Active Child Means Active Brain
Created by Nandini Muralidharan Updated on May 06, 2019
Just yesterday, my three-year old daughter’s pretend play took a new turn. She wanted to be a ‘traveller’ and I had to be the ‘immigration officer.’ By the time I could get my head around the fact that she had said ‘immigration officer’, she had moved on to security check. At 3, she amazes me every day with the new words she uses so confidently, the new songs she sings, and the emotional intelligence she exhibits; it also makes me wonder what I need to be doing to help her brain continue to develop well.
Did you know that your child’s brain reaches 90% of its development in the first six years of her life? And the maximum growth takes place between 3 months and 2 years of age. This stunning fact means that early childhood contributes immensely to a person’s health and development in later years. This only implies that the nutrition that a child gets for brain development is extremely important, especially in these early years. Nutrition for the brain might sound surprising, but there are specific nutrients that aid in the development of a child’s brain.
What Nutrients Does The Brain Need For Development?
My daughter was bent over her jigsaw puzzle, concentrating hard and trying to fit the pieces, and I was watching her while chatting with a friend. My friend, a paediatrician was telling me about the connection between nutrition and brain development, and I was suddenly all ears. By the end of the conversation, I made up my mind to pay close attention to the nutrition my daughter was getting, to make sure all the essential nutrients were going in. Here are some key facts about nutrients for brain development:
- DHA, an essential fatty acid, is one of the main nutrients responsible for formation of synapses in the brain during early years. DHA also has an impact on visual and auditory development.
- Choline is one of the key components in developing the brain’s memory center.
- Iodine, Zinc and Iron are essential for brain development and maturity.
- Vitamin B9 (Folate) & Vitamin B12: A deficiency of B Vitamins is often linked to brain atrophy.
- Vitamin D is known to have an effect on regulating behavior.
Impact Of Nutritional Deficiencies On Brain Development
Nutrients are believed to “trigger” processes that bring about brain development. When these nutrients are not available in sufficient quantities, brain development is impaired. During these important years when the child’s brain is rapidly developing, even deficiencies for short periods of time could have a significant impact.
- Deficiency of these important “brain nutrients” can lead to learning delays and affect concentration.
- Behavioral issues can be a result of nutritional deficiencies.
- Vision problems could arise from nutritional deficiencies. • Sleep quality can be affected.
How I Ensure My Child Gets The Nutrition Needed For Brain Development
I was sure I was feeding my daughter a reasonably healthy diet. But how could I make sure she got everything she needed? As a mother, I got inputs from various sources – from well-meaning elders, to fellow-parents who did extensive internet research. With all this information, my confusion just grew and so did my anxiety. I didn’t want my daughter to miss out on important nutrients. One thing that came to my rescue was Junior Horlicks –it has DHA, Choline, Iodine and other nutrients that I read about which help in brain development. Once I introduced it to my girl, she’s taken to it well, and has started asking for it off late. Now, I can only sigh with relief!
Remember, that your child needs nutrition to grow physically and be healthy. But just as important is the nutrition to help her brain develop. After all, an active brain means an active child!
Watch this video and know more about an active brain.
Disclaimer: Junior Horlicks is a nutritional food powder which as part of a balanced daily diet helps meet your child’s nutritional requirements. This product is not an infant milk substitute or infant food for less than 2years old.
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