Top 10 Brain Foods for Baby

Have you ever considered that the food you’re feeding your baby might be giving him a mental boost? From eating seasonal, fresh foods—which helps with the absorption of nutrients, to providing different textures and colors to stimulate the mind, to choosing foods high in vitamins and nutrients, there are foods that make a difference when it comes to your baby’s (or toddler’s) brain development. Mika Shino is a mom (who happens to wear a chef’s hat) who’s passionate about the topic, and she shared her Top 10 Brain Foods—including some really cool recipes that will have you thinking jar food is just about as bland as it looks.

  • #1: Mac & Cheese

    #1: Mac & Cheese

    That’s right, by adding some basic ingredients like ground flaxseeds and wheat germ, as well as using freshly grated cheeses and whole-grain pasta, Mac & Cheese can be transformed into an easy brain food. So it won’t just be your baby’s best friend, it will be yours too.

    For a brain-building recipe, click here.

    Photo courtesy of Mika Shino, SmartBitesForBaby.com

  • #2: Egg

    #2: Egg

    Egg is a great brain builder because of its high DHA Omega 3 fatty acid content. It’s also a simple everyday item that can be whipped up in minutes. For an interesting take, throw some eggs with chicken in a (brown) rice bowl, and you have a complete meal of Omega 3, protein and complex carbs.

    For a brain-building recipe, click here.

    Photo courtesy of Mika Shino, SmartBitesForBaby.com

  • #3: Salmon

    #3: Salmon

    Salmon contains one of the highest amounts of DHA Omega 3 fatty acids, and it’s a great source of protein. You can make it in a variety of ways — simply put it in the oven for a quick roasted salmon with fresh orange zest.

    For a brain-building recipe, click here.

    Photo courtesy of Mika Shino, SmartBitesForBaby.com

  • #4: Walnuts

    #4: Walnuts

    Walnuts are a super brain food, packed with vitamins and minerals to feed the growing brain. Mix them into muffins, cereals, or in a creamy pasta dish with butternut squash and fusilli. NOTE: Talk to your pediatrician about allergens before introducing nuts to your baby.

    For a brain-building recipe, click here.

    Photo courtesy of Mika Shino, SmartBitesForBaby.com

  • #5: Flaxseed

    #5: Flaxseed

    Flaxseeds are packed with DHA Omega 3 fatty acids, as well as protein, calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium. The neutral flavor allows them to be combined with many dishes, like this fusilli with Boursin cheese dish.

    For a brain-building recipe, click here.

    Photo courtesy of Mika Shino, SmartBitesForBaby.com

  • #6: Seaweed

    #6: Seaweed

    Sea vegetables contain some of the highest amount of DHA Omega 3 fatty acid as a vegetarian source. You can mix it in soups, stews, meatballs, or even baked goods, but the simplest way for your child to enjoy it is as a simple snack.

    For a brain-building recipe, click here.

    Photo courtesy of Mika Shino, SmartBitesForBaby.com

  • #7: Shrimp

    #7: Shrimp

    Shrimp is a brain food from the sea with Vitamin B12, protein, DHA Omega 3, along with other essential vitamins and minerals. You can simply boil and serve them with the skin, marinate them in tomato sauce and cook on a grill, or, try something a bit different, like these shrimp cakes with wheat germ.

    For a brain-building recipe, click here.

    Photo courtesy of Mika Shino, SmartBitesForBaby.com

  • #8: Hemp Seeds

    #8: Hemp Seeds

    Hemp seeds are a great source of DHA Omega 3 fatty acids, and like flaxseeds, their neutral flavors allow you to mix them up with just about anything. Serve with beef and scallions and a side of rice.

    For a brain-building recipe, click here.

    Photo courtesy of Mika Shino, SmartBitesForBaby.com

  • #9: Cod

    #9: Cod

    Cod is another brain food from the sea, and it’s so simple to prepare. Bake it with some miso paste, flaxseeds, and sesame. Then serve it with a side of rice and greens.

    For a brain-building recipe, click here.

    Photo courtesy of Mika Shino, SmartBitesForBaby.com

  • #10: Chia Seeds

    #10: Chia Seeds

    Chia seeds are another vegetarian brain food that add an element of texture to any dish. Try them in a fresh fruit salad with orange and mint.

    For a brain-building recipe, click here.

    Photo courtesy of Mika Shino, SmartBitesForBaby.com

What brain foods have you tried with your baby?

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