The other day I came across an article “Feeding the Brain For Academic Success” by Philippa Norman, MD., M.P.H. I found it enlightening and it also reaffirmed many things that I have read on nutrition and child brain development.
“I derive a certain perverse pleasure in sneaking flax oil into ketchup. Do my children thank me for helping them maintain healthy brain cell membranes? Not yet, not until they are 40 and sprinkling flaxseed on their own kids’ cereal. Though I give them flax at home, I wonder if they will be able to make the best choices for themselves as they live in this culture that pushes junk food and disregards the needs of a growing child’s brain.
Though food processing began as a way to increase the availability of foods, it has become a renegade public enemy, with fluorescent green condiments, bits of candy served for breakfast, and snack cakes that won’t spoil for years. What has been the impact of poor nutrition on our children’s brains? How has it influenced their emotional well-being? In some cities, nearly half of school children (and their parents) are on medication for ADD. Many children are depressed, anxious, and tired. Others have behavior problems and seem to lack impulse control. Even if they do not have these problems, they live in a world replete with potential threats to their brain health; pesticides with hormone-like activity, toxins that damage membranes and DNA, and stress levels that throw their brains into a state of unrest, short-circuiting their ability to learn and diverting energy reserves that could be used for creativity and higher-level processing. Eating the typical, unconscious American diet certainly takes its toll.”
One cannot go back yesterday when it comes to rearing a child. I am hoping this blog can provide parents with common sense parenting skills. The reason the first Blog is about Nourishing Your Child’s Brain by Dr. Norman is that the child’s brain starts developing the day it is conceived. So what the mother eats for the 9 months up until birth is one of the most important times for the Child’s brain. Once the child is born, organic and natural foods have been shown to provide for better brain development than those with heavy preservatives and pesticides. Good brain development is just 1 piece that the parent needs to be aware of and informed on.