In­clude ‘brain food’ in your child’s diet

Cre­atively in­clude seafood and seafood prod­ucts to pro­vide bal­anced nu­tri­tion for chil­dren

Jamaica Gleaner - - CARING FOR & NURTURING OUR CHILDREN -

EVEN BE­FORE giv­ing birth, moth­ers start wor­ry­ing about the nu­tri­tion of their un­born chil­dren be­cause they are aware of its im­por­tance to their growth and de­vel­op­ment.

Af­ter the child is born, the con­cern of the par­ents shifts to pro­vid­ing their child with bal­anced meals that will im­pact their growth pos­i­tively.

The use of seafood is one route par­ents should con­sider go­ing as they at­tempt to keep their child’s palate en­ter­tained while still pro­vid­ing nutri­tious meals. Seafood is an ex­cel­lent source of pro­tein, iron, zinc, io­dine, and DHA, all cru­cial nu­tri­ents for a child’s growth and de­vel­op­ment.

Child-friendly seafood prod­ucts such as fish burg­ers and nuggets are easy to whip up by par­ents who are al­ways on the go but still want their child to be con­sum­ing healthy meal op­tions.

Par­ents are also of­ten faced with the chal­lenge of cook­ing fast, tasty meals that are nutri­tious be­cause of con­straints of time.

Fish burg­ers and nuggets take a max­i­mum time of 10 min­utes to pre­pare and are usu­ally a hit with chil­dren.

Present in the fish burg­ers and nuggets is the all-im­por­tant omega-3 fatty acid, do­cosa­hex­aenoic acid (DHA), which is of crit­i­cal im­por­tance to brain and eye de­vel­op­ment through all the life stages.

Be­tween birth and five years there is a rapid in­crease in brain mass. Dur­ing this time, it is im­por­tant that chil­dren con­sume enough DHA to sup­port this rapid growth.

It is, there­fore, ad­vis­able that for par­ents who want to pro­vide their chil­dren with nutri­tious meals, they should in­cor­po­rate more seafood into the diet of their lit­tle ones.

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