Nutrition is one of the easiest, yet most underutilized ways to support your child’s learning and behavior. Proper nutrition and supplementation is proven to benefit cognitive function, memory, attention, self-regulation, and even social skills! Here’s our list of essential nutrients to improve your child’s learning and behavior:
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
You don’t necessarily need to supplement Omega-3 fatty acids, as long as your child has a varied and balanced diet. Different types of fatty fish, nuts, seeds, and plant oils, are all rich sources of Omega-3’s. Research suggests that Omega 3 fats can improve a variety of cognitive functions in children.
Over the course of 6 months of supplementation, children saw improvements in memory, learning, and verbal learning ability. Children also demonstrated better control of impulses, attention, and hyperactivity. A separate study saw that Omega-3 supplementation improved sleep efficiency and increased average sleep time by an hour.
Summary: Supplementing 400mg – 1600mg of Omega-3’s can improve cognitive function, sleep efficiency, and learning capabilities. Read more about types of Omega-3 fatty acids and their significance.
Zinc plays a significant role in metabolizing DHA fats and regulating dopamine. Interestingly, children who took Zinc supplements showed improvements in social behavior and reduced hyperactivity.
Time in the sun = Vitamin-D
Consistent exposure to sunlight (10 – 30 minutes each time) is the easiest way to ensure healthy vitamin-D levels. Vitamin-D helps regulate calcium and phosphate while impacting cognitive function and attention span.
Eliminate food dyes and additives
Food dyes and additives are proven to trigger hyperactivity and impaired social skills in children. In 3 to 8 year old children, large servings of candy with food dyes and additives caused poor social behavior. The easiest way to eliminate processed foods from your child’s diet.
Magnesium facilitates brain electrical activity and can improve cognition. It is especially useful for children who struggle focusing, helping to calm the central nervous system and prolong attention span.