Time and again, be it by various media or by the health professionals you consult, you are reminded that the first years of life are critical for brain development. For this reason, there is a strong emphasis to advertise what early childhood products can do to support baby brain and eye development, to sharpen young minds, etc.

Definitely, you don’t want your children to miss out on any of the processes that their brains go through to establish mental capability. Instead, you want to support all the activities the brain needs to do to lay the foundation for neurological skills that will serve them for the rest of their lives.

Smart Food

Intelligence ranks among the top concerns or wishes parents have for their kids. It’s safe to assume that all good parents want their kids to be smart and will do their utmost to help them boost their brain power.

One of the things that you can do as a parent to enhance your children’s brain development is to feed them the nutrients that aid it. A complete and balanced nutrition for kids is a must. Make sure to regularly supply them with the following nutrients:

1.  B-vitamins

These are vital to the nervous system. Thiamine, in particular, helps the brain and nervous system use glucose for energy. Peanuts are good sources as are whole grains and dairy products.

2.  Vitamin C

This helps brain cells stay strong and healthy. Colorful fruits and vegetables make great sources.

3.  Choline

This is a big word in toddler brain development as it boosts memory. Egg yolks are the most common source.

4.   Vitamin E

This helps preserve the nervous membranes. Peanuts and oats are rich sources.

5.  Fiber

This aids brain development by regulating the release of glucose necessary for providing brain energy. Whole grains, especially oats, are abundant sources.

6.  Iron

This improves concentration. You can get a good supply of this nutrient from lean beef, soy, and black beans.

7.  Omega-3 Fatty Acids

These are another popular nutrient associated with brain growth and function. They are usually sourced from fatty fishes such as salmon and tuna, as well as beans like kidney and pinto.

8.  Protein

This is a must when it comes to brain growth. Meat and dairy are two of its most common sources.

9.  Zinc

This helps optimize brain function as well as boosts memory. Oats and beef are rich in this nutrient.

Smart Activities

In early childhood, the brain’s connections eagerly wait for new experiences to transpire. These will essentially form neural networks for communication, moral values, problem-solving, and reasoning. When these connections are regularly used, they become permanent. When they’re not, they are discarded.

The following are some suggestions for activities you can do to regularly use those all-important brain connections.

1.  Chatting

Talk to your kids a lot and encourage them to talk as well. Their conversations are often funny and entertaining, but they can also get tedious as they sometimes take a long time trying to find the right words to express themselves accurately. Be patient and supportive.

2.  Counting

Learn counting rhymes together and sing them often. Get your kids to count the things around them.

3.  Moving and Dancing

Teach your kids popular action songs such as “If You’re Happy and You Know It” and “Hokey Pokey.” You can also watch popular children’s TV shows and dance along during the song numbers.

4.  Pretending

Let them exercise their imagination and many other cognitive skills by doing pretend play with them. Dress-up is a good option, but there are really many possible play choices.

5.  Problem Solving

There are lots of toys and activities that encourage this. You might want to invest in peg puzzle boards, shape sorters, play bricks, etc.

6.  Sensory Strolling

Walk around the neighborhood and inspect interesting objects. Let them touch rocks and twigs, smell the different parts of a plant, listen to different sounds, and maybe even taste an edible fruit, flower, or leaf.

7.  Storytelling

You can narrate something from memory with plenty of big gestures or you can read from a picture book. Either way, storytelling will expose them to speech and language.

Smart Parents

It’s highly likely that you’re already feeding them brain foods and engaging them in brain-stimulating activities. Parents have an instinct for what’s good for their kids. Just keep up your efforts and be amazed by your little sponges’ capacity for learning.