Posted: Sat, October 19, 2013 | By: Brain Health
by Hank Pellissier
Brain development expert Jane M. Healy shares her most recent findings on how to boost your child’s brain - and introduces some surprising risks to consider. It’s a heady responsibility. Thanks to the rapidly expanding field of brain research, parents now know just how malleable (or plastic) their children’s brains are and — particularly when children are young — how much influence they can have on “feeding” their child’s growing mind. (Hint: we’re not talking flash cards.) To help make sense of the latest research, we spoke with Jane Healy, bestselling author of numerous books on children’s brain development, including the widely acclaimed Your Child’s Growing Mind.
HP: We know our kids are supposed to eat their broccoli, but how does nutrition directly help with brain development?
Jane Healy: My new book, Different Learners, provides advice on how to prevent kids from having learning problems. The last third of the book is a how-to on healthy brain development, and the foundation is nutrition. A healthy brain lives in a healthy body. If your child is dragged down by poor nutrition, if their body isn’t functioning at its best, they will have a much higher risk of ADHD, dyslexia, and even poor handwriting. If your child has a slight genetic disposition to any of those, it takes 10 times the brainpower to overcome the obstacles. You need to optimize their nutrition. Adequate sleep is also very important. If the physical body and brain are well tended to, the child will have enough cortical energy to meet their growing challenges.
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