Some days, you’re grateful your kids eat enough food, let alone healthy kinds. But wouldn’t it be awesome if the stuff they did down made them smarter? Yes, it’s possible — and foods for brain development are key right now.
“Your child’s brain and nervous system is in a rapid state of growth and development until age five,” says Karlene Karst, RD, a dietitian, mom to two boys ages three and five and author of The Full-Fat Solution. “You want to turbo-boost kids’ brain power with a diet of fun, simple, yet delicious foods that incorporate protein and omega-3s — the building blocks for smart and healthy brains.”
In one meta-study that examined existing research on the effect of fish oil on children, researchers found that supplementing newborns with omega-3s ultimately boosted children’s IQs by more than 3.5 points. These fatty acids can help provide building blocks for key nerve and brain cell development. In another study, low levels of omega-3s in children were associated with poorer performance on reading tests and working memory.
Here, Karst’s reality-checked ways for getting more brain-boosters into your child’s meals: