, prunes. A lot of potassium in baked potatoes, tomatoes, parsley, spinach, Brussels sprouts, blackcurrants, beans, celery, figs. An additional source of potassium can be lingonberries, blackberries, raspberries, dandelions, chicory, blueberries, rose hips, etc.

Phosphorus is so closely associated with calcium that it is often referred to as phosphorus-calcium metabolism. It is involved in many types of metabolism. It is especially important for the functions of the nervous and muscular systems. Phosphorus is found in small amounts in animal products - meat, fish. A good source of it are only dried fruits, legumes, baked goods, as well as vegetables and herbs: onions, parsley, parsnips, cabbage, horseradish, lettuce, carrots, beets.

Iron is part of hemoglobin, redox enzymes, thereby participating in oxygen transport in tissue respiration. Iron deficiency anemia, which is often detected in young children, leads to the fact that at an older age, especially in elementary school, the child is restless, cannot concentrate on lessons, is motorally disinhibited, concentration and memory deteriorate.

It is very important to take into account not only the quantitative content of iron in products, but also its qualitative form. There are two main types of iron: heme, which is found in meat products, and non-heme, mainly in plant products.

Heme iron is well absorbed and absorbed by the body regardless of the influence of other food ingredients, the percentage of absorption is 17 - 22%, while the absorption of non-heme iron is much lower, 3 - 5%, and its absorption is influenced as activators (organic acids, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins) and absorption inhibitors (phytates, phosphorus-calcium compounds, dietary fiber, etc.). The degree of absorption of non-heme iron largely depends on the composition of the diet. So, adding 50 g of meat to a vegetable dish or cereals increases the absorption of iron contained in them by 2 times, adding 50 g of fish enhances this process by 1.5 times.

Magnesium deficiency provokes insomnia and headaches, exhausting the cerebral cortex, reducing its capabilities and performance, causes irritability, forgetfulness, causes frequent dizziness. Magnesium is found in boiled potatoes, broccoli, processed cheese, cocoa beans, milk, bananas, honey, almonds, fish fillets, beans, peas, nuts, cereals, herbs, seafood.

Lack of chromium causes anxiety, potentiating the feeling of restlessness. Found in corn, black bread, black tea, meat dishes garnished with boiled jacket potatoes, and many other common foods.

Iodine deficiency leads to depression. Chronic iodine deficiency from an early age can lead to cretinism. With iodine deficiency, memory suffers, small hand movements are disturbed, which are associated with the development of speech, attention, the ability to put words into sentences, and the processing of visual and auditory information. Source - algae, mussels, shrimps, sea kale, fish, iodized salt, mushrooms.

Zinc , like iron, an antioxidant, it protects brain cells from harmful effects. It affects all types of metabolism, is part of brain proteins, controls the synthesis of those proteins that are responsible for memory and learning. If the child began to see poorly in the dark, squints, although there are no obvious visual impairments, the zinc content in the blood should be checked. There is a lot of zinc in herring, mackerel, liver, meat, eggs, mushrooms, cereals, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds. It is better absorbed from meat products than from plant foods.

The diet of a junior schoolchild is directly related to his daily routine. Children spend most of their time at school. In this regard, the alternation of mental stress and periods of rest should be taken into account. During a period of significant mental stress, food should be fractional and easily digestible. The dense part of the diet, a hearty meal that supplies proteins and fats and requires a long digestion, should be transferred to a period of more or less long rest.

Approximate daily routine of a younger student:

  • 07.30 – 08.00 Breakfast at home
  • 10.00 – 11.00 Hot breakfast at school
  • 12. 00 - 13.00 Lunch at home or at school
  • 19.00 – 19.30 Dinner at home

Breakfast food should not be heavy, oversaturated with fats. It can be fish, boiled egg or scrambled eggs, cutlet, cottage cheese, porridge. And be sure to have some vegetables or fruits. You can supplement the menu with tea, cocoa with milk or juice.

Lunch should contain protein-rich foods. Meat, poultry or fish contribute to filling the blood with amino acids that stimulate brain activity.

At dinner, on the contrary, you should not eat foods high in protein. Instead, carbohydrates are good, which are most beneficial just shortly before bedtime.

Strawberries, wild strawberries and blueberries improve coordination, concentration and short-term memory.

Berries (cranberries, blueberries, grapes), vegetables (white cabbage and beets) and fish (salmon, tuna, sardines and fatty herring) are very useful for developing the intellect.

Chocolate increases intellectual activity. Consumption of chocolate contributes to the production of serotonin in the body, a neurotransmitter and biologically active substance, the lack of which can lead to a decrease in mood and even depression. Chocolate also contains theobromine, a stimulant that dramatically improves mood. Bitter chocolate varieties activate the brain and have a positive effect on the cardiovascular system. Varieties with a high cocoa content (above 70%) have a particularly beneficial effect on brain function.

The benefits of nuts are undeniable. In all nuts there is a unique unique balance of vitamins and microelements. They are rich in complex proteins necessary for all tissues. Nuts are a source of vegetable proteins, carbohydrates, dietary fiber and fat with a high content of polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamin E, B vitamins, potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, manganese, copper and other useful and essential substances for the body. The nutritional value of nuts is provided by a favorable combination of proteins and fats in them; Walnut protein contains many essential amino acids.

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