10 super-foods for better eyesight for kids

Kickstart your family’s journey to better eye-health simply by adding these top foods to your diet!

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Health Promotion Board announced last year that Singapore tops the world for the highest prevalence of childhood myopia! Our 7- to 9-year-olds are suffering from short-sightedness and their eyesight will continue to deteriorate as they age.

              So it’s crucial that you remind junior to observe good habits in order to maintain healthy eyesight. Says eye specialist Dr Lee Sao Bing, “Things like reading in dim light, holding their materials too close to their faces, lying down while reading and playing [with their] handheld devices for an extended period of time should be discouraged.” The senior consultant at Shinagawa Eye Centre says reading while lying down is really problematic as the lighting is often inadequate and reading materials are often too close to their faces.

             Additional support for your kid’s eyes comes from their diet: Dr Lee, in particular, stresses that it will be good for kiddo to get adequate nutrients by sticking to natural and whole food sources for vitamins and minerals. 

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1) Omega-3 and omega-6 fats

Dr Lee says getting adequate servings of foods high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids have been shown to help reduce or control dry eyes. Fish like salmon, herring, bluefish and tuna are good sources for omega-3; vegans can opt for walnuts or flaxseed, canola and soybean oils. Poultry, corn oil, pumpkin seeds, cashews and pecans are good sources for omega-6 fatty acids.


2) Vitamin A

Choose liver, milk and cheese to help kiddo improve their night vision, as these are high in Vitamin A. Vitamin A can also help with wound healing and proper functioning of the immune system, said Dr Lee, citing an article on allaboutvision.com. Dr Lee also attributes the next three items on the list to the same source.

The vitamin C in citrusy fruits like oranges, kiwis and grapefruits could mean fewer visits to the docs!

3) Vitamin B

Homocysteine is an amino acid that — in high concentrations — has been shown to lead to an increased risk of heart attack, strokes and more critically, have adverse effects on the retina. Dr Lee shares that consuming complex B vitamins can help prevent elevated levels of homocysteine in the blood. Wholegrain foods and enriched grains are good sources of wide variety of B vitamins. Dairy foods like soybeans or milk, yogurt and cheese can help too!


4) Vitamin C

Even if your youngster is not a fan of citrusy fruits like orange, Vitamin C has been associated with the reduced risk of cataracts in the elderly, according to Dr Lee. Other fruits like grapefruits, kiwis, strawberries and papaya are good sources; while Brussels sprouts, tomatoes and dark leafy vegetables can contribute (for savouries). Don’t forget Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant good for boosting one’s immunity (yay for fewer visits to the docs)!


5) Lutein and Zeaxanthin

Ensure your child eats his greens! Lutein and Zeaxanthin are carotenoids that can help lower the risk of macular degeneration — blurred or complete loss of vision that often plagues an older person — and cataracts, shares Dr Lee. Choose these: kale, spinach, corn and broccoli. Wolfberries, often used in Chinese cooking, is also rich in Lutein and Zeaxanthin.   

             Besides these conventional food sources, you could try out herbal additives. Click on to read our recommendations.