Most of us are around young, developing children in some capacity so I’m really excited to share this book that I recently picked up. It’s written by an award winning nutritionist and provides wonderful, easy recipes and fascinating facts about providing children the right foods and diet for optimal learning, brain boosting and healthy habits. Read on…
Did you know that a deficiency in good fats like oily fish, eggs, nuts and seeds can cause behavioral problems, learning difficulties, hyperactivity, poor concentration and poor vision in children?
I recently learned that non verbal intelligence levels improve when children are given multi-vitamins and mineral supplements? Certain foods also have mood-enhancing and calming effects on the brain-turkey, eggs, milk, and cheese are a few examples.
School has started in most parts of the country and I think Brain Foods for Kids is a wonderful, easy resource for busy moms in that it provides over 100 brain boosting recipes. “Brain Foods for Kids,” by Nicola Graines is an easy to use book that explains in basic terms the importance of certain foods in a young child’s life. We know that exercise is important to good health for children but how much do many of us know about the right foods for a developing young brain?
As the author states in her opening pages, “For good health and optimum brain power, a child’s diet should contain the proper amounts of certain nutrients. Balance and variety are the key, and a deficiency in just one vital nutrient can impair cognitive performance.” This makes me think of the millions of children diagnosed with behavioral problems-perhaps just tweaking their diets could change their whole lives.
As much as the author shares the correlation of certain foods to brain boosting, she also shares the specific food groups that create “Brain Drain.” We’ve all heard about the detrimental aspects of sugar in our diets but they are in so many everyday products, including catsup, mustard and mayo, a staple in many children’s diets. There are also fruits that contain higher levels of sugar, albeit natural sugar. Sugar is sugar and artificial sweeteners have been linked to hyperactivity in children.
I love the author’s “Off the Menu” list — the foods she notes that provide no real nutritional benefit to children:
• Mass produced, poor-quality pizza, burgers and sausages
• Processed cheese slices and “strings”
• Sliced meats with high-water, high-fat, and high preservative content
• Breaded chicken or fish nuggets with low meat or fish content
• High sugar breakfast cereal
• Highly flavored potato chips and reconstituted potato products
•Carbonated, sugary drinks such as cola and fruit-flavored drinks, or fruit drinks rather than fresh fruit juice
• Highly colored candies containing artificial colors and gelatin
• Poor-quality ice cream and highly colored ice Popsicles
• Poor-quality artificially flavored yogurts
• High sugar cereal bars or additive-laden, high fat, and high sugar cakes and cookies.
In her book, Ms. Graimes also addresses food allergies and provides valuable, informative, easy ways to get a young child’s day going; packing the brain boosting lunchbox; creating easy, healthy afternoon snacks and healthy dinners, including brain happy sweets. Your children may never miss the sugary, additive filled foods from the past.
While I picked up this book to provide better foods for my grandchildren when they visit, there is also valuable information for me. We can all use the brain boosting and mood enhancing, can’t we? I highly recommend picking up this book! Let’s continue giving our children the best leg up to optimal health, including brain development.
Better Brain Boosting to you all!
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