What A Young Brain Needs to Really Succeed

Food is one of the main factors that affects a child’s brain development. Children need 2-3 times more nutrients per kilogram body weight than adults. This is because children have high energy and nutrient needs but have small stomachs so they need nutrient dense snacks.

Vegetables and fruit are a good source of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Kids should aim to eat a total of 5 servings a day of fruit and vegetables. You can do this by giving them a piece of fruit at the end of a meal in place of a dessert – it is still sweet but better than a slice of sponge cake!

A brain, just like any other organ is changing every day and what we feed our children can contribute to their brain development. Balance is key to a healthy diet where a brain thrives on what we put into our bodies. If possible, try and let your children enjoy a variety of foods, here are a few tips to maintaining a balanced diet for optimal energy and brain performance for your little ones:

  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables everyday
  • Eat legumes e.g. dry beans, peas or lentils regularly
  • Chicken, fish, meat or eggs should be eaten daily
  • Make starchy foods the basis of most meals
  • Include the right quality of fats in your diet (g. BlueBand Original) as this helps the body absorb more nutrients from the other foods
  • Use salt sparingly
  • Drink lots of clean, safe water

1. ftp://ftp.fao.org/es/esn/nutrition/dietary_guidelines/zaf_eating.pdf
2. http://www.nutritionweek.co.za/NNW2013/docs/NNW-2013-Nutrition%20Educators%20Guideline.pdf

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