How to Create a Brain that Soaks Up Knowledge

brain power in kids

All parents want the best for their kids – and that includes an intellect or brain that soaks up knowledge they can use all their lives. While many factors come into play in terms of how children learn, education experts interviewed by Woman’s Day magazine suggest eight things parents can do to help boost their child’s openness to information:

Breastfeeding – A McGill University study of 14,000 children showed that those who had been breastfed for at least the first six months of life scored as much as 7.5 points higher on verbal IQ tests at age six.

Healthy diets – Researchers tracking 4,000 children from age three to age eight determined that kids who ate the most processed foods and convenience foods high in fat and sugar, had IQ scores 1.67 points lower than those who ate more fruit, vegetables, protein and pasta.

Breakfast – A morning meal as simple as whole-grain cereal or toast and fruit juice can help a child to be more focused and ready to learn, say Harvard Medical School researchers.

DHA omega-3 fatty acids – Many studies have found that diets high in this nutrient, found in fish and other seafood, help raise people’s intelligence. Research suggests that when pregnant women and nursing mothers get over 1,000 mg of DH daily, infant IQ can swell by 3.5 points.

The preschool experience – an analysis of 16 recent studies found that preschool is beneficial for all children, and that sending a disadvantaged child to a preschool that focuses on language development can raise IQ by as much as seven points.

Music lessons – A University of Toronto study found that music lessons boost brain power in children six to 11 years of age.

Interactive reading NYU researchers have found that when children under four are active participants in reading with their caregivers, their IQ can go up by more than six points. In other words, reading to your kids is not enough. Encourage them to ask questions and/or comment about what is happening in the story.

Sports and play breaks – Studies show children’s cognitive test scores and grades are higher when they have regular breaks to blow off steam via athletics or free play.

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