How To Raise A Food Ninja – Intellectual
Healthy, balanced diets are not only good for children’s physical development but also for their intellectual development. “We are, quite literally, what we eat,” says Roxanne Sukol, MD, preventive medicine specialist at Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Institute. “When we eat real food that nourishes us, it becomes the protein-building blocks, enzymes, brain tissue, and neurotransmitters that transfer information and signals between various parts of the brain and body.”
“Brain food” is what scientists call foods that boost brain development. These foods contain omega-3 fatty acids, iron, antioxidants, and more. Diets rich in “brain food” aid in brain development, learning, and problem solving.
- Brain Development: The brain is an organ and as children’s brains develop, neuropathways are being made and myelin grows around the developing nerves. Without suitable nutrition, the brain may not develop properly because the building blocks needed for this are missing from the child’s diet.
- Learning: When children consume the right foods, their energy levels stay stable and their immune systems are stronger. This improves their memory and concentration, which helps them learn and retain information better.
- Problem Solving: Poor nutritional habits often lead to behavior problems. Children that consume high amounts of saturated fats and sugars have a harder time maintaining a positive mood, especially when they crash after a sugar rush. Proper nutrition will help children make better decisions because their mood is more stable, and they aren’t “hangry.”
Healthy eating habits will put the brain into “grow mode” and help children be at their best when learning new things. A nutrient rich diet is linked to changes in a brain protein that helps make proper connections between brain cells. This makes children prepared to learn when they arrive to school. Boosting their brain power is the key to intellectual success!
Author: Jennifer Salama of Skillz Worldwide.
Jennifer is a 4th-degree black belt and has been training in martial arts since 2001. She has a Masters Degree in Child Psychology and has embraced the SKILLZ curriculum because of its focus on child development and using martial arts as a vehicle to develop the child as a whole.