Parents are always challenged to get their children to eat good and nutritious meals and not the ‘junk food’ that has been shown to cause obesity and other health problems in children. Starting them off early in life, with the right balance of nutrition, increases their ability to concentrate and learn, improves memory, and if that’s not enough – can help them to fight off diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia later in life!

According to pediatric dietitian Celine Jour, of the Hamad Medical Corporation, “Brain foods are good boosters for the brain as they give it power and enhances its function, so it is important for parents to be aware of the right food categories that can help their wards.”

Jour says, “Salmon is the best source of omega H3 and fatty acid, the good concentration of which could help decrease dementia later on. Spinach is also a good food that prevents quick ageing of the brain.”  She recommends foods high in Omega3 fatty acids should be served to children at least twice a week, and those high in potassium (like bananas) should be served daily.

“There is good evidence to suggest that lycopene, a powerful antioxidant found in tomatoes, could help protect against the kind of free radical damage to cells which occurs in the development of dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s,” she said. Other foods good for the brain include: lean beef (not high in fat), walnuts (not roasted or fried), eggs, wheat, liver, chicken, fish, lentils (beans and peas), potatoes and peanut butter. Milk (2-3 glasses a day for ages 1-3, and at least one glass a day after) and yogurt should also be included for brain cell development, and potatoes to help maintain good glucose blood levels.

“Being smart is related to good nutrition, so it is good for parents to always ensure their children eat a rich array of food and get the right nutrients that will help grow well, have good memory and improve their general well being,” she said.

Jour suggests that in order to encourage children to eat healthy, parents should explain the importance of each food type, as well as inviting them to shop for food items and help in the preparation of the meal. “Apart from encouraging children to partake in the whole process of food making, they should be encouraged to eat slowly to detect their hunger, this could take between 15-30 minutes,” she explained adding that children should be prevented from eating in front of the television to avoid over-eating.

“Children will get us to eating healthy and balanced diets when they begin by taking to school healthy snacks such as a handful of fruits, pop corns, some vegetables and fresh salads,” she maintains. They also need to drink at least one liter of water per day.

My name is Ron White and I have been teaching memory improvement classes for 20 years. I believe it is important to start our children out with the right tools for life, and brain food is one of the best ways to do that.



Gulf Times – Expert advises brain foods for children, by Noimot Olayiwola: