What Foods Can Cause Behaviour Problems?

What Foods Can Cause Behaviour Problems?

Oct 01, 2022

A balanced diet is essential for a child’s average growth and cognitive development. Children who eat unhealthy foods start developing particular behavioral problems.

A slight change in diet usually translates to a sudden change in your child’s behaviors. Fueling Minds is a children’s care service in Calgary that offers catering near you.

Foods to Watch Out

Numerous studies suggest that certain foods trigger behavioral problems in children. Attention deficit hyperactive disorder, aggression, and irritability are the most common issues.

The foods responsible for these behavioral changes include:

  • Sugar

According to postgraduate medicine, excessive sugar intake for a long time potentially triggers ADHD. It is because it disrupts certain chemicals in the brain that affect the reward-linked regions of the brain.

  • Artificial Food Additives

The Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry thoroughly analyzed food colorings and concluded that food colorings significantly affected ADHD. Food dyes are primarily available in processed and packed foods.

There are certain dyes with a record of causing symptoms. They are Yellow 6, Yellow 5, Red 40, and Blue 1. Based on Columbia University Medical Center research, eliminating artificial food colors from children’s diets improves their behavioral problems and vice versa. Interestingly, food coloring is banned in some countries, such as the UK.

  • Trans Fats

These are fats that are synthetically produced. They are in fried foods, prepacked foods, fast foods, snack foods, and baked goods. Firstly, they increase stroke and heart disease risk. Secondly, studies reveal that they are associated with irritability and aggression.

A diet that comprises trans fats is classified as a poor diet, which could cause behavioral problems in children. A diet that includes trans fats is unsafe for children and adults.

  • Dairy Products

Dairy products cause food allergies among children and link to ADHD. Some children will be more hyperactive after consuming dairy products such as milk, yogurt, cheese, or other foods blended with dairy. Children with dairy sensitivity become bloated, tired, and congested. They may also become depressed, anxious, irritable, and lose concentration quickly.

  • Gluten

Gluten is primarily found in wheat and is a primary trigger of bad behavior in kids. Any diet of bread, crackers, and cereal is high in gluten. It is closely associated with hyperactivity, particularly in children with sensitivity to gluten-related foods. It also triggers other harmful behaviors, such as irritability and aggressiveness.

Does Chocolate Affect Children’s Behaviour?

The effect of chocolate consumption on children’s behavior is almost non-existent (very slim). Cases of hyperactivity in children after chocolate consumption are rare and unique.

Since chocolate contains sugar, cocoa, and caffeine, researchers are yet to establish which specific ingredient is responsible for hyperactivity.

Hyperactivity linked to chocolate can only be determined by a doctor, specifically if your child has a chocolate allergy.

If the child has an allergy, it’s possible to show impulsive behavior and hyperactivity following chocolate consumption.

How Does a Poor Diet Affect a Child’s Behaviour?

A poor diet affects a child mentally, socially, physically, and in terms of behaviors. The diet contains imbalanced nutrients.

For instance, they consume excess sugars, fats, and salt, while compromising on vitamins, minerals, and proteins. A poor diet contains high sugar, gluten, and trans fats.

Lack of this crucial nutrient balance causes particular behavioral problems such as deficit hyperactive disorder, aggression, and irritability.

Consumption of a poor diet leads to instant hyperactivity or aggression. You can prevent this by feeding your child a balanced diet.

Foods That Improve Behavior Problems

Even though there is a wide array of foods that cause behavior problems, the good news is that there are others that enhance them.

For instance, kids with ADHD should include nuts, beans, and meat for proteins. They should also contain complex carbohydrates, primarily available in vegetables and fresh fruits.

Lastly, a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids can also improve these behavioral problems. You can source them from tuna, olive oil, salmon, and walnuts.

Including these foods in your kid’s diet and omitting those above will make noticeable changes in most children.

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