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Foods to Increase a Child’s Mental Abilities

Submitted by Stella Morgan on July 13, 2010

Children must eat nutritious meals in order to promote proper growth and development. Mental abilities and brain function can be kept in optimum condition by giving them healthy and balanced meals. Meals must consist of the essentials such as protein rich foods, fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. Certain common foods are known to improve memory. In fact, the most effective memory enhancement supplements are found in foods that we consume on a daily basis.

Studies have shown that there are some foods which are beneficial for brain function.

Oatmeal is one such food. Breakfast is the most important meal and the energy and nutritional benefit that children derive from a healthy breakfast helps to boost cognitive function significantly. Research has noted that children who consume oatmeal perform better at memory tasks.

Spatial memory, which is associated with geography and mathematical skills are known to improve through the consumption of oatmeal for breakfast. Glucose is released more slowly into the blood due to the effects of oatmeal. This improves cognitive abilities.

Omega-3 fatty acids are an essential component of good health. DHA or docosahexaenoic acid is an omega-3 fatty acid which is associated with brain functioning. Studies show that lower levels of this nutrient are linked with problems of vision, behavior, and intelligence.

Omega-3 fatty acids are contained in fatty fish such as salmon and tuna. Schooling children must also be given almonds, flaxseed, and walnuts and these foods are also valuable sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Flaxseed meal may be added to pancake mixture. Fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants and are also linked to enhanced memory. Short term memory and concentration are known to improve through the consumption of blueberries and strawberries. Dried fruits also boost alertness and energy. A child’s mental abilities can also be enhanced through the consumption of dark green leafy vegetables.

There are some foods that have exactly the opposite effect and only serve to sap mental energy. These include white bread, sugary foods, artificial fruit juices, and other drinks that contain a high amount of fructose syrup. Other ways to improve memory include getting adequate sleep and performing regular stretching exercises. Many teachers and parents also try to improve the memory skills of children by teaching them to use mnemonics. These simple methods help the child to remember a great deal of mundane information. Memory games are another great way to improve short term memory. These are also a fun activity for children.
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