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Baby brainpower

 

The development of your baby's brain depends on genetic predisposition, the environment, and last but not least, on nutrution.

Mercoledì 21 Ottobre 2015

The development of your baby’s brain depends on genetic predisposition, the environment, and last but not least, on nutrition. Of all the essential nutrients that your baby needs during the first crucial months, protein is the most important for brain development. It helps a newborn brain double in volume by 18 months, and triple in size by two years of age. That’s a lot of growing and learning in a short space of time! Exciting for you and your baby!
 
A baby’s brain grows the fastest from the middle of pregnancy to somewhere between the baby’s second and third birthdays. This is called the brain growth spurt. During this crucial period of rapid change, the brain grows not only in physical size but also in cognitive abilities.
 
The cerebral cortex undergoes massive development too. Most of its synaptic connections are formed after birth. At its peak, the cerebral cortex creates an astonishing two million new synapses every second! With these new connections a baby’s mental milestones like colour vision, and a strong attachment to parents are developed. When your toddler is two years old, his cerebral cortex already contains more than a hundred trillion synapses. This pattern of synaptic production corresponds remarkably well to children’s overall brain activity during development.
 
Parents know they can influence their baby’s cognitive progress through care and stimulation, but few know that nutrition, and specifically protein, also plays an important role in brain development. Amongst other things, protein is beneficial to your baby’s brain in the regions that influence language, attention and working memory.
 
During periods of peak protein need, sufficient nutrition is most important, and protein malnutrition can be particularly harmful. One such period occurs after 6 months of age, when a mother´s milk protein declines and children are often weaned from breast milk. Toddlers then become more dependent on outside sources of protein, and adequate protein at this time is essential for the developing brain. This will ensure that you give your baby’s brain the best chance at optimal development!

 

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