I am taking the most interesting class right now. It’s a child psychology/counseling class and we are talking about brain development and nutrition this week. A few interesting facts I have picked up from the lectures are:
– the prefrontal lobe does not fully develop until the age of 25
– the brain makes itself new every 4 to 5 months
– poor diet leads to poor brain function
That last fact is so important. So many parents think it’s okay to give their children cheetos, hot dogs, and crap out of a box, but it seriously limits their brain development. I mean, people have to know this! You literally ARE what you EAT. This is not something new, people! Anyway, I’m not here to preach, just here to say that I am choosing to live by this and feed my family accordingly. The majority of Miles’ food (95%) is organic, whole foods. I give him Cheerios when I’m cooking, but that is the only non-organic, processed food he gets. Dr. Daniel Amen gave us a list of “brain foods” that children need every day, and adults, too!
-water – 80% of our brain is water. Water is essential for optimal brain function.
-blueberries – Dr. Amen called these “brain berries”.
-oranges – Vitamin C!!
-beans – Protein, people!
-red bell peppers – These contain 3x’s as much vitamin C as green bell peppers.
-oats, pumpkin, wild salmon (not farm raised), raw spinach, green tea, turkey, yogurt, and walnuts.
Children need foods that are rich in healthy fats, like walnuts and avocados. Did you know that a low-fat diet can be detrimental to the development of a child’s brain? It is also not good for an adult. We need those fats, as well. I know many parents don’t feed their kids this stuff because their kids won’t eat it, but the way I was raised, if I didn’t eat what was in front of me, I didn’t eat. I like that philosophy and I’m sticking to it. Kids have to eat sometime, right? Anyway, I took two of those brain foods and made something delicious! I keep seeing pumpkin-almond butter everywhere, so I decided to one up that nut butter and make a pumpkin walnut butter.
Pumpkin Walnut Butter
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice
In a food processor, puree 1 cup of walnuts until you start to see a little bit of butter on the bottom. Throw in a half a cup of pumpkin puree and either some pumpkin spice (1/2 teaspoon) or some cinnamon and nutmeg. Puree until mixture looks smooth as butter! I didn’t add any sweetener, but you are more than welcome to do so. I just sprinkled a tiny pinch of raw sugar over my rice cake.
Well, I’m off to decide on a research project for my Personality Theories class. Have a great day!