Food for Developing Young Brains

Food for Developing Young Brains

The young years of our children’s lives are so important to set them up with a robust start to learning, interaction, happiness and good health. I hear in the news concern over the literacy and numeracy levels of children in our country and references to the need for more or better teachers. While my own experience tells me that teachers certainly have an influence, I also believe that poor nutrition and a pollutant heavy environment is actually reducing the capacity of our children to learn. For some, it wouldn’t matter if they have the best teacher in Australia, the level to which they will climb may be limited by their diets and environment.

The science that I read tells me that a seriously important part of giving the best start to our babies, toddlers and children is choosing to feed them with appropriate, clean food. A specifically important part of this diet is the type of fats that we choose to consume. I have mentioned before the importance of having an appropriate ratio of Omega 3: Omega 6 fats in our diets, but I want to explain the importance of that in developing brains.


“There are two windows of time in which the brain is especially sensitive to nutrition: the first two years of life for a growing baby and the last couple of decades of life for a senior citizen. Both growing and aging brains need nutritious fats”.1


With 50% of the calories in mothers milk being fat, you can see the that nature is telling us the importance of them. And the fats that a breastfeeding mother consumes will influence the fats in the milk produced.

Without worrying about the technicality of the name, DHA is one kind of Omega 3 fatty acid, and it is actually a structural part of the brain tissue. (In fact 60% of the brain is made of fats). Decreased DHA in the developing brain leads to deficits in the growth of brain tissues, decreases in the chemical messengers of the brain, as well as altered learning and visual function in animals.2  “So it stands to reason that a deficiency of DHA in the diet could translate into a deficiency in brain function.”3 This is basically the science supporting the fact that children of today’s society may have a reduced capacity to learn! Scary isn’t it?

Oh and did you notice the comment about visual function? I notice the amount of children wearing glasses in the classroom today compared when I was at school. It’s many more. I’m sure there are many things at play here, but this science is saying that the type of fats we eat are negatively influencing vision.

Given that I’m sharing this with you, you might not be surprised to learn that grass fed beef has significantly higher levels of omega 3’s than omega 6’s, and higher levels of the DHA omega 3’s than grain fed animals. How our food is produced matters! Fish is actually the best source of DHA Omega 3’s, but again how it is grown matters. Fish that are farmed today are fed grains like wheat, corn and soybeans as part of their diet, which alters the makeup of the final product. Fish that aren’t farmed and are caught wild, well how pristine is that environment?

The point is, we should make conscious choices about the things we feed ourselves and especially our young children. They are at a critical stage in terms of brain development and we can help to set them up for the best start in life. And don’t forget pregnancy too, there’s lots of brain growth going on then!

Why not cook up a beautiful slow cooked stew for your little one? The beef will be super soft and perfect for little ones to eat when there’s not a lot of teeth about yet! Slow cooking also has the plus of providing collagen – and all the wonderful health benefits associated with it.

You see, while our business is grassfed beef and supplying that to conscious families provides us a living – we don’t just want to sell beef, we want to educate society. We want you to consider these things, tell your friends, do your own research and we want to make a genuine difference to the understanding and health of society. I’m sure you’ve heard ‘let food be thy medicine and let medicine be thy food’ before. This is best tried in prevention of disease and ill health – it may not help if you’re already in a dire health state. It’s the little choices every day and every meal that add up…

If you are interested in one of our grassfed beef hampers, you can see the choices here.

Yours in conscious eating and great health.

Kirrily x