How a Healthy Diet Can Boost Early Reading Skills

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Brain boosting foods for kids

I remember when my daughter was three years old, I was so proud of how she could read the entire Are You My Mother? book by P. D. Eastman by herself!  That wasn’t solely the result of my determination to ensure she was exposed to reading at an early age so she’d love learning; turns out, it was also reinforced by the healthy nutrients she was receiving!

A new Finnish study published in the European Journal of Nutrition supports this, suggesting that a healthy diet is linked to better reading skills in the first three years of school.  The study showed that children whose diet was rich in brain boosting foods for kids, such as vegetables, fruit, berries, whole grain, fish, and unsaturated fats, and low in sugary products, did better in tests measuring reading skills than their peers with a poorer diet quality.

The research also found that the positive associations of diet quality with reading skills in grades two and three were independent of reading skills in grade one.  These results indicate that children with healthier diets improved more in their reading skills from grade one to grades two to three than children with poorer diet quality. [1]

As concerned parents, we want to make sure our young children receive a healthy and balanced diet to maximize their growth and development.  With so much information out there, it seems that we’re constantly reading or hearing about which nutrients build healthy bones, strengthen immunity or have other growth and health benefits. It can be confusing and exhausting trying to decide what to feed your family, but when in doubt, whole foods and plenty of fruits and veggies can prove to be the best brain food for kids.

With a more holistic understanding of how a healthy diet truly impacts young children on so many levels, this recent reading skills research is even more reason to follow through with a nutritious diet for your children as early as possible.

– By Cherie Boldt

[1] https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/09/160913100502.htm

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