Brain Foods for Kids: Over 100 Recipes to Boost Your Child's Intelligence [NOOK Book]


After writing several award-winning health and nutrition titles that have had great success in the UK, Nicola Graimes makes her debut in the US market with the first book to focus on children and brain power and the foods that truly can improve intelligence and those that can hinder it. With her exciting positive twist on the link between the food that children eat and their mental development, Graimes offers parents new ways and reasons to give their children (from pregnancy through primary school) and the ...
See more details below
Brain Foods for Kids: Over 100 Recipes to Boost Your Child's Intelligence

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$14.99 price


After writing several award-winning health and nutrition titles that have had great success in the UK, Nicola Graimes makes her debut in the US market with the first book to focus on children and brain power and the foods that truly can improve intelligence and those that can hinder it. With her exciting positive twist on the link between the food that children eat and their mental development, Graimes offers parents new ways and reasons to give their children (from pregnancy through primary school) and the essential foods and nutrients they require.


-A clear and easy-to-follow introduction to the principles of good childhood nutrition and information on all the latest science on brain-boosting foods

-Practical, kid-tested advice on incorporating the essential foods into a child-friendly diet

-Special "brain-box" features to explain the health-giving, mind-boosting properties of each of the featured dishes

-Teaches how to recognize foods containing additives and pesticides, and how to choose healthy, nutritious ingredients

-Advice on using diet to control and avoid behavioral problems such as ADHD

Graimes divides the book into two sections. The first is full of advice, bursting with color photographs and helpful scientific facts as palatable for adult readers as the recipes are for their children. The second part covers more than 100 recipes for every meal of the day, parties, picnics, and plenty of delicious snacks. And the perforated at-a-glance weekly menu planner can be torn out for posting on the fridge.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307482464
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/26/2008
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 128
  • File size: 9 MB

Meet the Author

Born in London in 1962, Nicola Graimes has been an editor, journalist and author for the past 20 years and has written numerous books based on health, nutrition, organic food and children's diets. She was editor of The Vegetarian, Vegetarian Living and Good Food Retailing. Her book, Great Healthy Food for Vegetarian Kids was awarded Best Vegetarian Cookbook 2002 in the UK. She is married with two young children and lives in Brighton, Sussex, England.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Here is a sample recipe from over 100 that are included in Brain Food For Kids. These recipes have been created with children in mind, but can also be enjoyed by adults. They contain the foods that are said to be the most beneficial for the brain, and in some instances have been shown to improve IQ, memory, attention span, and concentration.


Crunchy raw vegetables seem to be more acceptable to many children, and dipping them into this nutritious garlicky guacamole adds to the appeal.

Serves 24
1 ripe medium-size avocado
1 small garlic clove, crushed
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp mayonnaise various raw vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers, cucumber, celery, baby corn, carrots, snow peas

1 Cut the avocado in half and remove the pit. Scoop the flesh out of the skin. Transfer the flesh to a blender or processor and add the garlic, lemon juice, and mayonnaise. Process until the dip is the consistency you prefer. Alternatively, place the ingredients in a bowl and mash together.

2 Prepare the vegetables to dip into the avocado mixture: cut broccoli and cauliflower into florets; de-seed the peppers and cut into strips; cut celery, cucumber, and carrots into sticks, and leave snow peas and baby corn whole. You may wish to blanche the snow peas or corn slightly first. Serve with the dip.

Brain Box

Although avocados are fairly high in fat, it is the beneficial monounsaturated type. Avocados are best eaten when just ripe to get the full benefit of their antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E, which protect brain cells against destructive free radicals. They also contain B-complex vitamins for memory and clarity of thought.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Read More Show Less

First Chapter

Brain Foods for Kids

By Nicola Graimes

Random House

Nicola Graimes
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0553383353

Chapter One

Brain Nutrients

For good health and optimum brain power, a child's diet should contain the "proper" amounts of certain nutrients. Balance and variety are the key, and a deficiency in just one vital nutrient can impair cognitive performance.


