3 Things to Remember About Child Development 1. Infants and young children are affected adversely when significant stresses threaten their family and care giving environments. Adverse fetal and early childhood experiences can lead to physical and chemical disruptions in the brain that can last a lifetime. The biological changes associated with these experiences can affect multiple organ systems and increase the risk not only for impairments in future learning capacity and behavior, but also for poor physical and mental health outcomes.
2. Development is a highly interactive process, and life outcomes are not determined solely by genes.
3. A great deal of brain architecture is shaped during the first three years after birth, but the window of opportunity for its development does not close on a child’s third birthday. Far from it! Basic aspects of brain function, such as the ability to see and hear effectively, do depend critically on very early experiences as do some aspects of emotional development. And, while the regions of the brain dedicated to higher-order functions—which involve most social, emotional, and cognitive capacities, including multiple aspects of executive functioning—are also affected powerfully by early influences, they continue to develop well into adolescence and early adulthood. So, although the basic principle that “earlier is better than later” generally applies, the window of opportunity for most domains of development remains open far beyond age 3, and we remain capable of learning ways to “work around” earlier impacts well into the adult years.
4 Brain Boosting Foods 1. Fatty fish: About 60% of your brain is made of fat, and half of that fat is comprised of omega-3 fatty acids. Your brain uses omega-3s to build brain and nerve cells, and these fats are essential for learning and memory.
2. Blueberries: Blueberries provide numerous health benefits, including some that are specifically for your brain. Blueberries have compounds with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
3. Turmeric: This deep-yellow spice is a key ingredient in curry powder and has a number of benefits for the brain. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, has been shown to cross the blood-brain barrier, meaning it can directly enter the brain and benefit the cells there.
4. Broccoli: Broccoli is packed with powerful plant compounds, including antioxidants. It’s also very high in vitamin K, delivering more than 100% of the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) in a 1-cup (160-gram) serving of cooked broccoli.
FUN Crafts for February!