Most brain development is complete by age 5. Now that is an amazing accomplishment! Food plays a huge role in brain development, as well as maintaining high levels of cognitive functioning throughout our lives. Whether the brain needs an extra push during early development or needs to keep running at lighting quick speeds, eating these foods will do the trick.
Ways to add it in: slice up avocado and put it on a turkey sandwich, add some to your favorite spinach salad, or make your favorite healthy guacamole recipe and dig in.
Ways to add it in: make a berry smoothie, add berries to Greek yogurt, or have the berries as a dessert after dinner.
Ways to add it in: mix dark chocolate into pancakes, yogurt, or even eat dark chocolate bites as a treat.
Ways to add it in: hard boiled eggs are an easy on the go source of protein, make a breakfast omelet with some veggies, or even add eggs to a sandwich for a little extra protein at lunch or dinner.
Ways to add it in: make fish tacos, top off a vegetable stir fry with some fish, or have some salmon on a bagel for breakfast.
Ways to add it in: use plain Greek yogurt as a substitute for sour cream, mix berries and granola into the yogurt for a healthy snack, or add it to a smoothie for added protein.
Ways to add it in: Make pesto for pasta (nuts, olive oil, dark leafy greens), mix in with salad greens, or add it to sandwiches or blend it into a marinara sauce.
Ways to add it in: mix ground flax seeds or chia seeds into cereal, add nuts to a salad or soup, or dip fruit into a natural peanut butter.
Ways to add it in: eat oatmeal for breakfast, add brown rice to a vegetable stir fry, and make your pasta whole grain pasta vs regular white pasta.
A note about Omega-3 fatty acids: 60% of the brain is made up of fat. We can only get omega-3 fatty acids from our diet. Omega-3s are important for brain development and healthy functioning from pregnancy all the way to old age. A large majority of brain development is finished by age 5, which means our kids need to get the right foods from the beginning. You probably remember those prenatal horse pills you had to take right? Most contain DHA (a fatty acid) because of its role in neurological development in-utero. More research needs to be done but there have been findings linking omega-3s to improved mental skills like thinking, remembering, and learning. Omega-3s reduce inflammation in the body, including the brain which can lead to dementia related diseases later in life. Foods that are high in omega-3s include fatty fish (wild salmon, tuna, sardines, and herring), walnuts, flaxseed, and chia seeds.
Remember, healthier brains mean a healthier, happier, higher functioning family.
Find me on: