A recent study by researchers at the University of Adelaide in Australia shows that feeding your children a healthy diet rather than junk food can result in a higher IQ later in life.
The study, led by Dr. Lisa Smithers, looked at the link between the eating habits of children at 6 months, 15 months and 24 months, and their IQ at 8 years of age.
Researchers studied the dietary patterns of more than 7,000 children during the first two years of life. They compared traditional and contemporary home-prepared food, commercial baby food, breastfeeding, and junk food.
According to Dr. Smithers, “Diet supplies the nutrients needed for the development of brain tissues in the first two years of life, and the aim of this study was to look at what impact diet would have on children’s IQs.”
What they found was that children who were breastfed for at least 6 months and had a healthy and varied diet at 15 and 24 months that included fruit, vegetables, legumes, and cheese, scored two points higher on IQ tests when they were 8 years old.
The opposite effect occurred when the diet regularly included junky food like chips, cookies, and soda during the first 2 years of a child’s life. Researchers found that IQ lowered by up to two points.
Two points may not seem like a lot, but this study has shown how important it is to feed our children quality food and what the long-term impact is on our children.