A child with good brain
health has the opportunity to be more successful in their schoolwork, and that
translates to a better school year for both of you. There are many factors that
affect brain health, and in this article we’ll focus on a few things you can do
to make a positive difference in your child’s learning and memory function.
Fortunately, there are
safe, natural substances that you can use to help fight brain cell damage and
increase cognitive function. One of the most readily available compounds are antioxidants.
Consuming plenty of these nutrients provides your child’s brain with powerful
tools for good health. The best sources of antioxidants are found in fresh
Wait! Don’t give up just
because we’re using the “V-word” with regard to your child. There are creative
ways to convince kids that veggies actually taste good. Experiment with recipes
and types of vegetables to find ones that your child will readily eat. And let
them in on the “secret superheroes” that veggies contain. Don’t just say they
have to eat them because they’re good for them. Give them a short, kid-friendly
version about the special nutrients found in vegetables that will help make
them Super Smart! You know your child best, so if making a home science
experiment with veggies stimulates them to indulge – go for it!
Protein is brain-food at
its finest! Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and there are eight
essential to health. Animal sources of protein such as meat, fish, poultry, and
eggs supply all eight of the essential amino acids. Many of the brain’s
neurotransmitters are made from amino acids, so if your child doesn’t consume
enough quality protein, brain function and mood are affected. Protein supports
energy and nutrient needs, plus it’s very good at satisfying hunger. And that’s
a good thing because a hungry child is a grumpy child that lacks focus and
concentration. Including ample protein in your child’s breakfast is a great way
to start the day.
Another supplement for
brain health that has many exciting studies behind its use is fish oil omega-3
fatty acids. The brain is approximately 60 percent fat and most of that is
comprised of DHA and AA fatty acids. AA
is found in animal products such as meat, fish, eggs and poultry. DHA is found
in cod-liver oil and fish body oils. Studies prove that adequate amounts of DHA
are vital to learning, memory, and other brain functions. DHA is probably one
of the most important supplements you can add to your child’s diet. And don’t despair;
supplements have come a long way from our Grandmother’s fishy cod-liver days!
There are now fish oils that are deliciously flavored.
Because cod-liver oil
contains fat-soluble vitamins A and D, it’s best given during the winter when
there’s less sunlight (and thus less vitamin D). During the rest of year, use a
good quality flavored fish body oil. Give according to the directions on the
bottle. Carlson brand makes both cod-liver and fish body oils that are good
enough to pass most kid taste-tests. And remember to tell them about how this
supplement helps them have a Super Brain. Every kid likes to have some type of
One more thing you can do
to support your child’s brain health is to make sure they get enough exercise.
Studies in the U.S.
prove that exercise improves memory and other mental skills. In the studies,
people who received adequate exercise scored better on tests and completed them
faster than people that did not exercise. So, get your child moving daily. If they’re
young enough to appreciate it, tie a dashing cape on them, and let them
exercise by zooming around and enjoying their Super Brain super power!
the author: Kymythy Schultze is a Clinical Nutritionist (C.N.) and has been a
trailblazer in the field of nutrition for nearly two decades. Her best-selling
books include “The Natural Nutrition No-Cook Book” which contains delicious and healthy
kid-friendly recipes and “Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats”. Both are published by Hay House, Inc. Visit
Kymythy’s website at www.kymythy.com.