Inadequate nutrition for children is a growing problem. People may not realize just how important diet is with the development of the brain and the body and how it impacts behavior in children.
If parents knew just how much diet affects the growth, development, and health of their children they would be a lot more cautious about their diets. Sadly, the existence of convenient processed foods has moved us away from the way our grandmother's would cook. Now we buy fast foods because we are too busy to cook from scratch, but unfortunately, this is having some major health issues with children and in particular with their behavior.
The brain requires certain nutrients in order to develop properly in children. If the child does not receive these vital nutrients from the foods they eat, they will become deficient in them. This deficiency shows up in the form of health issues including behavioral issues.
Junk foods do not provide adequate amounts of nutrients. If the child eats a diet of these convenient processed foods, their body will show signs of nutrient deficiency. Ironically, one of the signs is obesity, when actually the child is starved for nutrition; the body is putting on fat and weight. The mental development is as affected as the physical body to the lack of nutrition.
A deficiency in essential fatty acids, in particular omega 3 fatty acid has a big affect on children's behavior. Younger preschool age children may experience hyperactivity. This may be diagnosed as ADD (attention deficit disorder) and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).
Normally these terms put a label on a child that follows them through their school years. Often, if either of these are "diagnosed" on a child the option to give them medications such as Ritalin are suggested. Ritalin helps to "calm" a hyper child and helps them to focus. However, if the reason the child is "hyper" is a deficiency in an essential fatty acid, the Ritalin will not address this. It does not help to "cure" the child.
Aggressive behavior may be the result of the essential fatty acid deficiency in school-aged children. These children may be referred to as bullies. They may seem to be in need of discipline, and that is a consideration, but the aggressiveness may be caused by the lack of omega 3 fatty acids in their diet. This is comparable to low blood sugar, which also may affect behavior in this same manner.
Older children who are deficient in omega 3 fatty acids may experience conduct disorders. Again, they may be labeled as a troublemaker or a bully, depending on the conduct. They feel out of control and act up. It is a direct result of an issue in their brain and the lack of this vital nutrient.
It is a little scary to think that a deficiency in a nutrient can actually make us less intelligent, but it is true. It is also very treatable, and reversible, if the lacking nutrient is replenished and continually replenished, then the IQ no longer suffers and the child is able to catch up with mental development as normal.
Diet is always the best way to combat signs and symptoms of nutrient deficiencies, even for behavioral issues. If children cannot eat a healthy diet every day, they should be given nutritious supplements to help give the body the nutrients they lack from their diet. Behavioral issues are greatly helped by taking omega 3 fatty acids.
One of the best and most pure forms of omega 3 is in krill oil. Children can swallow a krill oil liquid formulated just for them, and their body will receive the omega 3 fatty acid they need to have better brain function and development.