Brainy foods for healthy kids

ALMOST three children in every five don't eat enough fruit and less than one child in five eats enough vegetables, according to the Australian National Children's Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey.

To help parents encourage their kids to eat healthily for their brain, dietitian and nutritionist Dr Sarah Schenker suggests these top 10 foods for children:


Wholegrains: A good source of fibre, vitamins, minerals and essential fats. They are particularly good for providing B vitamins.

Oily fish: The healthy omega-3 fats found in oily fish, such as salmon, mackerel, trout and sardines, are crucial to the health of our brains and nervous system. Fish also contains iodine, which may help improve mental clarity.

Berries: Blueberries are rich in antioxidants, helping to prevent damage to cells throughout the body including the brain. Other berries such as blackcurrants are also high in vitamin C, which has long been thought to have the power to increase mental agility.

Nuts and seeds: Peanuts, walnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds and flax seeds, among others, contain properties that help mental clarity and strong memory.

Walnuts and flaxseeds are rich in the essential oils, which aids sensory awareness. All nuts and seeds are a good source of vitamin E and a recently published study suggests that a good intake of vitamin E might help to prevent poor memory.

Tomatoes: These contain lycopene, a powerful antioxidant, which have been found to help with mental functioning and memory improvements.

Broccoli: A great source of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function and improve brainpower.

Avocados: A source of healthy monounsaturated fat keeps circulation healthy and promotes blood flow, keeping your brain peak functioning.

Eggs: The yolks are rich in choline, an essential nutrient to improving memory function.

Carrots: Full of antioxidants and will help keep the brain healthy.

Basmati rice: Its low GI ranking means that the carbohydrate is broken down slowly so the glucose enters the bloodstream in a more controlled manner, helping to maintain a steady supply of brain energy.


At a glance

Can't get kids to eat healthily?

Tilda Rice has a new rice range for kids that includes flavours such as cheese and tomato, sunshine vegetable, sweet vegetable and wholegrain and mild and sweet curry.

They contain one of five veggie serves kids need a day - $2.35 at supermarkets.

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