Bring out your baby’s brain power

Ten top tips to boost your growing child’s brain power to ensure that he or she reaches their full potential.

By Kaylene Tan
Babies-Bring out your baby’s brain power

1) Feed your child’s brain

The best brain-boosting foods include dark green, leafy vegetables, raw nuts and seeds, and oily fish and water. Avoid processed foods and sugar. Omega-3 fish-oil supplements are also good for brain development.

Tip: Start the day with a healthy breakfast of whole grains — cereals or bread — fresh fruit and eggs. For those who must eat on-the-run, have a smoothie made with yoghurt, nuts and fresh fruit.

2) Play to learn

Let junior take a break from the academic stuff and give his brain a different kind of workout.   

Tip: This Christmas, give them a game that involves the family (to encourage bonding) which also challenges them to think — try chess, Scrabble, Trivial Pursuit, Monopoly or Cluedo. These oldies but goodies will keep everyone happy for hours.

3) Get your kid moving  

Oxygen fuels the brain and exercise builds muscles, improves coordination, and gives children a sense of achievement. Make activity and fresh air a part of your family’s life because if you and your husband are enthusiastic about being on the move, it will rub off on your children.

Tip: For a child, a trip to the playground is the equivalent of going to the gym for adults: She gets to flex her muscles, use her imagination, burn off energy and socialise and make friends.

4) Read online and on paper

Stories fire the imagination, so make reading a part of your child’s life. When he is a baby, read to your little one to introduce him to the world. When he is older, the ideas and concepts he picks up from books help him to better understand the world.

Tip: Make a book together based on his interests and experiences. For instance, make a simple booklet by stapling four to eight pages together, and use the photos you took of your child’s zoo visit, sticking a different photograph on each page. Then sit him down to discuss the image and use his ideas to write a simple sentence below each picture. He’ll feel both the pride of achievement and learn about writing creatively.

5) Find fun challenges in daily life

Use the time spent in the car or bus, walking to school or even sitting in a café waiting for lunch, to play games that stimulate his mind.

Tip: Games like “Spot the red car”, “Spot the double-decker bus”, “Spot the dog taking a walk”, or “Spot the overhead bridge” will keep his mind active and also let him practice his eye-brain coordination.