Inside: All parents want their kids to be healthy AND smart! Here are 70 ways healthy fats boost the brain and make kids smarter and healthier! These are the perfect brain foods for kids…and parents.
This blog is part of my “Tidbits of Wisdom for Parents” YouTube video series. If you would like to watch the video about fats, click here.
We all want to be healthy. And, we want our kids to be healthy. But being healthy is more than having normal weight, high energy, and firm biceps. It also means that your brain is functioning at peak performance. Which means adding brain foods to your diet and your kids’ diets.
If you want your kids to do well academically, physically, and emotionally, they need to eat right. Eating junk foods doesn’t cut it. They need plenty of fresh fruits and veggies; complex carbs and protein.
But, they also need good healthy fats.
Healthy Fats: Brain Foods for Kids
Did you know that our brains are 90% fat? The brain loves fat…just not French fry fat (darn!). There are different ways you can add good fat to your children’s diet. Fats will:
- build their brains
- make them smarter
- give them sustained energy
- give them focused concentration
- and strong healthy bodies
My top two choices for healthy fat are cod liver oil and coconut oil. Other fats found in salmon, eggs, avocados, walnuts, and other nuts are also great. They, too, build the brain, feed the body, and should be a part of your diet.
So, let’s talk about these brain-boosting fats, the benefits of each and different ways to take them
Healthy Fats for Kids: Cod Liver Oil
Many people are familiar with the benefits of coconut oil, but most people don’t understand the value and benefits of cod liver oil. And when you think of cod liver oil, you probably think “yuck,” but it’s an amazing oil that tastes good and does great things for your body.
- Brand: Carlson’s Cod Liver Oil, Lemon Flavor
- Dosage for adults ages 12 and over: 1 Tablespoon. Do not exceed 1 tablespoon per day—your body doesn’t need anymore.
- Dosage for children: Under the age of 8, give them 1 teaspoon. (babies 1/2 teaspoon)
Note: do not purchase the Carlson’s Cod Liver Oil that is NOT lemon-flavored. It tastes horrible and you and your kids will not be able to drink it. This is the time to spend a little more money and get something that tastes good.
20 Reasons to Consume Cod Liver Oil
Contains Important Fat-Soluble Vitamins:
- Contains vitamins A, D, E, K. These are fat-soluble vitamins. The body stores these vitamins in the liver and uses them as needed. These are extremely important vitamins that do many things for our bodies and our brains. They work together with the omega-3’s for the best possible brain booster.
Feeds the Brain with omega-3 fatty acids
- DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid and is important for the development and function of the brain and nervous system. The brain uses this omega-3 fat to build brain and nerve cells which are essential for learning and memory
- EPA is an elongated omega-3 fatty acid and helps the body fight inflammation
- NOTE: Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids which means that your body does not make them–you have to get them from food sources–which is another reason to take cod liver oil
Helps the Learning Disabled
- The fat in cod liver oil helps children with learning disabilities, ADHD, and behavioral disorders because it feeds and supports the brain that affects these conditions.
Improves Memory and Alleviates Stress
- The fats in cod liver oil improve memory and help alleviate stress in both children and adults. If children are anxious, they can’t learn. Cod liver oil helps children to stay calm and focused.
Builds Strong Bones
- Helps build strong bones in children and prevents osteoporosis in adults.
Helps with Muscle and Bone Pain
- Helps children who get leg aches associated with growing pains
- Improves muscle and bone pain and relieves the pain some people have when trying to climb stairs.
Improves Immune System
- A powerhouse in fighting disease
- Helps to build a powerful immune system so that you and your child can fight off sickness
Prevents heart disease
- Improves heart function by healing the lining of the heart
Helps with Allergies and Asthma
- Helps prevent allergies and asthma. Children that are prone to these find that cod liver oil will prevent both allergies and asthma
- Help to improve allergies and asthma. If a child has allergies and asthma, cod liver oil will alleviate the symptoms
Effective in treating arthritis
- Reduces pain and damage in inflamed joints.
Helps with Diabetes
- Improves glucose response and helps promote the healing of the retina in diabetic patients.
Colitis, Irritable Bowel, Crohn’s disease
- The fatty acids in cod liver oil help with all these issues that are associated with digestion
Protects Against Certain Cancers
- Nutrients found in cod liver oil can protect against certain cancers (leukemia, lung cancer)
- Improves skin quality and when applied orally can protect against wrinkles
- Helps with diaper rash
- Can help with acne because of the vitamin A
Fish oil capsules vs. cod liver oil
- You would have to take twelve 1,000 mg capsules of fish oil to equal the amount of elongated omega-3 fatty acids found in 1 tablespoon of cod liver oil. Stick with cod liver oil.
