- The first few years of a child’s life are some of the most important for brain health and development, and the neural connections built during these years can last the rest of their lives.
- Vitamin D, vitamin C, and omega-3s are essential for the health of a child’s brain. Taking a supplement or a multivitamin can help them get the required amounts of essential nutrients.
If you’ve ever held a baby as they marveled at the world around them, you might have marveled at their developing mind. Your child’s brain is a fascinating thing. At birth, your baby’s brain contains 100 billion neurons — more neurons than there are stars in the Milky Way!1
As you can imagine, the early years of a child’s life are very important for the health and development of their brain. The care, nutrition, and experiences they have in their first years of life can shape the rest of their life.
The responsibility may feel overwhelming, but we’ll guide you through what you need to know about your child’s brain and what you can do to help support its health.
Getting to know your child’s brain
At birth, the average baby’s brain is a quarter of the size of the average adult brain. Incredibly, almost half of the postnatal growth occurs in the first year of life and it reaches about 75% of its adult size by the second year.2 By age five, the brain is nearly fully grown at about 90% of its final size.
Neural connections build the brain.
The brain is the command center of the body. Those 100 billion neurons that a newborn baby has at birth are the same brain cells that they’ll have for the rest of their life, but it is the connection between these brain cells that matter. In the first few years of life, more than one million neural connections are formed every second.3 Interestingly, by age three, a child’s brain is actually twice as active as an adult’s with about 15,000 connections per neuron, many more than an adult brain.4
Neural connections (also known as neural synapses) allow us to think, move, communicate, and more. Children develop brain connections through their everyday experiences, positive interactions with caregivers, and using their senses to explore the world. The early years of a child’s life are the best opportunity for a child’s brain to develop the connections they need to be successful, healthy adults.
Nutrition for children’s brain health
Good nutrition is one of the most essential elements of healthy brain development in children. Ensuring your child is getting the nutrients they need can help support the healthy development of neural connections.
Before your child is even born, prenatal nutrition affects the development of their brain. Folic acid is especially important before and during pregnancy. Women who consume healthful diets with adequate folate may reduce their risk of having a child with birth defects of the brain and spinal cord. Folate intake should not exceed 250% of the DV (1000 mcg of folic acid). Folic acid (also known as folate, or vitamin B9) is found in green leafy vegetables, broccoli, spinach, legumes, and enriched grains. However, a folic acid supplement is recommended prior or during pregnancy to promote healthy levels for both the mother and baby.
Solgar® Folate Tablets help support prenatal health as well as a healthy heart and nervous system.* And, it’s vegan, non-GMO, gluten-free, dairy-free, and kosher! Available in a variety of dosages.
Solgar® Prenatal Nutrients Tablets also help provide the essential nutrients for pregnant and lactating women. Each serving offers folic acid, calcium, vitamin C, E, and more. And, it’s vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, kosher, and halal!
Solgar® Choline Vegetable Capsules are another important prenatal supplement. Choline, a member of the B Complex, is a component of cell membranes and provides key support for optimal cellular function and nervous system health.* Solgar® Choline Vegetable Capsules are vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and kosher!
Vitamin D for brain health
Vitamin D is not only essential for building strong bones and teeth and maintaining a healthy immune system, but it is also important for healthy neuromuscular function.*
Unfortunately, many children in the U.S. and around the world may have suboptimal levels of vitamin D. The reason is because very few foods contain vitamin D, and sunshine tends to be the body’s main source of this essential vitamin. However, many children spend a lot of time indoors or live in cooler climates, inhibiting them from getting the amount of vitamin D their bodies need. In these cases, a vitamin D supplement is the best option for achieving desired levels of health.*
Vitamin D supplements for children
Solgar® Vitamin D3 Chewable Tablets are delicious, strawberry-banana flavored chewable tablets that help support strong bones and teeth, immune health, and neuromuscular function.* And, they’re non-GMO, gluten-free, dairy-free, and kosher!
Omega-3 fatty acids for brain health
Another important nutrient for brain health is omega-3 fatty acids, especially DHA for pregnant and nursing mothers. When taken before, during, and after pregnancy, DHA has been shown to promote maternal health and healthy brain and eye development in babies.
Fish and other seafood are the primary sources of DHA and EPA omega-3 fatty acids. However, supplementation can be helpful for getting enough daily while avoiding potential contaminants in seafood such as mercury. Another omega-3, ALA, is also critical for children to get enough of too. ALA is considered essential because it can’t be made by the body and can only be obtained from your diet. Unfortunately, many children do not consume enough omega-3-rich foods, such as nuts, seeds, and plant oils, and omega-3 supplements are often difficult for children to swallow.
Solgar® Earth Source® Organic Flaxseed Oil is a great way to support nerve, skin, and heart health, and its liquid form makes it easy for children to consume.* This cold-pressed organic oil is suitable for vegans and vegetarians and is non-GMO, gluten-free, dairy-free, and kosher.
Vitamin C for brain health
Vitamin C is well-known for its importance in immune health.
Vitamin C is readily available in many different fruits and vegetables such as citrus fruits, spinach, bell peppers, and more. However, the easiest way for children to get their vitamin C is through a vitamin C supplement.
Vitamin C supplements for children
Solgar® Chewable Vitamin C provides antioxidant and immune support* in delicious, chewable tablets.* And, they’re non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and kosher! Available in cran-raspberry or orange flavors.
Solgar® U-Cubes™ Vitamin C Gummies
If your children like their vitamins in gummy form, this supplement is for you. Solgar® U-Cubes™ Vitamin C Gummies provide 500 mg of vitamin C per serving of four tapioca-based gummies. These gummies are made with naturally-sourced colors and flavors and are non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free!
Other nutrients for children’s brain health
A balanced diet that promotes brain, eye, and nervous system health includes a variety of vitamins and minerals*, including sufficient:
- Vitamin A – Helps maintain the health of the eyes, which is considered part of the brain’s central nervous system.
- B-vitamins – Support nervous system health.*
- Iron – Involved in neurotransmitter synthesis.*
These vitamins, minerals, and nutrients are readily available in a healthy diet, but if your child is a picky eater, it can be challenging to get them to eat their daily requirements. A kid-friendly multivitamin is an easy and delicious way to help your children get the nutrients they need.
Multivitamins for children
Solgar® Kangavites Multivitamins provide a variety of important vitamins and minerals in a delicious bouncin’ berry flavor and fun shapes your kids will love. And, they’re vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free.
Solgar® U-CubesTM Children’s Multivitamin Gummies are another delicious way to support your children’s health. These gummies are made with naturally sourced colors and flavors, are non-GMO, gluten-free, and dairy-free!
Additional ways to support children’s brain health
- Play: Play is an excellent way to help your child’s brain develop. Whether it is simply playing peek-a-boo with your baby or encouraging pretend play with blocks and toys, play can foster imagination, creativity, and positive development.
- Read: Reading is one of the best ways to promote your child’s brain health and development. Even if they are too young to recognize words or understand the story, reading can help kickstart language and communication.
- Provide a safe and loving environment: Ensuring your child has a nurturing, caring environment is essential for healthy brain development. Stick to established routines, embrace failure and challenges, and facilitate experiences to help them grow.
As a parent, it can be overwhelming to think about how critical childhood years are for a child’s brain development. Nevertheless, providing your child with balanced nutrition, key vitamins and minerals, and a loving, stable environment can help your child to achieve their full potential.
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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. The information on this website is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the Solgar® site.