Is Food Affecting My Child’s Behavior? I Don’t Want to Put My Child On Medication!
Imagine if you will, the excitement of shopping. Who doesn’t love getting a new outfit or two? Anyway, several years ago while on a shopping adventure with my niece, I was “tricked” into buying her enough sugary snacks to give her a sugar high! This child was bouncing all over the place and talking nonstop! In my early parenting days, I recall buying lots of “juice pouches” (which shall remain nameless). After a particular grocery shopping trip while putting any groceries, one of my children saw the “juice pouches” and literally became “bug eyed” and started singing a song and salivating for the juice. It reminded me of the behavior of someone addicted to illegal drugs. This made me take a realistic look what I was feeding my children.
You’re probably thinking, what does this have to do with food and behavior? Well, according to extensive research, there is evidence that sugar produces hyperactivity in children. In fact, parents of children with ADHD will tell you that sugar can lead to some very extreme behavior. This is due to the fact that sugar causes a spike in glucose levels followed by a quick drop which affects the levels of brain neurotransmitters. In fact, Brain scans have shown that this change in neurotransmitter levels is closely linked to hyperactivity. Additionally, researchers have concluded that food allergies and chemical additives have a negative effect on children’s behavior.
Use these four non-pharmaceutical interventions to address challenging behaviors:
• Avoid processed foods, refined sugar, and simple carbohydrates.
• Increase fresh fruits and vegetables
• Take multi-daily vitamin
• Cook healthy well-balanced meals and invite your child to participate in meal planning and preparation