Another reason to take cod liver oil as opposed to fish oil pills is there is NO mercury in cod liver oil. Mercury is water-soluble and is not found in the organs of the fish–only the tissues. Cod liver oil is extracted from the liver of the codfish. Many fish oil pills do not contain mercury, but some do contain traces of mercury. Mercury passes the blood-brain barrier and can kill neurons associated with Alzheimer’s. So, I would not even want traces of mercury in my body.
Healthy Fats: Coconut Oil
Modern medical science is now confirming the use of coconut in treating many of the conditions below. Published studies in medical journals show that coconut, in one form or another may provide a wide range of health benefits. Coconut oil can be used to treat many different things from your skin to your bladder!
- Brand: Costco and Sam’s Club both carry jugs of coconut oil (and it’s less expensive than other places)
- Dosage: 1 tablespoon per day for both adults and children
Coconut oil is pure white and is usually hard like shortening. It can be easily melted and is not affected by heat such as microwave heat.
Fill a small container with very hot water, put the hard coconut oil in a glass and immerse in the hot water. In about 3 minutes or less, the coconut oil is melted.
50 Reasons to Consume Coconut Oil:
Builds the Brain
- Coconut oil has a high concentration of medium-chain triglycerides, which break down as ketones that are used as fuel for brain cells
- Feeds the brain; strengthens it and like cod liver oil, improves memory
Improves Skin and Hair
- Applied topically helps to form a chemical barrier on the skin to ward off infection
- Reduces symptoms associated with psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitis
- Supports the natural chemical balance of the skin
- Softens skin and helps relieve dryness and flaking
- Prevents wrinkles, sagging skin, and age spots
- Promotes healthy looking hair and complexion
- Helps control dandruff
- Provides protection from damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation from the sun on the skin
Helps with Thyroid and Weight (all of these bullet points help you see why you do NOT gain weight eating these fats)
- Supports thyroid function
- Promotes loss of excess weight by increasing metabolic rate
- Is utilized by the body to produce energy in preference to being stored as body fat like other dietary fats
- Helps prevent obesity and overweight problems
- Is lower in calories than all other fats
Protects Organs of the Body Against Disease and Builds the Brain
- Kidney: helps protect against kidney disease and bladder infections
- Kidney: dissolves kidney stones
- Liver: helps prevent liver disease
- Pancreas: Reduces symptoms associated with pancreatitis and eases the metabolic strain on the pancreas (it eases digestion)
- Gallbladder: Helps relieve symptoms associated with gallbladder disease
- Prostate: Relieves symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia (prostate enlargement)
- Brain: Reduces epileptic seizures in children. If a child is prone to seizures and goes on a high-fat diet that produces more ketones in the blood, this actually reduces seizures in children
Improves Digestion and Protects Against Digestive Issues
- Improves digestion and absorption of other nutrients including vitamins, minerals, and amino acids
- Improves digestion and bowel function
Protects the Bones and Teeth
- Improves calcium and magnesium absorption and supports the development of strong bones and teeth
- Helps prevent periodontal disease and tooth decay
- Helps protect against osteoporosis
- Is heart healthy; improves cholesterol ratio reducing the risk of heart disease
- Protects arteries from injury that causes atherosclerosis and thus protects against heart disease
Protects Against Certain Cancers
- Helps protect the body from breast, colon, and other cancers
Quick and Healthy Source of Energy
- Provides a nutritional source of quick energy
- Boosts energy and endurance, enhancing physical and athletic performance
Helps with Diabetes
- Improves insulin secretion and utilization of blood glucose
- Relieves stress on pancreas and enzyme systems of the body
- Helps relieve symptoms and reduce health risks associated with diabetes
No Harmful Side Effects, Non-Toxic
- Does not form harmful by-products when heated to normal cooking temperature like other vegetable oils do
- Has no harmful or discomforting side effects
- Is completely non-toxic to humans
Antioxidant and Oxidation
- Functions as a protective antioxidant
- Helps to protect the body from harmful free radicals that promote premature aging and degenerative disease
- Does not deplete the body’s antioxidant reserves like other oils do
- Improves utilization of essential fatty acids and protects them from oxidation.
Kills Viruses and Bacteria
- Kills viruses that cause influenza, herpes, measles, hepatitis C, SARS, AIDS, and other illnesses
- Kills bacteria that cause ulcers, throat infections, urinary tract infections, gum disease and cavities, pneumonia and gonorrhea, and other diseases
- Kills fungi and yeasts that cause candidiasis, ringworm, athlete’s foot, thrush, diaper rash, and other infections
- Expels or kills tapeworms, lice, giardia, and other parasites
- Chronic Fatigue: Helps relieve symptoms associated with chronic fatigue syndrome.
