Early life is a one of a kind opportunity to wire the brain
By Elaine Watson
- Last updated on
Babies' brains can be permanently changed by hunger, a poor diet, and lack of stimulation, said Dr Murray: "Early life is a one of a kind opportunity to wire the brain... Meal time is exploration time..."
There are 85bn neurons in the brain, most there at birth, said Dr Murray, but what matters is building synaptic connections between them. "Stimulation and experiences – use of the five senses – is what build connectivity for life."
"New food tastes, colors, smells, and combinations are a part of a child’s learning. So after six months, the goal for feeding is to offer as many different foods as possible, over-and-over to help the child learn to enjoy it. Some are easy, like fruit and cereals. Some are hard, like green and yellow vegetables. But parents shouldn’t give up when their child doesn’t like a food at first. The more the toddler explores new foods, the more that they’ll enjoy it."