Food & Vitamins for Kids' Memory

by Mary Strain

    Many foods and vitamins will help build your child's brain power and improve his memory. The brain is the first organ to absorb nutrients from the food we eat, according to nutritionist and American Dietetic Association spokesperson Bethany Thayer. Therefore, the choline-rich egg yolks your child eats at breakfast will go to work quickly to help him remember what he learns. The peanut butter sandwich he eats at lunch is packed with antioxidants and thiamine that nourish his brain. Give your child the right fuel to help him do his best in class.

    Fish

    Fish, fish-oil supplements or other sources of Omega-3 fatty acids are potent brain food, according to the HelpGuide website. Cold-water "fatty" fish is one of the best sources for Omega-3s. This includes fish such as salmon, herring, sardines, trout, mackerel, halibut and tuna. Add flavor to fish dishes with dry mixes, herbs, spices and dressings. Nuts, seeds and beans, including walnuts, ground flaxseed, flaxseed oil, pumpkin seeds and soybeans are also rich in Omega-3s and can help boost your child's memory.

    Colorful Veggies

    Brightly colored vegetables are rich in antioxidants that keep brain cells strong and healthy, says the MedicineNet website. It cites spinach, tomatoes, pumpkin, carrots and sweet potatoes as good candidates for your child's lunchbox, and suggests sweet potato fries or spinach salad with fruit and nuts as brain-friendly menu possibilities. Add leafy green lettuce and tomatoes to a sandwich and spice it up with chipotle ranch dressing.

    Carbs

    The MedicineNet website quotes nutritionist and ADA spokeswoman Andrea Giancoli as saying that whole-grain breads and cereals give your child's brain the constant supply of glucose it needs to function. The B vitamins these foods contain also nourish his nervous system. Oats are another good menu choice for kids' memory, especially at breakfast, because they're filled with fiber and contain vitamins E and B, potassium and zinc -- all of which help the brain function.

    Leafy Greens

    MSNBC's Today Health website lists folate, also known as folic acid, as a nutrient that helps build memory. It states that spinach, collard greens, kale, mustard and turnip greens are loaded with folate and cites an Australian study that showed that women who ate foods loaded with folic acid for five weeks experienced improvement in memory recall and faster information processing. If your kids don't like strong-tasting greens, shred them and add a little bit to a casserole or salad with a flavorful dressing.

    About the Author

    Mary Strain's first byline appeared in "Scholastic Scope Magazine" in 1978. She has written continually since then and has been a professional editor since 1994. Her work has appeared in "Seventeen Magazine," "The War Cry," "Young Salvationist," "Fireside Companion," "Leaders for Today" and "Creation Illustrated." She earned her Bachelor of Arts in English from Oglethorpe University in Atlanta.

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