14 Jun Can Nutrition Affect Your Child’s Behavior?
Most people know how important it is to eat a healthy, balanced diet. While many adults are more worried about how their diet impacts their heart and their waistline, for kids, nutrition is even more important. Proper nutrition can help developing children grow big and strong and meet their milestones. However, what many parents don’t realize is that what your child eats can also impact their behavior.
Research shows that nutrition can impact everything from a child’s growth to their mood, behavior and learning capabilities. There are some obvious links between diet and behavior that some parents have taken note of. Sugar is one of the biggest culprits in this category. While many parents have noticed the link between their child eating too much sugar and acting hyperactive as a result, sugar can have even more of an impact on a child’s behavior. Long-term studies show that children who eat diets heavy in sugars and processed foods are more likely to suffer from obesity and sleep issues.
Unfortunately, the problematic thing about avoiding processed foods like this for children is that many “kid” foods that look fun and taste great, and that are marketed towards little ones have a lot of preservatives, dyes, and sugars in them.
While it is important for your child to avoid things like sugar and processed foods, it is just as important for your little one to make sure they are eating the right types of foods and getting the nutrition that they need.
So, what foods should children be eating?
Here is an excellent guideline to follow when it comes to creating a quality eating plan for your children.
- 5 or more servings of fruit and vegetables per day
- Whole grain substitutes instead of processed carbohydrates (when possible)
- Some dairy products, but not too many, such as yogurt, milk and cheese
- Plenty of protein including meat,nuts, eggs, and beans
- Two portions of fish every week, look for oily fish like salmon and mackerel
- Drinking at least eight servings of fluids daily—preferably water
Balance is critical when it comes to creating a healthy eating plan for your children. While many kids are picky eaters, it is important that parents do what they can to find healthy foods that their kids will enjoy. Of course, no one knows a child quite like their parents, so parents who notice certain foods impacting their child’s mood or behavior should do their best to eliminate those foods right away.
If you would like to get nutritional advice for your child and learn more about how their nutrition choices may be impacting their behavior, then contact Dr. Kolluri or Dr. Mandal at Continuum Pediatrics at 817-617-8600 today to schedule an appointment.