10 Foods That Will Boost Your Baby’s Brainpower

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 provide them with nourishment to help them become smart and intelligent.

In This Article

10 Best Foods To Boost Brain Development In Babies:

Here are ten foods you can feed your child during their early childhood to help boost your child’s brain power and IQ.

1. Greek Yogurt:

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This acts like a super baby brain development food. Greek yogurt keeps the brain cell membranes flexible, it aids in the functioning of the synapses in sending and receiving information. The B complex vitamins in Greek yogurt are necessary for the growth of brain tissues and neurotransmitters (2).

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Greek yogurt has lesser carbs and twice as much protein as regular yogurt (17), which can effectively contribute to a baby’s protein requirements.

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, like DHA, which provide the building blocks of 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 nutrient-rich food. It contains nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, lutein and choline, which enhances focus and concentration in children. Choline helps produce acetylcholine or memory stem cells. It helps to improve memory in babies (8) (9).

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Egg is a source of complete protein, which means it contains all the essential amino acids that can contribute to babies’ healthy growth and development (18).

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).

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Berries, such as blueberries, contain certain bioactive compounds that may promote digestive health and strengthen immunity (19).

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 and may improve their problem solving ability. 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How often should I give my baby brain food?

Foods good for the brain can be made part of a balanced healthy diet for the baby. You may speak to a pediatric dietician for a diet plan, based on your baby’s age, which includes various foods good for the brain.

2. Are there any foods that can harm my baby’s brain development?

Foods contaminated with pathogens and those with high-mercury content, such as tuna and swordfish, can harm a baby’s brain development. Excessive mercury intake can negatively affect their developing nervous system (20).

3. How can I incorporate brain food into my baby’s diet?

You may pick a brain food for a day and include it in various food items in the baby’s diet, such as purees and mashes. You may also blend various brain food items and create a finger food platter for babies older than six months.

4. Can I give my baby brain food if they have allergies?

Consult your pediatrician before introducing new foods to your baby’s diet if they have allergies. Follow the three-day wait rule, where you do not introduce any new food to the baby to rule out allergy and food intolerance.

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.

Infographic: Foods To Boost Your Baby’s Brain Power

As all parents, you may want to give your child every advantage in life, including healthy cognitive development. But did you know that certain foods may positively impact children’s cognitive development and brain function? This infographic will explore some of the best foods to boost your baby’s brain power; you may include them age-appropriately into your little one’s diet.

dietary options to aid in infant brain development (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Get high-quality PDF version by clicking below.

Download Infographic in PDF version Download Infographic
Download Infographic in PDF version

Key Pointers

  • Vegetables such as sweet potatoes, pumpkins, carrots, and leafy greens contain antioxidants and support brain health.
  • Fruits such as avocados and berries promote brain health and prevent oxidative cell damage.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids in fish such salmon, tuna, and mackerel enhance brain growth and function.
  • Eggs contain choline which helps to improve memory and concentration in babies.
  • Nuts such as walnuts and almonds contain vitamin E and zinc, which prevent cognitive degeneration and enhance memory and brain development.
  • Whole grains provide constant energy to the brain and contain folate, which is essential for proper brain function.


MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. Fernando Gómez-Pinilla; (2008); Brain foods: the effects of nutrients on brain function.
  2. Yogurt, Greek, plain, lowfat.
  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.
  4. Broccoli.
  5. Avocados: Good or Bad?
  6. The Forgotten Fruit: A Case for Consuming Avocado Within the Traditional Mediterranean Diet.
  7. Omega-3 Fatty Acids.
  8. Sophie Réhault-Godbert et al.; (2019); The Golden Egg: Nutritional Value, Bioactivities, and Emerging Benefits for Human Health.
  9. Choline.
  10. Carbohydrates and the glycaemic index.
  11. Wheat flour, whole-grain, soft wheat.
  12. Folic acid, ageing, depression, and dementia.
  13. Katie Adolphus et al.; (2016); The Effects of Breakfast and Breakfast Composition on Cognition in Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review.
  14. Oats (Includes foods for USDA’s Food Distribution Program)
  15. 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.
  17. The Benefits of Eating Greek Yogurt; UT Medical Center
  18. Jay R Hoffman and Michael J Falvo; (2004); Protein – Which is Best?
  19. Blueberries and Health.
  20. The crucial brain foods all children need – Harvard Health
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