Today, statistics show that children’s mental health problems are on the rise, with school pressures mounting and issues such as cyber-bullying increasing in severity. As a parent, you want to do anything possible to keep your child happy and healthy, but finding ways to help your child with anxiety, depression, or self-confidence issues isn’t always easy.
In addition to talking to your child and listening to their concerns, encouraging a healthy diet and plenty of exercise can help keep mental health problems at bay. Here are some brain-health boosting foods that you can add to your child’s meals to help improve their mental health.
#1. Protein Rich Foods:
Growing kids need plenty of protein to keep their bodies and brains developing healthily. Even if your family follows a vegetarian diet, there are several great plant proteins that your child can benefit from eating more of. Including eggs in your child’s breakfast every day is a great idea, since this will set them up with plenty of energy for the day ahead.
Lean meats such as chicken, beef, and fish are all high in protein and packed with brain-boosting nutrients, whilst vegetarians can enjoy tofu chunks, beans, legumes, chickpeas, and nuts.
Encouraging your child to snack on fruits more often will make a great difference to both their physical and mental health. You can get creative making delicious smoothies, milkshakes, and fruit-based desserts packed with healthy nutrients. A small scoop of low-fat ice-cream can go a long way in making fruit more enjoyable to eat for kids. Bananas are a great choice, since they’re packed with essential nutrients that help to combat stress and anxiety, whilst super berries such as blueberries will improve focus and concentration.
#3. Colorful Veggies:
Colorful and leafy green vegetables are rich in B vitamins, which are essential for the healthy growth and development of neurotransmitters in the brain. For this reason, making sure that your child gets enough veggies in their diet is recommended by the professionals at ELEOS child psychology.
Foods such as bell peppers, spinach, carrots, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and green beans are all filled with essential brain nutrients that your little one’s growing mind needs. Hide veggies in sauces and stews if your little one is a fussy eater, or have fun arranging foods into colorful pictures and designs on the plate. If you can, growing your own vegetables can be an awesome way to get your child more involved and they’ll benefit from spending more time outdoors.
Lastly, staying hydrated is just as important for brain health as it is for staying physically fit. Getting your child into the habit of drinking water regularly throughout the day will help them create healthy rituals for life. You can make drinking water more appealing for your child by adding fresh fruits and letting the water infuse overnight or getting them a special water bottle.
With more children than ever suffering from mental health problems, looking after your child’s brain health and wellbeing has never been so important.