Your 3-year old son’s brain is in a constant state of activity. His brain is responsible for each function of his body, as well as how he thinks, feels and learns. Feeding your son the right foods can help support his brain development and can help ensure that it works as efficiently as possible. Include some of these foods in your next menu, and your son’s brain will reap cognitive and memory benefits.
Fresh fruit offers a wealth of important vitamins and minerals that your son needs for his growing brain. Nicola Graimes notes in her book, “Brain Food for Kids,” that your son needs carbohydrates in his diet because they help produce the glucose he needs for brain energy and function. Serve a sliced banana with your son’s morning breakfast cereal or oatmeal, or slice an apple and serve it with his lunch. Halved grapes, sliced peaches or a bowl of berries are additional ways to increase his fruit intake and benefit his brain function.
Your 3-year-old son needs a diet rich in protein from low-fat and nutritious sources in order to sustain proper brain growth and development. Protein is essential for the function of your son’s brain because it is responsible for creating the neurotransmitters that send messages throughout his body. Lean meats, such as beef or white meat chicken, are nutritious sources of protein, as are fish like trout and salmon. Fish is particularly beneficial because it contains omega-3 fatty acids that support brain development. Beans, nuts, eggs and dairy foods are additional sources of protein that will help sustain healthy brain development. Chop beans and nuts into small pieces to prevent choking.
Some fat is an essential part of your 3-year old son’s diet. Graimes notes that your son’s brain is 60 percent fat, which he needs to get from his diet to keep it in good working order. It is important to feed him the right kinds of fat. Saturated fats, found in meats, full-fat dairy and many packaged foods, do more harm than good and should be limited in your son’s diet. Foods with unsaturated fat, such as avocado, olive oil, fish and peanut butter are more nutritious ways to provide him with the fat his brain needs.
Including whole grains in your 3-year-old son’s diet is a healthy way to ensure that he gets plenty of fiber, but whole grains also contain several vitamins and minerals that support brain function and health. One of the most notable is iron, which is present in many fortified whole grains like breakfast cereal and some pasta. Getting enough iron will help your son’s brain get the oxygen it needs so he can concentrate and learn. Whole grains also contain B vitamins, which your son’s brain needs for the health of neurotransmitters that regulate attention, focus and learning.
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