Feed the Future: Brain Food for Children

What A Young Brain Needs to Really Succeed

Food is one of the main factors that affects a child’s brain development. Children need 2-3 times more nutrients per kg body weight than adults. Because children have high energy and nutrient needs but have small stomachs, they need nutrient dense snacks.

Vegetables and fruit are a good source of vitamins, minerals and fibre. Kids should aim to eat a total of 5 servings a day of fruit and vegetables. You can do this by giving them a piece of fruit at the end of a meal in place of a dessert – it’s still sweet but better than a slice of sponge cake!

A brain, just like any other organ is changing every day and what we feed our children can contribute to their brain development. Balance is key to a healthy diet where a brain thrives on what we put into our bodies. If possible, try and let your children enjoy a variety of foods, here are a few tips to maintaining a balanced diet for optimal energy and brain performance for your little ones:

  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables everyday
  • Eat legumes e.g. dry beans, peas or lentils regularly
  • Chicken, fish, meat or eggs should be eaten daily
  • Make starchy foods the basis of most meals
  • Include the right quality of fats in your diet
  • Use salt sparingly
  • Drink lots of clean, safe water


1. ftp://ftp.fao.org/es/esn/nutrition/dietary_guidelines/zaf_eating.pdf
2. http://www.nutritionweek.co.za/NNW2013/docs/NNW-2013-Nutrition%20Educators%20Guideline.pdf

Discover More Articles