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Kids' IQ Food: Fish, Bread, and Wine

Jesus was on to something…

A New Zealand study gives some insight on food for you smarty pants to-be parents.  Kids with higher IQ consume fish at least once a week and the full four servings of breads and cereals daily. Oddly, those smart kids also had mamas who drank moderately during their pregnancies

Certain food also played a role in a lower IQ for kids.  Singled out was margarine, which had strong links to lower scores.

University of Otago research fellow Dr. Reremoana Theodore said that more research should be done on the spread and intellect, because many lower income families choose margarine as it’s often cheaper than than butter.

Light drinking during pregnancy? That tip goes against all known science on boozing for expectants. So take the advice of most care practitioners and avoid the bottle, say dieticians and researchers.

There is no known safe level of consumption of alcohol during pregnancy and both Alac (Alcohol Advisory Council) and the Ministry of Health advise pregnant women to avoid all alcohol.

Smoking during pregnancy did not seem to affect a child’s intelligence one way or another, though last week I blogged about a study that showed bad behavior for kids whose mothers smoked while they were in the womb.  So maybe they’re simply smarter criminal children.

For the study, Dr. Theodore followed 600 European NZ families and tracked numerous diet/intelligence patterns, including how closely children followed the food pyramid and how it linked to scores on IQ tests. She also adjusted for other factors that are often tied to IQ scores, such as socioeconomic factors and mothers’ scores.

School dietician Richard Swinbourne reminded us that breakfast is indeed the most important meal of the day.  He also called for a whole health look at the findings,

You could have a child having margarine but if they were having a couple of bits of fruit a day, and going to school with breakfast, and physically active… I’m sure they would overshoot someone that wasn’t having the margarine, alone.

Image: hexodus on Flickr under a Creative Commons License.


  1. I think the no drinking while pregnant recommendation is beginning to pass. I have the ok from my OBGYN to drink one glass a week of wine and she was very comfortable with that decision (I’m 5 months pregnant). Obviously, there is a severe limit to how much you can drink, but a glass of wine here or there is no longer seen as a threat.

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