Solving the Puzzle of Your Growing Up Child’s Brain Development
Most mums are aware of the importance of DHA in a child’s brain development. While we have approximately 100 billion brain cells, not all are connected. Brain cell connections continue to be built and formed throughout childhood for memory and learning to take place.
Take this analogy; your young child’s brain cells are like jigsaw puzzles. They are all there—approximately 100 billion of them—but they remain singular pieces unless you fix them to form a whole image.
Now, the best time to do it is during the childhood stage because it is when the brain develops faster than at any other time in life. These young cells can connect rapidly (National Academy of Sciences, 2000) when exposed to the correct stimulants. How a young child’s brain develops impacts their future abilities to learn and succeed in school and in life.
Here, we are going to look at what you, as a parent, can do to fix these puzzle pieces together, so more of their brain cells are connected.
Provide Positive Interactions
One of the most crucial things you can do is to be present with your toddler from a very young age.
Parents are encouraged to soothe, nurture, cuddle and reassure them. Without a good initial bond, children are less likely to grow up to become happy, independent and resilient adults. (Winston & Chicot, 2016).
When they experience positive responses through physical touch, their brains start to form expectations (Lally & Mangoine, 2017) on how they will be treated, and how they should respond. For example, when a toddler fusses or cries, consistent adult responses to help comfort the child will help them anticipate similar responses in the future.
We are fortunate to be living in a country that embraces many languages. We have our national language, Bahasa Malaysia, to English and our various mother tongues. Therefore, speak to them in as many languages as you know because in doing so, you are further aiding their brain development.
Some parents also send their children to language classes to pick up other tongues such as French, German, Spanish, Korean and Japanese.
Picking up a language is much easier for young children (Shiver, 2001) because their malleable brain allows them to learn up to three languages simultaneously. Once they are proficient with the important languages frequently used at home or within their community, they can learn a non-native language. They can also attain proficiency more easily before puberty, as it is the sensitive period for language development.
Play with Them
You help them connect the brain cell puzzles when you engage their senses to interact with the world around them, like reaching for a toy. Different stimuli help build different connections.
Therefore, we encourage you to involve body movements and finger play when singing them lullabies. It helps your toddler connect sounds with large and small motor actions. Music also enhances your child’s learning of rhythms, rhymes and language patterns.
You can also introduce them to different types of matter so they learn about the properties of liquids, solids, and mixtures—sensory experiences that are crucial for the learning brain. Allow them to touch and make a mess if needed because that is how they learn.
Also, when your child is playing, resist the temptation to check your social media updates. Instead, get on the ground and spend time interacting with them. Toddlers who are securely attached to you emotionally are more eager to explore and learn.
Supplement Them with Gangliosides (GA®)
Gangliosides Gangliosides (GA®) are components of cell membranes and are largely concentrated in the grey matter.
They help to form brain cell connections, hence, it is equally important as Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)—one we know is essential for brain development in toddlers (Kuratko et al, 2013).
According to a recent study (Tan et al, 2020), dietary Gangliosides (GA®) intake is found to be associated with toddlers’ neurodevelopment.
Now, there is this thing called Milk Fat Globule Membrane (MFGM) that contains Gangliosides (GA®) and Phospholipid. MFGM is associated with a significant decrease in the number of short febrile episodes and leads to improved behavioural regulation among young children. (Veereman-Wauters et al, 2012).
Therefore, supplementing your child with MFGM+Gangliosides (GA®) is a sure way for every parent. Let’s support to maximise your child’s brain cells connections* today!
Where do you find Gangliosides (GA®)?
Anmum™ ESSENTIAL, of course!
Image from Anmum™ ESSENTIAL
It provides MFGM-Gangliosides-DHA. It is important for parents to do some research on all the good things important for the brain! Anmum™ ESSENTIAL also has no added sugars.
Image from Anmum™ ESSENTIAL
Many people associate sugar with hyperactivity in a child. But did you know it also affects brain development?
Malaysian pre-schoolers are consuming average 7.6 teaspoons of sugars daily (Zalilah et al, 2015). That’s already more than recommendation. Children aged 2-6 should consumed not more than 3 teaspoons of added sugar per day (MDG for Children and Adolescents, 2013). Added sugar is not just limited to sucrose. There are many types of added sugars. Mums need to know how to identify added sugars in their children’s milk beyond sucrose.
