Food Choices and Your Child’s Cognition: They Are Related


real food is nutritious food

I wrote a post about some of my concerns with IQ testing but I did not get into ALL the factors that influence IQ scores.

Let me amend the concept of IQ testing to be the concept of cognitive testing – or for an IQ to be a measure of cognitive development – because cognition is what IQ testing is all about!

It turns out, as many have long argued, that what you eat affects your cognition – and in turn, your IQ score. In a study of food and IQ results, it was found that eating processed foods when 3  years of age led to a decrease in IQ scores at 8 1/2.  Eating healthier foods such as salads, pasta and fruit at 3 – led to an increase in IQ scores at 8 1/2.  The decreases and increases were not huge – they were in effect small – but it is the direction of the trend that is important

The authors of the study on food and cognition conclude:

There is evidence that a poor diet associated with high fat, sugar and processed food content in early childhood may be associated with small reductions in IQ in later childhood, while a healthy diet, associated with high intakes of nutrient rich foods described at about the time of IQ assessment may be associated with small increases in IQ.

Some of us old-timers were warning in the 1960's that colorings, additives and processing of foods were not good for a child's development!  It's sad but we were right – back then we were laughed at for suggesting that what we ingested affected our brains! Especially a growing child's brain!

I still argue for good nutrition – even as our food supply is less nutritious than it was when I was growing up.

Now I suggest that if you want your child's brain [and yours also by the way] to function as optimally as it can – that you use real food supplements.

Below are links to real food supplements that I use and DISCLAIMER sell! If you buy any – i do make some $$ [but so can you]

helping your children

powering your brain [and immune systems]

About the author 

Lynn Dorman, Ph.D.

  • Ohhh, you are speaking my language! I just found you from Denise Wakeman’s FB brag about your blog idea today. Glad I did – I think about IQ testing all the time and the link to good performance and good nutrition. I’m becoming a follower now. Looking forward to more!

    • That is so nice to hear – thank you! I do tend to speak my own thoughts even if the “profession” may not agree with me 🙂


  • Hi Lynn,

    I was already interested in natural foods when my son was born, but hadn’t planned on having to make all his baby food! As it turned out, allergies and digestive problems (his food came out in his diaper looking exactly like it went in — no digestion having taken place) required me to make it all from scratch in a blender and freeze it in ice cube trays. I believe his first words were, “Hot beets!”

    He never had an additive or food coloring until he went to preschool. I made the cake for his first birthday from scratch with soy milk as he was allergic to cow and goat milk. He learned to ask for carrots and apples for snacks and when offered suckers at the bank, stared at the tellers, not knowing what to do.

    By the time he went to kindergarten he’d grown out of most of his digestive and allergic reactions, which was a good thing — the cat was out of the bag that all kids didn’t eat that way, and he discovered cookies and white bread.

    But the early eating had done lots of good, as he, by his own choice, continued to request vegetables and for the most part go easy on the sugary treats and additives. I believe it’s because of his strong early eating patterns that we were able to hold off his type 1 diabetes until right before his 13th birthday — it might have started well before then without his great start.

    And, because he learned to eat well as a young child, it made it much easier for him to accept the strict diabetes diet and routine so difficult for teenagers. Now a very healthy 35-year-old, my son now lifts weights and runs regularly, as well as cooks for his family.

    Oh, yeah. He was valedictorian of his high school class and received a full fellowship to grad school in molecular genetics. So the good eating may have helped his brain, too!

    So I’m with you. And it isn’t as hard as people might think.

    Thanks for helping kids do well.

    • Thank you for your comment. Yes, it’s actually easier and less time-consuming to cook good foods at home [as well as a lot less costly.] I used to cook lots of what I was making, freeze and then defrost to eat. My son too learned to eat good foods – his favorite was “okurt” [yogurt] but I love your “hot beets.” Mine is 32 and almost never been sick..and is very smart too. Let’s keep putting the word out there about food and our kids!


    • Good for you and good for your family! It never hurts to eat nutritious stuff – and it gives your body a cushion, I think, for when you eat the “no- so-good-for-you” things

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