5 Foods to Boost Your Baby’s Brain Development

Saúl Sánchez Arias · November 24, 2022
This content was reviewed and approved by the nutritionist Saúl Sánchez Arias on November 6, 2022
Yogurt, apples, eggs, and salmon are some of the foods that help to boost your baby's brain development. Learn more in the following article!

During the first stages of life, it’s essential to include in the diet a series of foods that can serve to enhance your baby’s brain development. This effect is produced thanks to their concentration of essential nutrients, which are key for growth and for ensuring that physiological functions are carried out optimally.

It should be taken into account that good dietary habits during infancy can determine future health. For this reason, it’s crucial to establish as balanced and varied a diet as possible, with a predominance of fresh foods as opposed to ultra-processed foods.

Foods to promote your baby’s brain development

We’ll now show you which foods are capable of promoting brain development in infants. However, keep in mind that until the sixth month of life, it’s best to opt for exclusive breastfeeding. This product covers all the requirements in the initial phases of life.

1. Extra virgin olive oil

Including extra virgin olive oil in the preparation of baby food and baby dishes is decisive when the objective is to ensure good brain development. This product contains omega-3 fatty acids. These compounds are essential for the central nervous system, according to a study published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition.

A mother preparing food for her toddler daughter with olive oil.
Extra virgin olive oil contains omega-3 fatty acids and can be added to baby food or other dishes, making it ideal for your baby’s brain development.

2. Natural yogurt

Yogurt contains a large number of nutrients that are important for health. Among them, proteins, calcium, and fatty acids stand out. However, this food’s capable of providing a number of positive bacteria for the intestinal microbiota known as probiotics.

Moreover, evidence has been shown in recent years that there’s a very close two-way communication between the intestine and the brain. For this reason, it’s important to maintain proper bacterial density and diversity in the gut. The aim is to ensure good brain development and reduce the incidence of chronic diseases affecting the nervous system.

3. Eggs

Eggs are foods with a high nutritional density. Not only do they provide proteins and fats, but they also contain vitamin D, a nutrient that’s normally deficient in a large part of the population. This is an element that regulates inflammation in the internal environment and is involved in the production of certain hormones.

Eggs also provide vitamin B12. This element plays a role at the nervous system level and is also responsible for preventing anemia linked to inefficient red blood cell production. This is found only in foods of animal origin, so it’s necessary to ensure its presence in the diet.

4. Apples

Apples are a source of quercetin, an element that helps stimulate brain activity and development. These fruits have the advantage of being one of the first foods that can be offered to babies, as they’re easy to digest and have a high concentration of water.

The best thing to do is to mash them and form a puree. Also, a great option is to combine them with other fruits or vegetables to get a more complete nutritional intake.

Fresh apples and apple sauce.
Most babies tolerate apples adequately, so they’re one of the cornerstones of their diet. It’s best to offer them as puree and combine them with other fruits and vegetables.

5. Salmon

Salmon is one of the fish with the most omega-3 fatty acids inside. As mentioned above, these nutrients are essential to ensure proper brain development and prevent conditions such as autism. For this reason, it’s essential to ensure their regular consumption in the diet. However, when introducing salmon in purees, it’s important to remove the bones accurately.

Include foods that enhance your baby’s brain development

It’s important to optimize your baby’s diet and include foods that enhance brain development. The above-mentioned foods are those that shouldn’t be missing in a varied and balanced diet. However, there are many other products that are beneficial for the health of little ones, such as green leafy vegetables.

Also, keep in mind that until the first year of life, it’s advisable to offer breast milk to your child. This product contains nutrients and bioactive components capable of improving health in the medium term and helping to prevent the development of disease.

  • Martins, B. P., Bandarra, N. M., & Figueiredo-Braga, M. (2020). The role of marine omega-3 in human neurodevelopment, including Autism Spectrum Disorders and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder – a review. Critical reviews in food science and nutrition60(9), 1431–1446. https://doi.org/10.1080/10408398.2019.1573800
  • Wang, H. X., & Wang, Y. P. (2016). Gut Microbiota-brain Axis. Chinese medical journal129(19), 2373–2380. https://doi.org/10.4103/0366-6999.190667