Brain development is a very important time in their life, as they develop new skills and prepare for their future. Hearty leafy greens, colorful fruits and vegetables and delicious grains are essential to the diet of your child.
What are some of the best tips to get children to eat veggies?
Smart tips on how to get your child to eat more vegetables as well!
Offer healthy snacks before the meal or for dessert. Bring a fresh fruit platter out with cheese and crackers as an appetizer or opt for frozen grapes (kids love them!) instead of ice cream for dessert! If they’re hungry enough, chances are they’ll eat more veggies when it’s served with something else they like.
Let them help in the kitchen. Being around the action will spark their interest, and they’ll be more apt to try whatever you’re preparing for dinner if they’ve helped make it.
Take your child shopping with you when buying groceries. Have him/her choose which vegetable or fruit he or she wants to try that week and then go together to purchase it. You can buy it at the grocery store (for children who are old enough to handle money) or you can share the cost when buying in bulk with friends and family members.
Peeling, chopping, and washing will provide the child with a sense of accomplishment that will make him or her more willing to eat.
Make it fun! Serve fruits & vegetables as a snack in brightly colored baby food jars or your child’s old sippy cup…or just give them their own empty jar and let them fill it up themselves!
Go outside to pick fruits and vegetables together. You can read more about that here!
Let’s explore some of the best foods to focus on to help build healthy brains!
The benefits of healthy brain power are something we’re constantly being told about, but too many people still ignore the importance of eating well for a healthy mind as they get older. Eating foods from a variety of nutritious groups will help promote strong brain function in all areas.
- Vegetables: Leafy and cruciferous vegetables are full of antioxidants and vitamins that support cognitive function. The most beneficial vegetables to eat will depend on the individual’s nutritional needs but include carrots, beets, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, Brussels sprouts, green leafy cabbage, and kale.
- Berries: Low glycemic index helps keep blood sugar levels stable which can help prevent cognitive decline. Sweet, juicy, and packed with antioxidants, berries are excellent for overall health and brain function. Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries are all rich sources of these foods as well as other fruits like mangoes, avocados, and peaches which you can read more about here!
- Whole Grains: Whole grains like oatmeal, brown rice or wheat contain antioxidants and B vitamins which are linked to optimal brain function. Choose whole grains over refined products including white breads or pastas for better brain health benefits.
- Fish: Omega-3 fatty acids can be beneficial for the development of cognitive functions as well as reducing the risk of age-related mental illnesses.
- Dairy: Milk, cheese and yogurt are all good sources of vitamins B12 and A which can help develop the brain’s cognitive abilities.
- Nuts: Oily fish is a great source for vitamins E, D & K but nuts like walnuts, almonds & hazelnuts are also high in healthy fats which are essential for the brain.
- Avocados: Potassium is an important mineral that provides protection against stroke and cardiovascular problems, it also helps in the absorption of B vitamins needed for optimal cognitive function. 9. Beans: Protein is one of the key nutrients required for healthy brain development, beans are a great source of this nutrient as well as being low in fat and rich in vitamins.
- Fruits: Antioxidants and minerals found within fruits can benefit brain health including apples, oranges, bananas, grapes, strawberries & watermelon.