The human brain only requires two substances to function; oxygen and glucose. However, many other nutrients are needed for higher functions such as thought, memory and self-control. Children’s brains are still in the early development stages and therefore proper child care includes appropriate nutrition. In order for parents to stimulate the learning process, they have to ensure that preschool children are provided with the necessary nutrients for optimum brain function.
The most important meal for children and adults alike is breakfast. A hearty breakfast guarantees the glucose supply to the brain for the whole morning, and improves school performance. Below are five breakfasts that are ideal for the brain and will jumpstart preschooler’s learning every day.
Oats are the most nutrient rich of any grain. The most abundant nutrient in oats is carbohydrates. Due to the particular structure of the oat grain, these carbohydrates are easily assimilated and absorbed slowly. For this reason, oatmeal will provide glucose to the children’s brains for several hours.
This breakfast takes only 15 minutes to prepare. The necessary ingredients are rolled oats, prunes and sea salt. The oats are simply boiled together with the pitted prunes for about 15 minutes then served hot. Oats can also be consumed as flakes, muesli or oat flour.
The ingredients for this breakfast are almond milk and bananas. Almonds are rich in calcium. Furthermore, these nuts keep an adequate balance between calcium, phosphorus and magnesium. These salts facilitate the proper function of the brains’ neurons.
This is especially important for children’s memory and recollection capacities. Additionally, bananas also contain fiber and B-complex vitamins essential for the nervous system. Parents can prepare a tropical shakes by blending chopped bananas mixed with almond milk then serve cold.
Brazil nuts are rich in proteins, vitamin E and minerals (phosphorus, iron, calcium, magnesium). But their most important dietary property in relation to the brain is their high vitamin B1 content. Vitamin B1 is essential for memory, concentration and mental performance.
They can be prepared by toasting them in an oven for 5 to 10 minutes until they turn golden brown. They will bear a pleasant taste and can be served with any pure fruit juice of choice.
This typically Spanish dish is appropriate for the nervous system as it provides complex carbohydrates and high-quality proteins. It also supplies vitamins A, B, B12, D and E.
The ingredients necessary are potatoes, eggs and onions. The potatoes and eggs are easy to digest and are easily assimilated thus will provide nutrients for the children quickly. The preparation simply involves frying potatoes mixed with eggs using olive oil.
Walnuts are high in proteins, fiber, zinc, essential fatty acids and other trace minerals. This breakfast is especially good for high energy demands, such as exhibited by children in daycare. It is very simple to prepare.
Parents can mix the orange juice with walnuts and honey, and then dip sliced pieces of orange into the mixture. It may also be topped with plain yoghurt or quark cheese.
Other healthy foods that can be incorporated into children’s breakfast include cashew nuts, pine nuts, lettuce, whole grains, tubers (cassava, sweet potatoes and yams) and legumes. They will not only help with mental performance but also improving overall child development.
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