Study: The brain food that will make your kids smarter and healthier

Study: The brain food that will make your kids smarter and healthier

Fish, when given to kids at least once a week, can make them smarter, healthier and sleep better, says this study!

Eating fish in early childhood reduces risk of disease

In a recent study published in MDPI on 21 August 2019, eating fish in early childhood has also shown to significantly reduce occurrences of eczema, wheezing and asthma at age six. The study was conducted by researchers from St. Olavs hospital and NTNU in Norway.

The study found that children who are introduced to fish or cod liver oil early in life, from when they are about 1 year old, have fewer health problems like eczema and asthma, than those who start consuming fish later on.

“We compared children who ate fish at least once a week until they were two years old with children who consumed less fish than that.” says associate professor and first author Torbjørn Øien in NTNU’s Department of Public Health and Nursing.”

brain food

“In line with previous meta-analyses of several studies, we found that consuming fish at the age of one year seems to reduce the risk of eczema, asthma and wheezing at the age of six.”

“This is more significant than the mother’s intake of fish and cod liver oil during pregnancy and breastfeeding or the child’s intake at two years, which do not appear to have the same protective effect,” said associate professor and first author Torbjørn Øien in NTNU’s Department of Public Health and Nursing.

Also, according to the study, eating all types of fish provides health benefits, and not just fatty fish.

Brain food for kids: Guidelines for parents

Fish is a good source of protein and “healthy” fat.

When choosing fish for kids, keep in mind that, though some are high in good ol’ omega-3s, others can have a high mercury content, which can cause brain and nerve damage in young kids.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns against feeding young kids shark, swordfish, and tilefish, as these types of predatory fish may have a high mercury content.

Examples of fish that are low in mercury are: canned light tuna, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, salmon, cod, and catfish.

Brain food fish recipes to try!

“Introducing the taste early makes it more palatable,” Jennifer Pinot-Martin, one of the study’s researchers tells TLC. “It really has to be a concerted effort.”

Once your baby is six months old, they can be started on solids. This includes mashed fish. But you must first make sure that they don’t have any allergies to certain fish. Also, check the fish very carefully for bones as these can pose a chocking hazard. 

brain food

Image source: File photo

Salmon eggy fried rice

brain food

Image source: Pinterest

This is no doubt a comfort food for adults and kids alike. Not only is it easy to whip up for dinner, it’s super delicious, too. You can find the full recipe here

Fish cake fingers

brain food

Image source: Pinterest

Not only is this recipe delicious, you can make preparing it a bonding experience. It’s just perfect for parents and kids. You can find the full recipe here.

Easy fish pie

brain food

Image source: Pinterest

This potato-fish pie is buttery and cheesy. Best of all it can keep for more than one meal time! Find out how to whip this up here

Hoisin mackerel pancakes

brain food

Image source: Pinterest

This sweet and savoury assemble-it-yourself dish is a treat for kids and kids at heart. You can find the full recipe here.

Chub and atlantic mackerel are low in mercury, while king mackerel has a high mercury content.

Do you have any go-to fish recipes for the whole family? Share them with us below!

sources:,,,, BBC Good Food

READ THIS ALSO: 9 Best superfoods for baby brain development!

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Written by

Bianchi Mendoza

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