10 Foods That Will Boost Your Baby’s Brainpower

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A baby’s diet plays a crucial role in their brain development. Therefore, it is interesting to learn about the types of food that are considered brain food for babies.

A baby’s crucial brain development continues till they reach three years. At this age, they start reacting to their surroundings, thinking, learning, and solving problems. Exposure to activities such as sports, music, and exploring their surroundings may aid their gray matter functions. In addition, the brain cells require nutrition to mature optimally. Foods rich in vitamins, minerals, proteins, and healthy fats support neuronal growth and help maintain healthy brain cells (1).

Continue reading to learn more about food substances that can boost brain development in children and help them become smart and intelligent.

10 Best Foods To Boost Brain Development In Babies:

Here are ten foods that will boost your child’s brain power.

1. Greek Yogurt:

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This acts like a super baby brain development food. Greek yogurt keeps the brain cell membranes flexible, helping the brain send and receive information. The B complex vitamins in Greek yogurt are necessary for the growth of brain tissues and neurotransmitters (2).

2. Vegetables:

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Vegetables that have rich, deep colors are excellent sources of antioxidants. Antioxidants help to keep the brain cells healthy. Some of the best vegetables for the brain are sweet potato, pumpkins, and carrots. Green leafy vegetables like kale, chard, spinach and collard greens are rich in folate, which keeps dementia at bay. Kale contains Sulforaphane and Diindolylmethane, which aid the growth of brain cells (3).

3. Broccoli:

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Broccoli is another superfood for your baby’s brain. It is a good source of B vitamins such as folate, riboflavin and vitamin B6 that aids neuronal development. This makes it an excellent baby brain food (4).

4. Avocados:

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Avocados are beneficial for brain health. It is a rich source of unsaturated fats, which promote blood flow to the brain. They also contain numerous phytonutrients which have various health benefits to babies (5) (6 ).

5. Fish:

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Fatty fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel contain omega-3 fatty acids, which provide the building blocks of the brain tissue . Omega-3 fatty acids aid the growth and function of the brain in babies (7).

6. Eggs:

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Egg is a storehouse of nutrition. It contains nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, lutein and choline, which enhance concentration. Choline helps produce acetylcholine or the memory stem cells. It helps to improve memory in babies (8) (9).

7. Whole grains:

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Whole grains improve concentration in babies by providing their brain a constant supply of energy. It has a low glycemic index and slowly releases glucose into the bloodstream, keeping your child alert throughout the day (10). It also contains folate, which is essential for the proper functioning of the brain (11) (12).

8. Oatmeal:

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Children who eat oats for breakfast have been found to perform better in terms of attention, executive function, and memory (13). Oats are rich in vitamin E, zinc, iron and fiber, which provide the baby with a steady stream of energy (14).

9. Berries:

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The high vitamin C content in berries improves learning and memory in kids. It also prevents oxidative stress in the brain (15).

10. Nuts:

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Nuts like walnuts, almonds and peanuts are brain-friendly foods. The high levels of vitamin E in these foods prevent cognitive degeneration (16). Nuts also contain zinc, which enhances memory and brain development. Babies and even children cannot have nuts without the hazard of choking. You may try adding them to baby foods in powdered or pureed forms.

We have listed the above brain foods for babies because they are rich sources of protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. These nutrients form an integral part of their brains and assist in their healthy growth. Ensure your cabin and refrigerator are stocked with these food items. Try to include these ingredients into your baby’s diet daily. You may even seek the suggestion of a nutritionist to plan a diet. Since there are many items on this list, you may not have to repeat the same recipe in a week.

References:

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  1. Fernando Gómez-Pinilla; (2008); Brain foods: the effects of nutrients on brain function.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2805706/
  2. Yogurt, Greek, plain, lowfat.
    https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170903/nutrients
  3. Francisco Fuentes et al.; (2016); Dietary Glucosinolates Sulforaphane, Phenethyl Isothiocyanate, Indole-3-Carbinol/3,3′-Diindolylmethane: Anti-Oxidative Stress/Inflammation, Nrf2, Epigenetics/Epigenomics and In Vivo Cancer Chemopreventive Efficacy.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4596548/
  4. Broccoli.
    https://www.hss.gov.nt.ca/en/services/nutritional-food-fact-sheet-series/broccoli#
  5. Avocados: Good or Bad?
    https://healthysd.gov/avocados-good-or-bad/
  6. The Forgotten Fruit: A Case for Consuming Avocado Within the Traditional Mediterranean Diet.
    https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnut.2020.00078/full#:~:text=One%20serving%20of%20avocado%20contains
  7. Omega-3 Fatty Acids.
    https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Omega3FattyAcids-Consumer/
  8. Sophie Réhault-Godbert et al.; (2019); The Golden Egg: Nutritional Value, Bioactivities, and Emerging Benefits for Human Health.
    ttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6470839/
  9. Choline.
    https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Choline-HealthProfessional/
  10. Carbohydrates and the glycaemic index.
    https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/carbohydrates-and-the-glycaemic-index
  11. Wheat flour, whole-grain, soft wheat.
    https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/168944/nutrients
  12. Folic acid, ageing, depression, and dementia.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1123448/
  13. Katie Adolphus et al.; (2016); The Effects of Breakfast and Breakfast Composition on Cognition in Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review.
    ttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4863264/
  14. Oats (Includes foods for USDA’s Food Distribution Program)
    https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169705/nutrients
  15. Berries are among the healthiest foods you can eat.
    https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/hsph-in-the-news/fresh-berries-are-among-the-healthiest-foods-you-can-eat/
  16. Rávila Graziany Machado de Souza et al.; (2017); Nuts and Human Health Outcomes: A Systematic Review.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5748761/
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Jessica Albert

Jessica Albert is a passionate writer who seeks to connect with her readers through wit and charm. Her work aims to invoke curiosity and keep the readers engaged through and through. She has prior experience working with magazines and e-commerce establishments as a content marketer and editor. Being a mother herself, she puts all her knowledge into creating content about... more

Jyoti Benjamin

(MS, RD, CSO, FAND, CD)
Jyoti Benjamin has 25 years of experience as a clinical dietitian and currently works in Seattle. She focuses on teaching people the value of good nutrition and helping them lead healthy lives by natural means. Benjamin has a masters in Foods and Nutrition, and has been a longtime member and Fellow of AND (Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics) and the... more