Babies need the right nutrition in order for the body and brain to reach their full potential. It is imperative that parents start giving their babies “brain” foods once they start eating solids. At age 2, the brain reaches up to 80% of its weight. This means that during the first few years of life, parents need to do supply the right nourishment for their babies in order for brain development to be normal throughout lifetime.
The Importance of Early Brain Support
At 6 months, babies need to be supplied the following vitamins and minerals to ensure proper brain growth and development:
Although these are popular requirements when feeding infants, some parents seem to ignore them, only to regret once they start noticing unwanted symptoms. To ensure that your baby grows up smart, here are tips worth remembering.
What do babies need?
Bear in mind that babies should only be supplied with nutrient-dense meals once they start eating semi-solids and solids.
- Fatty fish
Wild-caught fatty fish contain long-chain, Omega-3 fatty acids that are extremely important to the baby’s developing brain. Parents should understand that giving this type of fat is beneficial. Given that 80% of the brain consists of fats, it becomes more important to increase the fat intake. But not all fats are created equal. You must be sure that you are consuming healthy fats. Wild-caught fatty fishes such as tuna, mackerel, and salmon are important as they have high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids that help in the regulation of gene expression in the brain.
Fatty acids assume a relevant role in the body as it further strengthens the immune system. In addition, fatty fish has amazing concentrations of iron and zinc.
- Fish roe from salmon, herring, and sardines
Eggs have everything that a fetus needs for proper growth and development. Apart from the essential protein, it is also loaded with nutrients that support normal development.
Fish eggs are excellent sources of Vitamin D, choline, and folate. Choline is an essential nutrient for proper brain development as it stimulates neurotransmitter synthesis and healthy expression of DNA. Similar to folate, choline also prevents the development of neural tube defects during pregnancy. It is also an important nutrient to due its memory-enhancing qualities.
Up to 20% of the fat in egg yolks are polyunsaturated fatty acids. It boasts a good ration of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. Eggs also contain high amounts of Vitamin A, thiamin, riboflavin, and biotin to name a few.
Just like fatty fish, eggs, and roe, liver offers a wide array of nutrients too. Sadly, liver is not perceived as nutritious and important in modern society. Traditionally, liver is being thrown away or fed to animals instead. Liver is one of the most nutritious food items that you should eat during pregnancy.
Liver contains the following nutrients:
- B-vitamins including folate
- Iron and zin
- Vitamins A & D
- Fermented Spirulina
In essence, spirulina is blue-green algae and not true microalgae. What makes it different from microalgae is that spirulina does not have tough cellulose walls. This means that the nutrients are more bioavailable than microalgae, especially in its fermented form.
Fermented spirulina contains a host of amino acids that feature minerals including calcium and iron. According to research, the iron in spirulina is twice fast absorbed as the iron found in veggies. Fermented spirulina is also a prebiotic which means that stimulates the growth of beneficial bacterial in the gut.
- Fermented Foods
There are a host of benefits if you opt to give your baby fermented foods. The addition of veggies such as cabbage, onion, and carrots in small amounts to baby food will increase the bioavailability of iron. Kefir is yet another excellent souce of probiotics and have been found to support the good bacteria population in the gut.
Grain-like seeds including millet, buckwheat, quinoa, and amaranth are known as efficient in the synthesis of proteins. Fermented grains are proven to make vital nutrients like Vitamin B and Vitamin K more available. They also help in keeping normal digestive processes and the assimilation of nutrients in food.