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Feeding Your Toddler’s Brain

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Research suggests that early life nutrition can influence physical growth as well as the cognitive development of social skills, attention, learning and educational achievement. Young brains grow quickly and the food they eat can fuel their focus and development of cognitive (thinking) skills.

Toddler brains benefit from many types of nutrients from a broad range of nutritious foods following Vietnam’s 10 tips on proper nutrition. Here are our top 5 picks to provide nutrition that supports the growth and development of the toddler brain and cognitive development. 

1. Fatty fish

Oily fish like salmon are an excellent source of the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA -- both essential for brain growth and function.

2. Eggs

Eggs whites are well-known as a great protein source and the egg yolks are a great source of choline which helps memory development.

3. Oats

Loaded with fibre, oats take a long time to digest and the sugars they contain are released slowly making them an excellent brain fuel. Oats are a good source of vitamin E, B-vitamins, potassium and zinc- nutrients to help toddlers brain function at full capacity. 

4. Beans and legumes

These have energy from protein, complex carbohydrates and fibre along with lots of vitamins and minerals. These are an excellent brain food and make a great choice for breakfast since they can help to keep a child's energy levels stable through the day. Kidney and pinto beans contain omega 3 fatty acids. they release energy slowly which keeps them filled with energy.

5. Milk, yoghurt, and cheese

These dairy foods are packed with protein and B-vitamins along with a broad range of other vitamins and minerals which are important for cognition and for brain growth and development.