How Nutrients Help with Brain and Eye Development

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You probably know by now that interactive toys – those kinds of toys that spur your baby’s curiosity and imagination – are key to helping her development. There are a variety of nutrients, too, such as DHA Omega-3 Fatty Acids, which contribute to healthy brain development as well. There are a number of important building blocks your baby needs in order to grow.





Lutein and baby’s development

We hear a lot about DHA Omega-3 Fatty Acids, and rightly so. These essential fatty acids make up the basic components of your baby’s brain development. A nutrient that should be right up there with DHA, however, is Lutein. Yet, this one is glossed over by many parents, and even by many health care providers.

The most recent research shows that Lutein is present in the cells of the eye, as well as in the brain of an infant. In particular, Lutein is found in the region of the brain that has to do with learning and memory.

Where to get Lutein

Before your baby is eating solid foods, he can get Lutein the same way he gets his other nutrients: from breast milk or formula. If you’re breastfeeding, you need to make sure you get enough lutein as well. If you’re formula feeding, make sure you’re using a formula that contains both DHA and Lutein.

There are a number of food sources where you can get Lutein. If you’re breastfeeding, you should be having some of these. If your baby is eating solid foods, he should try some, too. Some of the sources include spinach, kale, green beans, yellow and zucchini squash, corn, kiwi, eggs, and apples.

Not just nutrition

Playing with your baby is perhaps the most important thing you can do, apart from providing her with a balanced diet and meeting her nutritional needs, to encourage brain development. Even more than a scientifically-designed toy, interacting with your child via a simple game like peek-a-boo, or playing with the child in front of a mirror, will help with this process.

So, what about you? What kinds of things do you do to encourage brain development in your baby?

 


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