If you’re just about to jot down your weekly grocery list, you might want to lessen the meat and add more of this amazing food!
A new study, published in the Scientific Reports journal, claims that kids who eat fish at least once a week have a higher IQ.
Observing over 500 children in China, the study’s researchers found that fish not only boosted children’s IQ, but also helped them sleep better. Based on interviews with the kids’ parents, they noted now kids aged 9 to 11 experienced less sleep issues.
These kids also boasted higher IQ scores by the time they reached the age of 12. Those who reported that they “always” ate fish scored 4.80 points higher than those who only ate fish “sometimes”.
Fish has long been touted as a “brain food”, but this study further cements this claim.
However it’s also worth noting that other factors come into play when it comes to a child’s IQ. This includes parenting styles, home environment, school activities, and overall diet.
Through further research is needed to back the brain boosting benefits of fish, it’s encouraging to know that mums and dads have the power to boost their kid’s intelligence.
Brain food for kids: Guidelines for parents
Fish is a good source of protein and “healthy” fat.
When choosing fish for kids, keep in mind that, though some are high in good ol’ omega-3s, others can have a high mercury content, which can cause brain and nerve damage in young kids.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns against feeding young kids shark, swordfish, and tilefish, as these types of predatory fish may have a high mercury content.
Examples of sih that are low in mercury are: canned light tuna, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, salmon, cod, and catfish.
Brain food fish recipes to try!
“Introducing the taste early makes it more palatable,” Jennifer Pinot-Martin, one of the study’s researchers tells TLC. “It really has to be a concerted effort.”
Once your baby is six months old, they can be started on solids. This includes mashed fish. But you first must make sure they don’t have any allergies to certain fish. Also, check the fish very carefully for bones as these can pose a choking hazard.
Salmon eggy fried rice
This is no doubt a comfort food for adults and kids alike Not only is it easy to whip up for dinner, it’s super delicious too. You can find the full recipe here!
Hoisin mackerel pancakes
This sweet and savoury assemble-it-yourself dish is a treat for kids and kids at heart. You can find the full recipe here.
Chub and atlantic mackerel are low in mercury, while king mackerel has a high mercury content.
This article first appeared on TheAsianParent.com.