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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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