The brain needs a constant and steady supply of glucose, which supplies it with the energy it needs. Carbohydrate foods, and preferably complex carbohydrates, are the best sources, and should make up about a third of a child's diet.

Carbohydrates come in two forms: simple (also known as sugars) and complex (starches). Sugars are either intrinsic, such as those already present in fruit, or extrinsic, such as refined sugar added to sweets, cakes, and cookies.

The carbohydrates in your child's diet should be made up principally of intrinsic sugars and unrefined complex carbohydrates found in whole grain bread, potatoes, legumes, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, and vegetables. Unrefined carbohydrates are preferable to refined because they are higher in nutrients and fiber and, crucially for the brain, they help to keep blood sugar levels steady, providing long-term, sustained energy.

Refined, sugary foods lead to a surge in blood sugar levels, which can be followed by a slump. Your child's concentration and attention span will wane and he or shewill become fatigued. Extreme highs and lows in blood sugar levels can result in dizziness, irritability, and mood swings (see also page 26).


We actually need relatively small amounts of protein (children aged 4--10 need between 1/2 to one ounce per day), but variety is important to get the full spectrum of the different nutrients found in protein foods. Protein is found in both animal (meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products) and plant sources (beans, lentils, nuts, and seeds).

Protein is made up of 25 amino acids. Eight of these are known as essential amino acids because they have to be provided by diet and are not made in the body. Among their many roles, amino acids are crucial for making neurotransmitters, the brain's messengers, and so are vital to brain chemistry and emotions. The amino acid tyrosine, found in fish, dairy products, eggs, oats, and turkey can lift mood and increase alertness, while another amino acid, phenylalanine, is used to regulate blood sugar through insulin.

Proteins are said to satisfy the appetite for longer periods than carbohydrates, yet the latter are believed to provide long-term energy. Many foods are a combination of the two.


The brain is composed of 60 percent fat, which has to come from the diet. The type of fat your child eats, therefore, affects the composition of the fats in his or her brain. This is why it is so important to include the "right" types of fat in your child's diet, as these are essential for brain development and enable children to think and to store and retrieve memories.

The most useful group of fats for brain and eye function are the long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, including omega-3 fats EPA and DHA, but these are also the ones children (and adults) are least likely to get from their diets. A deficiency in omega-3 is said to be one of the major causes of degenerative disease and of a corresponding decline in brain function. There also appears to be a correlation between fatty acid levels in infants and their intellectual and behavioral performance as children.

You will find the richest amounts of omega-3 in oily fish (see page 18) It also is found in eggs and some plant foods, however, these omega-3s are not as potent as those found in fish oils.

The other essential fatty acid is omega-6, found in plant sources such as nuts and seeds, as well as corn, safflower, and sunflower oils. Phospholipids, other fatty-acid substances found particularly in eggs, fish, and soybeans, are needed for brain cell membrane repair and the transmission of electrical nerve impulses.

Bad fats include saturated as well as hydrogenated or trans fats, which have a negative effect on the brain. Once the hydrogenated fat gets into the cell walls, it interferes with the assimilation of nutrients, resulting in toxic buildup. Unfortunately, it is very easy for children to eat too many "bad" fats, especially if their diets are made up mainly of highly processed or fast foods. Hydrogenated fat is found in a wide range of manufactured foods, from margarine, sausages, and salad dressings to pies, cookies, and cakes. Fortunately, some major food producers are attempting to reduce (or even eliminate) the hydrogenated fat content of their products.


Brain function is influenced by a variety of essential vitamins and minerals, and pound for pound a child needs a lot more than the average adult. Vitamins and minerals are also crucial for the production of energy, boosting the immune system, the nervous system, and practically every body process.

Vitamins A, C, and E are antioxidants that protect the brain and body from toxins and pollution. Vitamin C is essential for a healthy immune system and for turning food into mental and physical energy. It also helps us to absorb iron.

B vitamins are vital for brain function, a healthy nervous system and energy metabolism. They are important in the production of the brain neurotransmitters (messengers) dopamine, adrenaline, noradrenaline, and serotonin. Poor concentration and memory, lack of energy, insomnia, and irritability are signs of possible deficiency.

