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Healthy Drinks for Kids that can Improve Memory and Concentration

1 April 2022

Three glasses of fruit and vegetable juice

Human beings are first and foremost physical beings and then mental and intellectual beings. Hence, how we measure at our child’s growth is primarily on physical parameters like height and weight. Which is alright, but then we directly jump to evaluating their process in academics based on the child’s report card. What most of us miss, is a crucial step in between – paying attention to the growth and development of our child’s brain. And honestly, there are no benchmarks for this available anywhere which actually apply in real life because every child is different and gifted in their own special way.

Having said that, memory and concentration are human attributes that define us as homo sapiens, which are not always reflected in your child’s academic performance but in their day-to-day lives and also social skills. And the organ that is responsible for these qualities is the brain. Research even talks about the importance of a child’s brain development and its effect on later health of the individual.

A healthy start for the brain happens in the womb; new mothers must ensure to get the right nutrition and avoid exposure to toxins, specifically focusing on their baby’s brain development. During infancy the brain continues to grow, so it is upon the child’s caregivers to provide the child with right care and nutrition. Growth, behavioural patterns and skills that develop at a young age affect the child’s health life-long.

Nutrients important for Brain Growth, leading to improved memory and concentration

The following nutrients should be of absolute focus of parents’ when it comes to the health of their child’s brain, along with some list of foods rich in these nutrients –

  • Choline – Eggs, broccoli, mushrooms, quinoa, nuts and seeds
  • Iron – Dark green leafy vegetables, rajma, masoor dal, dark chocolate, chickpeas
  • Iodine – Iodized salt, egg, cheese, milk, seaweed
  • Selenium – Brazil nuts, eggs, tuna, cooked brown rice
  • Zinc – dairy, beans, nuts, seafood, whole grains
  • Copper – dark leafy greens, beans, cashew nuts, nuts, potatoes, cocoa, dried fruit, black pepper
  • Vitamin A, C, D and the family of B vitamins – fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, eggs, oysters and some fish
  • Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) – salmon, tuna, mackerel, flaxseed, chia seed, walnuts, sunflower seeds
  • Right balance of Proteins, carbohydrates and fats

I know what you all are wondering now – how do I get my child to eat all these foods!!!
…especially if you are a vegetarian. My personal trick is to get them to drink their essential nutrients because heaven knows how hard it is so make a child eat health foods. So here’s a few drinks that boost brain power, in the next segment.

Ideas for some easy and quick memory boosting drinks

1. The Wholesome Berry Smoothie –
Ingredients –

  • 1 cup diced mixed Berries (Blueberry, Blackberry, Raspberry, Strawberry etc.)
  • 1 cup homemade yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp raw organic Honey
  • 1/4 th cup toasted Oats
  • 1 tbsp soaked Chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp soaked Flaxseeds
  • 1 tbsp soaked mix of Sunflower and Pumpkin seeds

Recipe –

  • Blend your soaked seeds first so that they turn into a fine paste.
  • Add in the rest of the ingredients and blend some more till it turns into a smooth yummy smoothie
  • Serve thick and cold; kids get ice-cream feels with this smoothie

2. The Complete Chocolate shake 
Ingredients –

  • 1 cup Milk (cow’s or soy)
  • 1 tbsp high cocoa % drinking chocolate (or you may even use Complan here for that extra nutrition boost)
  • 1 whole banana
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 7-8 soaked and peeled almonds
  • 2-3 soaked brasil nuts
  • 4-5 soaked cashew nuts

Recipe –

  • Blend your soaked nuts, with a little milk first, into a smooth paste
  • Throw in the rest of the ingredients and blend into a thick shake
  • Serve nice and chilled; you don’t even need to convince your kid to drink this heavenly chocolate shake

3. The Winter Vegetable Juice
Ingredients –

  • 1 Carrots
  • 1 Beetroot
  • 1 handful cleaned Spinach
  • 1 Tomato
  • A small chunk of Pumpkin
  • 1 Amla (Indian Gooseberry)
  • 1 Orange
  • Organic jaggery powder – to taste
  • Pink or Rock salt – to taste

Recipe –

  • Pass all the vegetables through your juicer, ideally cold pressed juicer.
  • No frets if you don’t have a juicer, clean and chop all the vegetables. Blend together with some coconut water or plain water and pass through a sieve.
  • Add jaggery and salt to taste for your child; their palates are not developed enough to appreciate the taste of vegetables. 

4. The All-In Flexible Fruit Smoothie
Ingredients –

  • 2 cups diced Seasonal fruit – anything and everything except melons, pineapple and papaya
  • 1 cup homemade Yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp raw organic Honey
  • 1 tbsp soaked mix of Chia and Flaxseeds
  • 1 tbsp soaked mix of Sunflower & Pumpkin seeds
  • 2 soaked Anjeer (Figs)
  • A handful of soaked mix nuts

Recipe

  • Blend you nuts, seeds and anjeer first to turn into a smooth paste.
  • Next add in all the other ingredients and blend till you get a smooth consistency
  • Serve chilled; use this to get your child to eat all the fruits and nuts that they normally wouldn’t even touch

5. The Magic Bean & Chocolate Shake
Ingredients –

  • 1 cup Soybeans
  • 1 cup Jammu Rajma (small red beans)
  • Organic jaggery powder – to taste
  • 1 tbsp high cocoa % drinking chocolate or Chocolate Complan
  • Fruits (optional) – bananas, apples, berries or chikoo

Recipe –

  • Soak the soybeans and rajma beans overnight, separately.
  • Next morning, throw away the soaking water and rinse then with clean water.
  • To process soy milk first, blend the soaked soy beans in 3-4 cups of water. Strain through a muslin cloth and cook for 5-7 minutes for a silky consistency.
  • For the rajma, cook them in water till they turn soft. Remove the boiling water and the rajma peels as best you can and blend with jaggery into a smooth paste. Your red bean paste is ready.
  • Allow both of the above to cool down. You may store in refrigerator for 3-4 days.
  • Now take 1 cup soy milk, 2 tbsp of sweet red bean paste, the chocolate powder, and try to add in a fruit also. I personally love berries because they bring in the tartness, but even bananas, apples or chikoos are great in this…whatever your child likes, or doesn’t like 😉
  • Blend together into a smooth shake and serve chilled.
  • Trust me, it’s the best way to get your child to consume good amount of beans.

Try to ensure that your child get maximum essential nutrients in the first half of the day.
Happy Experimenting!

By,
Karnica Singh Nandal
www.karnicasingh.com
Integrative Nutrition Health Coach & Yoga Instructor
Institute for Integrative Nutrition, NY
The Yoga Institute, 500hr TTC, Mumbai


Your cliché Engineer with an MBA degree, a corporate professional turned wellness enthusiast – I empower people to take responsibility for their own health and achievement of their personal wellness goals by educating, motivating, inspiring, and guiding towards long lasting lifestyle changes.
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