Currently, Anmum™ ESSENTIAL is The Only Brand^ with MFGM-Gangliosides-DHA and with No Added Sugars** in Malaysia.
It is also scientifically formulated with Prebiotic (Inulin) and 15 Key Nutrients to support the nutritional needs of a growing child.
More Reason To Introduce Anmum™ ESSENTIAL at Home
Image from Anmum™ ESSENTIAL
While Anmum™ ESSENTIAL is an established brand in Malaysia, many first-time mothers are not aware of the nutrients a child would get from it. Made with milk from New Zealand and backed by 90+ years of research in the Fonterra New Zealand R&D centre, Anmum™ ESSENTIAL is scientifically formulated to support the nutritional needs of growing up children aged 1 – 6 years old.
Image from Anmum™ ESSENTIAL
A toddler’s brain grows to about 80% of adult size by age 3 and 90%, nearly full-grown, by age 5.
Therefore, Anmum™ ESSENTIAL is laser-focused on improving children’s growth and development. And as such, Anmum™ ESSENTIAL has No Added Sugars**.
They know they are not just feeding children, they are building tomorrow’s leaders.
*With proper stimulation and good nutrition.
^Referring to the product label of major brands of formulated milk powder for children.
**Sucrose, Glucose Syrup Solid, Corn Syrup Solid, Brown Sugar, Dextrose, Lactose, Fructose, Honey and White Sugar are defined as ‘sugars’ and ‘added sugars’ under CODEX Standard 212-1999 and CAC/GL23-1997. CODEX develops harmonised international food standards guidelines and code of practices. Under Malaysia Food Regulations 1985, Sucrose, Brown Sugar, Dextrose, Glucose, Fructose, Honey are defined as sweetening substances.
1. National Research Council (US) and Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Integrating the Science of Early Childhood Development. (1970, January 1). The developing brain. From Neurons to Neighborhoods: The Science of Early Childhood Development. Retrieved February 26, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK225562/
2. Winston, R., & Chicot, R. (2016, February 24). The importance of early bonding on the long-term mental health and resilience of children. London journal of primary care. Retrieved February 26, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5330336/
3. Lally, J. R., & Mangione, P. L. (2017, May). Caring relationships: The heart of early brain development. NAEYC. Retrieved February 26, 2022, from https://www.naeyc.org/resources/pubs/yc/may2017/caring-relationships-heart-early-brain-development
4. Shiver, E. (2018, April 6). Brain development and mastery of language in the early childhood years. IDRA. Retrieved February 26, 2022, from https://www.idra.org/resource-center/brain-development-and-mastery-of-language-in-the-early-childhood-years/
5. Kuratko, C. N., Barrett, E. C., Nelson, E. B., & Salem, N. (2013, July 19). The relationship of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) with learning and behavior in Healthy Children: A Review. Nutrients. Retrieved February 26, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3738999/
6. Tan, S., Zhao, A., Zhang, J., Li, P., Chen, C., & Zhang, Y. (2020). Toddler neurodevelopment is associated … – APJCN.NHRI.ORG.TW. Toddler neurodevelopment is associated with ganglioside intake but not serum ganglioside. Retrieved February 26, 2022, from https://apjcn.nhri.org.tw/server/APJCN/29/3/584.pdf
7. Veereman-Wauters, G., Staelens, S., Rombaut, R., Dewettinck, K., Deboutte, D., Brummer, R. J., Boone, M., & Le Ruyet, P. (2012). Milk fat globule membrane (INPULSE) enriched formula milk decreases febrile episodes and may improve behavioral regulation in young children. Nutrition (Burbank, Los Angeles County, Calif.), 28(7-8), 749–752. Retrieved February 26, 2022, from https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nut.2011.10.011
8. Zalilah, MS., Khor, GL, Sarina, S., Huang SL., Chin YS., Barakatun NYM, Chan YM., Maznorila, M. (2015). The relationship between household income and dietary intakes of 1-10 year old urban Malaysian. Nutrition Research and Practice, 9(3), 278–287.
9. NCCFN. 2013. Malaysian Dietary Guidelines For Children and Adolescents. National Coordinating Committee on Food and Nutrition, Ministry of Health Malaysia.
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