Short attention span, hyperactivity, tantrums, and ADHD. Do those things sound familiar in your child’s behaviour?

Inevitably, some parents have to deal with these issues, you may see it in a restaurant, you may see it from your next door neighbour, you may see it at home with your unending requests to your child who don’t want to go to sleep yet.

Parenting really does not come with a manual and that’s important because every child is unique, unique thought processes, unique cognitive development, the way their individual body functions and their behaviour. But science is there to assist you in your child’s crucial development years.

In order to improve your child’s behaviour, you must pay attention to their physiological process, and focus on child’s nutrition and diet.

Just like adults, what we nourish our toddlers with will affect greatly his growth, one growth area of course is brain function and development which in turn affects behaviour.

Is your child currently eating a natural unprocessed diet? What are the significant nutrients he/she is getting?

Let’s take a look at what’s on your child’s plate:

1) Gluten and processed food

Considered one of the most poorly digested foods that causes an inflammatory response affecting brain function.

Eliminating this can greatly improve your child’s learning and behavioural problems.

Processed foods can also have this effect on children. Feed them instead with whole foods that are high in protein and fibre that aids digestion. If this doesn’t work, see if your child has food intolerances to items such as diary, wheat, eggs or any other items, after all every child is an individually and understanding their intolerances is the key to unlocking a healthy future.

2) Good fat

Foods that are rich in Omega 3 are essential for optimal brain function.

Omega 3’s DHA and EPA comes from fatty fish, these help to establish connections and chemical messengers in the brain.

3) Zinc levels

Zinc has been shown to improve ADHD symptoms as it helps the brain’s neurotransmitters to function well, zinc also aids in the metabolism of melatonin which regulates the hormone dopamine.

Research concludes that 150 mg/d of zinc can improved impaired social behaviour and can reduce hyperactivity and impulsiveness, foods that are rich in zinc include, meat, spinach, wheat germ, seafood, nuts, pumpkin, and squash.

4) Magnesium levels

Known to support the brain’s electrical activity, magnesium is also proven to increase cognition, it also has a calming effect on the central nervous system.

This is a fantastic nutrient for children with hyperactivity and a short attention span, foods that are high in magnesium include nuts, seeds, fish, soybeans, avocado, banana, and dark leafy greens.

5) Water

Is your child getting enough? Water is a vital player in the health and wellbeing of your child.

Importantly, avoid sugar, any product that contains refined or processed sugars or syrups will undoubtedly have a negative impact on your child’s behaviour.

Of course it’s important to speak to your doctor to see if the information contained in this article is right for you and your child, you and your doctor know your child best.

Have you ever made changes to your child’s diet and noticed an improvement for the better? Please share in the comments below.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com

  • My kids ate everything put in front of them and sugary things [drinks, sweets, cakes, etc.] were always a treat for birthday Christmas of Easter. If more people did this today the children would be fine.

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  • There is undoubtedly a link. I have seen the changes in a family friends child since their diet has been dramatically changed.

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  • I have no doubt at all that there is a strong link to foods and behaviour with kids, and to a lesser extent, adults.

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  • I agree all kids are unique and child behavioral books don’t fit every child!

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  • I would say this is almost always the case. Less processed food, little sugar and not too much take away food goes a long way towards a calmer happier child.

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  • good article. Food is always the first place you should look if you are having consistent behaviour issues with your child.

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  • Great article. I truly believe that food is linked to behaviour and lots of other ailments etc.

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  • i eat at home, i cook a lot but when i have a break and eat takeaway, i always regret it. i always feel so run down and exhausted the next day

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  • great info there

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  • i think that so much food is packed with extras so i think that we should try to eat foods in their pure form.

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  • My kids have a really healthy diet with no processed food, I cook everything myself. I have heard of diet changes helping other kids behaviours

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  • Very interesting read. I really have to stay on top of what my son eats or he’d eat junk food all the time!

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  • I think so, and not enough sleep. we expect so much from our kids now. My son slept from 6pm to 6am. there is no way I expected him to behave out to dinner, etc… kids need lots of sleep

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  • It is very important to give kids good quality food, not processed junk.

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  • I’ve wondered about this. I haven’t seen the effects on my toddler but it’s worth keeping in mind.

    Reply

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