Our kids’ energy levels can often catch us by surprise. They can run around and play for hours on end, and bedtime for them always seems unreasonably early. As soon as they get up from their classroom chair, they spring into action, ready for another exciting play session with their friends. What kids sometimes lack, though, is focus.
As parents, getting our little ones to pay attention to one activity and ignore distractions can be frustrating. At times it seems impossible, and we reach for a cliché phrase such as “it’s just kids being kids!”
However, their little brains are rapidly changing, and they need the support of proper nutrients to develop focus and learn to pay attention for longer stretches of time. Here are a few key nutrients that support focus in kids and how you can introduce them seamlessly into their diets!
Magnesium, the brain-friendly mineral
Known among athletes as a godsend for preventing muscle cramps and ensuring proper recovery, magnesium is a mineral that’s vital for your body’s energy production. It also helps your body absorb calcium and potassium, and it enables healthy brain development.
Especially for your growing kids, magnesium can be a crucial ingredient in developing focus and regulating mood. A good way to introduce magnesium for your kids is through healthy snacks such as dark chocolate, nuts, seeds, but it can also be found in supplements.
Healthy fats as essential brain food
Did you know that the brain as well as the entire nervous system is made up of fats, also known as lipids? We derive these fats from the food we eat every day, which is why healthy fats are so vital for protecting brain health and for our kids’ ability to focus.
However, healthy fatty acids are typically found in foods such as fatty fish, which might not always be too appetizing for our little ones. Supplements such as the Kids Fab 4 Bundle contain a healthy dose of DHA, which is a type of omega-3 fatty acid and essential for brain health, which makes them a great dietary reinforcement for kids. Other ingredients such as vitamin D and probiotics further help your little munchkins retain a wholesome diet.
A range of B vitamins
Now that you’ve taken care of healthy fats, you also need to consider the vitamins that help your body absorb those fats and use them properly. In this case, B vitamins really do stand for brain vitamins, since they are crucial for using healthy fats, but also for converting amino acids into neurotransmitters.
Without enough vitamin B6, for example, your child can experience a range of symptoms such as poor mood, the inability to focus, and impaired memory. B12 also play an important role in your child’s brain development, and folate is crucial for energy production among other things. Go for local and seasonal foods that are packed with nutrients, including B vitamins, such as dark leafy greens, legumes, but also meats, eggs and dairy.
Amino acids and protein for better focus
Since we’ve scratched the protein surface just now, it’s important to note that the amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein and therefore of life itself, are another key ingredient in healthy brain development.
As we’ve mentioned already, amino acids are often used by your brain as neurotransmitters. They regulate mood, energy levels, a general feeling of motivation, and they are responsible for your kids’ ability to pay attention. Make sure that your kids eat enough protein (which are made of amino acids), and they’ll have plenty of healthy, sustained energy throughout the day as well as better focus.
Regular meals and snacks are important!
Finally, not everything is about what your kids eat, there’s something in the “how”, too. Setting up an eating routine for your child will help them with energy and mood regulation (how could you expect a hangry child to focus, right?), but also with their ability to pay attention.
Go for three essential meals and regular, healthy snacks in between those meals. Choose healthy sweet treats over sugar-packed ones that will definitely not help with your kids’ focus problems! In diversifying your chihttps://www.calmglow.com/healthy-halloween-5-sweet-alternatives-both-kids-and-grownups-will-love/ld’s nutrition with healthy options, you’ll ensure a balanced diet and a better chance to develop focus and attention.
A growing child can be a handful, but with the right nutrition plan and plenty of healthy activities, you can foster healthy brain development and help them improve their focus over time. If you’re still struggling with your child’s eating regime, don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation with a functional medicine expert to design a tailor-made plan for your child’s needs.