Well Gal

Well Children: Healthy Toddler Foods Means Higher IQs

Healthy Snacks: Organic Apples, Carrots, & Whole-Grain Crackers

Sugar snap peas, organic yogurt, apple slices, whole-grain fish crackers…These were some of my go-to favorites when it came time to pack snacks for my kids when they were toddlers.

Well, now I know it was all worth it. A new study done at the University of Adelaide published in the European Journal of Epidemiology has shown that children who are fed a healthy diet in their early years have a higher IQ of two points on average than those children who are fed a diet of processed, packaged foods and drinks on a regular basis.

The study looked at how the diets of over 7,000 children at ages 6 months, 15 months, and two years impacted their IQs at the age of eight. It found that those who were fed an unhealthy diet of processed, packaged junk foods, such as chips and soda, had slightly lower IQs, up to two points on average, than those who were breast fed at six months of age and fed a diet of healthy foods, such as fruits, cheese, vegetables, etc., as toddlers.

This points to the fact that those first two years of life are really formative years and do shape our children and how their brains develop. So, if you’ve got a toddler who’s fighting healthy snacks and you’re tempted to switch to gummy fruit snacks and processed cheeses that could easily sit on a shelf for a decade without going bad, give it a second thought. Your good work will pay off!

© Karen Peltier and Well Gal, 2012

Photo © Karen Peltier

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