Calcium and magnesium are known as nature's tranquilizers, since they relax nerve and muscle cells. A lack of these minerals can make children feel nervous, irritable, and aggressive. A deficiency of choline, a vitamin-like compound, has been linked to possible memory and thought impairment. Along with lecithin and the B vitamins, choline enables the body to produce acetylcholine, which transmits electrical impulses to the brain and nervous system. Zinc is crucial for memory and brain function. It is also said to be important in the synthesis of the brain-calming chemical serotonin. Boron has been found to aid memory and improve attention and mental alertness and is essential for energy metabolism.

Iron has many functions in the body, one of which is to carry oxygen in the blood. Deficiency can make children feel tired and irritable and less able to concentrate, as well as affecting their development. Numerous studies have found that there are a great number of children (and adults) throughout the world lacking in this vital brain nutrient. Increasing iron consumption can lift mood and reduce anger, while an American study has linked higher intake of iron with a reduction in depression in teenage girls.

Research has also been conducted to see if there is a link between iron in the diet and IQ, and some of these studies have shown a possible positive link between IQ scores and iron intake. Iron from animal sources is better absorbed than that from plant sources, but drinking a glass of orange juice with an iron-rich meal will help to encourage absorption.

Selenium is a powerful antioxidant that can protect the brain from heavy metals such as lead, used in pipes, and mercury, part of the amalgam used in dental fillings. Even small amounts of heavy metals can accumulate in the tissues and interfere with brain chemistry. Chromium helps in the control of blood glucose levels.




Although essential to keep a mature digestive system working correctly, too many unrefined whole grains and cereals should not be given to children aged under 5. Babies and young children can find fiber difficult to digest in large quantities. They may become full before they have eaten the variety of foods needed for a balanced diet. Instead, offer a balance of refined and unrefined starchy foods.

Did you know?


• Excessive thirst

• Frequent urination

• Dry skin and hair

• Soft, brittle nails

• Dandruff

• Rough, hard skin on arms and legs

• Behavioral problems

• Learning difficulties

• Hyperactivity

• Poor concentration and memory

• Poor vision

Did you know?


There are numerous studies to show that intelligence, especially nonverbal, improves when children are given a multivitamin and mineral supplement. However, the general view is that supplements are most effective when a child's diet is poor. If a child follows a healthy and balanced diet, the effects are not so apparent.

Supplements should never be viewed as a replacement for a good diet, but the chances are fairly likely that a typical child eating a typical diet will experience subtle deficiencies in key nutrients at some stage in his or her life. Many manufacturers have come up with multivitamin and mineral supplements specifically for children, and these are the safest bet for parents, since the nutrients are carefully balanced and in the recommended daily amounts. It also is possible to buy essential fatty acid blends (containing omega-3 and -6) for children either in oil or capsule form if you feel your child could be lacking in these.

Vitamins & Minerals


Vitamin E Nuts and seeds and their oils

Vitamin A Animal foods including dairy, meat, fish, and eggs (as retinol) and in fruit and vegetables (as beta carotene)

Vitamin C Kiwi and citrus fruit, berries, green vegetables, tomatoes, and bell peppers

B vitamins Whole grains, eggs, green vegetables, brown rice, meat, fish, legumes, nuts and seeds

Calcium Dairy products, almonds, apricots, seeds, sardines, and green leafy vegetables

Magnesium Soybeans, whole grains, nuts, dried fruit, green leafy vegetables, and meat

Choline Egg yolk, sardines, liver, nuts, legumes, and grains

Zinc Dark turkey meat, shellfish, beans, and whole grains

Boron Nuts, apples, broccoli, peas, grapes, and legumes

Iron Red meat, molasses, cocoa, parsley, eggs, legumes, green vegetables, liver, shellfish, and fortified breakfast cereals

Selenium Whole grains, cereals, tuna, shellfish, liver, dairy products, and eggs

Chromium Red meat, eggs, cheese, seafood, whole grains.

Excerpted from Brain Foods for Kids by Nicola Graimes Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)