When kids misbehave we might think they are tired or hungry or that it’s just their temperament, but we rarely consider their nutrition.
Sure most parents recognize the sugar crash after a cake and ice cream filled birthday party, but few parents consider that
Something that is seemingly wholesome like breakfast cereal or fruit in syrup could have as much sugar as the cake!
And that’s not all, by eating lots of low nutrient, high fat and high sugar foods, kids can essentially be malnourished while at the same time getting a surplus of calories. This undernourishment can show up in their behavior.
You know that old expression “you are what you eat.” It’s actually pretty true. The food you eat gets broken down into chemical components that enable your body to function, so it makes total sense that what we put in our mouths would affect not just our weight but everything else about us.
Since eating healthy is a challenge for most adults, it’s no wonder that kids are affected. I really like the Super Nanny because she includes good nutrition as part of her discipline plan. If your kids don’t have healthy food to fuel them, do you really expect them to have a healthy even temper?
Listen, I know it’s hard to get kids to eat healthy, but while they are living with you, you are in control of (most of) what they eat. It takes discipline, but it’s up to you to educate your kids on what is healthy and to provide them with healthy meals each day. It’s also important that you teach them the reason behind eating healthy. Make sure that it is not about “getting fat” but instead that it is about making healthy choices that make our body feel and function better.
So how do you go about giving kids healthy meals? Try including a complex carbohydrate, protein, healthy fat, fruit and veggie at each meal. Instead of constantly relying on goldfish for snacks try to offer minimally processed foods like cut up fruit, cut veggies and hummus, a hard boiled egg.
I have noticed a difference in my older son (the baby is still too little to eat anything besides milk/formula) on days when I focus on good nutrition vs. days that I don’t. While I do believe in balance and allowing treats as part of that, I think that it is important to fuel your child with healthy food to get the best out of them and set them up for success later on in life.
Trust me, I am not a perfect mom, but I think we could all use a little reminder now and again to make sure we are giving our kids healthy options rather than succumbing to the convenience of junk food.
Have you noticed that your child’s nutrition affects their behavior?