- Malabsorption: Reduces problems associated with malabsorption syndrome and cystic fibrosis
- Hemorrhoids: Relieves pain and irritation caused by hemorrhoids
- Inflammation: Reduces inflammation
- Tissue Healing: Supports tissue healing and repair
- Immune System: Supports and aids immune system function
5 Ways to Consume Cod Liver and Coconut Oils
Here are some easy ways to add these fats to your child’s diet (your diet, too!). Cod liver oil with lemon flavor tastes good. However, most people find it difficult to drink a tablespoon of any oily fats. Try these suggestions:
- Juice: Add cod liver or coconut oil to fruit juice. I would suggest a juice that does NOT contain high-fructose corn syrup. Try Welch’s grape juice.
- Health Drink: Does your family drink a particular juice found in the many Multi-Level Marketing companies? Again, use 1/2 cup of the juice and add the oils to it. Most of these juices are excellent sources of many vitamins and minerals, but 99% of them lack good fats. Adding these fats will make it the perfect, healthy drink.
- Protein Shake: If you drink protein shakes–add the oils to the drink
- Cooking: When scrambling eggs, use coconut oil instead of butter
- Salads: Sprinkle coconut oil over a salad as you would a salad dressing.
One last idea:
I’ve concocted an easy drink that includes all your vitamins, minerals and fats. Adding additional vitamins and minerals to your fats is important as these ingredients work synergistically together to create the best possible brain-power drink for your family.
Healthy Drink: Contains all the Vitamins, Minerals, Fats Needed for Health
- 1/2 cup Welch’s Grape Juice (or any juice that does not contain high-fructose corn syrup)
- 1 Tablespoon Carlson’s Cod Liver Oil (Lemon flavor only…you will not be able to gag the regular flavor)
- 1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil
- 1 Tablespoon Brewer’s Yeast powder (contains all the B vitamins)
- ¼ teaspoon Vitamin C powder—either made from the camu-camu berry, wild berries or rose hips
- 1 Tablespoon Multi-Minerals
This drink supplies you with Vitamins A-E, minerals and fats. It’s power-packed and will positively affect you and your child’s brains, moods, skin, energy levels, and health. If you want more to add to this drink like kale, strawberries, wheatgrass powder, or blueberries, toss them in!
30-day Trial Period
As a family, try this drink for 30 days. If you are taking another drink, stop it for 30 days. Compare/contrast how you feel after taking both drinks. If you like one over another—stick with it. The idea is to build the brain, stay healthy, feel good, and have energy.
The most important part of this drink for building the brain is the cod liver and coconut oils. If the drink doesn’t interest you, or if you’re taking another drink–great! Just add the fats as the brain-booster.
Share with us:
- What is your family’s favorite way of consuming brain-healthy foods?
- Do you have a favorite drink?
- One that is loaded with vitamins, minerals, fats, and essential nutrients?
- How long have you taken it?
- How does it make you feel?
- Have you researched the ingredients? What did you find?
Please share in the comment section below.
You can access the 2-minute video here
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Which type of fat is the healthiest?
The top choices for healthy fats are cod liver oil, coconut oil, and olive oil. Other fats found in salmon, eggs, avocadoes, and walnuts also contain healthy fats. Good fats build and feed the brain and the body, provide sustained energy and focused concentration. They should be a part of everyone’s diets.
Is butter a healthy fat?
Butter is a combination of omega-3 and omega 6. Although considered a healthy fat, the omega-6 fat in butter is saturated fat and should be eaten in moderation. The omega-3 fat in butter is a healthy fat that builds the brain and provides the body with sustained energy.
What are the health benefits of healthy fats?
Here are over 70 health benefits of healthy fats. Here are 13 of those benefits: Fats build the brain. The brain is 90% and craves good healthy fats. Provides the body with sustained energy. Increases concentration. Improves memory. Alleviates stress. Helps with muscle and bone pain. Builds the immune systems. Helps prevent heart disease. Effective in treating arthritis. Helps with diabetes. Protects against certain cancers. Supports the thyroid. Improves digestion.
Are eggs healthy fats?
Yes, eggs are healthy fat. They are rich in choline—an essential vitamin-like nutrient that helps develop the brain and enhances memory. They are gluten-free and contain all 9 essential amino acids. Eggs are rich in vitamin B-12—the vitamin that provides energy; protects the brain and improves our moods. And they contain lutein and zeaxanthin—two antioxidant carotenoids that contribute to eye health. Not bad for 77 calories!