Diet, Lifestyle and Environment can all have an impact on children’s behaviour.
If your child displays behaviours such as:
▶ Difficulties with concentration & memory
▶ Fidgeting and restlessness
▶ Anxiety and/or depression
▶ Constantly disrupts others
▶ Compulsive behaviours
▶ Difficulties completing tasks
▶ Aggressive displays
▶ Defiant behaviour
The following information is for you!
The 5 Major players impacting children’s behaviour are:
* Nutrient Deficiencies
* Nature Deficit
* Environmental factors
1) MAJOR DIETARY PLAYERS:
🍭Refined carbohydrates & added sugars
🍨Additives, preservatives, colours, flavour enhancers, artificial sweeteners
🍟 Trans fats found in highly processed and take-away foods
🌱Natural chemicals in foods like salicylates, amines & glutamates
🌾 Food intolerances
🥑 Not eating enough good quality fats
🍗 Not eating enough quality protein
🥦 Not eating enough vegetables (very few children get the recommended daily serves)
🍓 Not eating the recommended daily serves of fruit
🥙 Not eating regularly
2) NUTRIENT DEFICIENCIES can have a real impact on behaviour. We all require vitamins and minerals in conjunction with protein, fat and carbohydrates to live – it’s what fuels our body, what builds & nourishes our cells & tissues!
When children are deficient in nutrients, their body does not obtain the vital components needed for growth, repair and development, along with the vital nutrients for metabolic processes and chemical reactions within the body – leading to the symptoms displayed in children’s behavioural issues.
* Zinc deficiencies have been linked to poor memory & concentration, along with reduced sense of smell and taste.
* Omega 3 deficiencies have been linked to anxiety, inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity .
* Iron deficiencies have been linked to attention and mood imbalances, hyperactivity and impaired socialisation
* Magnesium deficiencies have been linked to cognitive delays, fatigue, headaches and anxiety
These are just a few of the deficiencies that may impact children’s behaviour. If children are not eating a varied healthy diet and obtaining their recommended daily servings of protein, fats, carbohydrates, vegetables & fruit, they are at risk of deficiencies.
A lack of sleep, whether it be due to late nights, early mornings, disrupted sleep, nightmares, dreams, anxiety, restlessness or another factor, can have detrimental effects on children’s behaviour.
😴 Inadequate sleep (too short or poor quality) can cause changes in mood and thinking, leading to:
➡ An inability to regulate moods, resulting in heightened reactions to seemingly minor events
➡ Greater tendency to dwell on negative thoughts, interactions or activities rather than on positive aspects of life
➡Greater deficits in attention and the ability to concentrate and remember
➡ Reduced ability to reason and problem solve
➡ A higher tendency towards anxious or withdrawn behaviours
Implementing positive sleep practices can create major changes in children’s behaviour. Sleep hygiene analysis and changes, often form part of my treatment plans with positive results.
4) NATURE DEFICIT
Green -time instead of screen time!!!! Outside play is so important to children’s behaviour and overall health!
Lack of exposure to outside play and an increase in inside screen-time play, has been linked to:
✔ hyperactivity in children
✔ anti-social behaviour and reduced social interaction between children
✔ reductions in cognitive awareness
✔ reduced abilities to concentrate & reduced memory function
✔ reductions in fine and gross motor skills
✔ reductions in balance & co-ordination
✔ Increases in mental health conditions like anxiety, stress, depression and insomnia
✔ Increased weight gain & rises in type 2 diabetes
✔ Poor gut health and an increase in chronic health conditions
Just 30 minutes a day (1 hour is best) outside play can benefit children’s physical and mental wellbeing:
➡ Reducing hyperactivity, fidgeting and impulsivity
➡ Improving anxiety and depression
➡ Improving sleep
➡ Improving energy
➡ Improving social interaction
➡ Improving appetite, diet & nutrient absorption
➡ Improving co-ordination, self-awareness & observational skills
➡ Improving concentration and memory
➡Improving gut health & helping to reduce chronic health conditions
So what should you be looking out for in your environment, that could be effecting your child?
🔸Body products (soaps, moisturisers, etc)
🔸Gardening supplies ( they contain harmful chemicals liek glyphosate found in Round Up)
🔸Heavy metals (eg lead & mercury)
🔸Medications (over the counter and prescription – some medications can’t be avoided, it is important to be aware of side-effects associated with medications)
🔸Hand sanitisers and other sanitising products
Our skin is our largest organ and absorbs hundreds of chemicals daily, which may effect our children’s health and increase the risk of:
🔸Anxiety & depression
🔸Compromised gut integrity, leading to leaky gut
🔸Poor nutrient deficiencies and absorption
🔸Poor cognitive development
🔸Behavioral and learning difficulties
🔸Impacts on neurological development
🔸Poor Growth and development
I hope this post has given you some insight into the different influences on children’s behaviour. Making changes is not an overnight process and can seem like a daunting process. All of the areas discussed, are assessed in my consultations and form part of my individualised treatment plans – we tackle these changes together, in a way that suits your family.
BOOK YOUR CONSULTATION TODAY AND GET YOUR CHILD’S HEALTH & BEHAVIOUR BACK ON TRACK !