Brain food for toddlers

Help your toddler be the brightest of the bunch with these clever-clogs snacks.

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  • Brain food for toddlers

    By the time he is 3, your toddler's brain will have tripled in size since birth. This is the biggest learning curve of his life and a time when his brain is developing trillions of connections.

    At the same time, he is increasingly physically active and developing his social skills too.

    With all that going on, he needs a wide range of food to aid his rapid brain development.

    Why not turbo-charge his diet with these six easy ways to boost your toddler's brain power?

  • Brain food for toddlers

    OILY FISH

    'Fish like salmon, tuna (fresh, not canned), sardines and mackerel are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids,' says nutiritonal scientist Bridget Aisbitt from the British Nutrition Foundation. 'But your child shouldn't have more than two portions a week.'

    If your child isn't keen on fish, make a fishcake mixed with potato and coated in breadcrumbs. This can be roasted in the oven or fried.

  • Brain food for toddlers

    AVOCADO

    A real power-house food, full of that other essential fatty acid, omega-6, which is also key for brain development.

    Simply mash and serve with breadsticks, or combine with other fruits like banana for a super-healthy energising snack. A great fast food - pop one in a bag inside your handbag for when you're out and about and mash it on the spot to eat with a hunk of bread.

  • Brain food for toddlers

    BEANS OR MARMITE ON TOAST

    In tests, toast was shown to boost children's cognitive skills, but when the tests got tougher, toast with high-protein beans worked best.

    Marmite is packed with B vitamins, whose brain-boosting powers have been proven in countless studies.

    Great at any time of day - breakfast, lunch, supper or an in-between snack. 

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  • Brain food for toddlers

    WHOLEWHEAT CEREALS OR BREAD

    These are full of vitamins B12 and B6.

    From 6 months, it's OK to give your child wholewheat foods which contain wheatgerm, a source of choline.

    But be aware of portion sizes, so your child doesn't get too full and not have room for other food groups. 

  • Brain food for toddlers

    YOGHURT

    A big hit with little ones, yoghurt contains an important amino acid that helps to improve memory and keep your toddler alert and chirpy.

    Yoghurt is a great lunchtime pud that will see him ready to face the challenges of the afternoon.

    Fruit and raw veg dippers are also a great way to serve plain yoghurt - or try making your own fruity flavours by stirring mashed raspberries, sliced banana, strawberries or stewed apple into natural yoghurt. It's a great way to use up fruit that's slightly past its best too.

  • Brain food for toddlers

    BERRIES

    Research shows that strawberries and blueberries help improve concentration, short-term memory and coordination.

    They are also delicious whole, on cereal or whizzed up into a smoothie, pus berries help contribute to their 5-a-day.

    Pop a bowl of berries in front of your toddler while he's watching TV or doing a puzzle and odds are he'll eat them up without even noticing what he's doing.  

Last updated on 29 April 2008

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