Despite our best intentions, our children don’t always eat what’s best for them. Research from Blackmores has found that 85% of children 2-12 years are picky or fussy eaters when it comes to certain foods, which may lead to nutritional deficiencies.
Dr Deb Levy, holistic paediatrician, explains which nutrients are linked to brain health.
Omega-3s are polyunsaturated fatty acids that are needed for our brain to function well and to support our memory, mood and even our eyes. Some omega 3s are also referred to as “essential fatty acids” because the body cannot make them, you have to get them from your diet. One Omega-3 is docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). DHA is a major component of the brain and some studies show that when children’s intake is low and they are then supplemented, their brain function and behaviour improved.
Where you can find it: Seafood such as salmon, mackerel and tuna (around two to three servings of fish a week is recommended), walnuts, flaxseeds and eggs.
We need iodine from our diet to help make the hormones necessary for brain development. These hormones (thyroid hormones) also decide how quickly we burn food, as well as supporting correct growth and development. Iodine helps support healthy cognitive function, which may support healthy learning.
Where you can find it: Fish, prawns and seafood, and some plants which are grown in iodine-rich soil. Some foods, such as salt and commercially-baked bread also contain it.
Iron is another important nutrient needed for brain development and functioning. Not only does iron help carry oxygen on our bodies it also helps keep the cells of our brain healthy.
Where you can find it: Red meat, eggs, green vegetables, beans and pulses.
If you have concerns about your child’s health, and vital nutrients they may be missing, it’s important to seek guidance from a healthcare practitioner.
For more information, recipes and activities to help grow your Little Well Being’s full potential, visit www.blackmores.com.au/superkids
ABOUT DR DEB LEVY
Dr Deb Levy is a consultant paediatrician with a unique holistic approach to children’s health and wellness. Dr Levy is committed to providing the highest quality of paediatric care for families who want a holistic approach to health and a strong therapeutic relationship with their doctor.