Multiple Intelligences

Optimize Children’s Brain Development during the Golden Period

Morinaga Platinum - 24 January 2019

The first thousand days of the children’s life is the golden period of their brain development. Eighty percent of brain development occurs during this period, then the brain will keep developing rapidly until they reach the age of 5 years old, but not as fast as the golden period.

When they were born, children have billions of nerve cells and tissues. This is a potential that should be developed as much as possible, which is by giving an optimum nutrition and stimulation.

So, what are the nutrients needed for children’s brain development?

  • Glucose. The brain requires glucose to perform its function completely. Without glucose, children will have difficulty in processing and storing any new information. Glucose can be obtained from foods that contain carbohydrate such as rice, potatoes, pasta, etc.
  • Protein and Fiber. Foods rich in protein and fiber like cereals served with milk can boost the brain performance by twenty percent, as well as strengthening children’s memory ability.
  • Choline. Needed to improve memory storage, thinking ability, language, and motor movement. An example of food that contains choline is egg.
  • Essential Fatty Acids. The most important nutrients in the formation and regulation of nerve cells are omega-3 (ALA, EPA, and DHA) and omega-6 (linoleic acid). ALA can be found in flaxseeds, walnuts, and soybeans. EPA and DHA are contained in salmon, mackerel, and sardines. Omega-6 can be obtained from corn oil, sunflower seed oil, and soybean oil.
  • Iodine. The minerals that help in the nerve cells development in the brain can be found in salt, yogurt, and potatoes.

Other than nutrients, to stimulate the children’s brain development, they need the right stimulation. The development of their brain nerve cells will not be optimum if they don’t receive enough stimulation during the golden period.

So, what could Moms do to help the children’s brain development to be optimum?

Motor Development

Do the stimulation according to the children’s age. For babies, stimulation can be done by putting them to lie on their stomach so they can practice to lift their head. This activity aims to strengthen their neck muscles. Moms could also give them some toys with attractive color and can produce sound so the children will move their hands and feet to reach for the toys. As they grow older, increase the difficulty level of the stimulation, such as having them to tilt to the right or left side, stand up, to walk.

For their fine motor skills, Moms could teach them how to grasp things, insert food into their mouth, pick up things, and scribble on a paper.

Language Development

The essential stimulation for this development is by talking to your children. At first, they may not understand what you say but it can stimulate them to recognize voice and increase their vocabulary. Moms could also provide stimulation in other way, such as singing.

Emotional Development

To optimize their emotional development, Moms should maintain a good communication with the children. Listen to their feelings, respond them with affection, and support them by giving some encouraging sentences.

Cognitive Development

Children’s intelligence can be trained by playing. Choose a game that matches the stage of their age. Moms could start with the activity of recognizing shapes, colors, name of objects, then increase the level of activity by doing some activities that can make them understand about the function of an object, how to manipulate the object, how to solve problems, and so on.

Children’s golden period is unlikely to reoccur, therefore Moms should make the most of this period. Provide them with proper nutrition and balance stimulation for an optimum development.