5 Foods That Increase Behavioral Problems in Children

5 Foods That Trigger Behavioral Problems in Children

All children behave badly once in the while. It’s normal for a child to act up when she can’t have her favorite toy or when he just needs a nap. However, if behavioral problems disrupt both classroom and home time, and your child just seems miserable, it may be time to take a closer look at the diet.

Here is a list of five common foods that trigger behavioral problems in children:

1. Gluten

Gluten intolerance was once thought to be a rare condition. However, new research has proven it is a very common problem. Symptoms of gluten intolerance in children can range from mild to severe.

Common symptoms include:

  • Chronic Stomachache
  • Chronic Diarrhea or Constipation
  • Distended Abdomen
  • Failure to Thrive
  • Eczema/Itchy Skin
  • Chronic Infection
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Brain Fog/Learning Difficulties
  • Autism Symptoms

If you suspect your child’s behavioral problems are related to hidden gluten intolerance, remove all sources of gluten from his or her diet for a month. Then, reintroduce gluten-based foods at the end of that time period to test for a reaction. 

If gluten has been the culprit, you should notice a positive change in your child’s behavior within the first few weeks.

2. Soy

Though soy has been touted as a health food for over a decade, it is now under fire for causing a host of health problems, including child behavior problems. 

Soy is loaded with a compound called manganese, which has been linked to:

  • Neurological Problems
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Developmental Disoders
  • Mental Health Disorders
  • ADHD

In addition to dangerous levels of manganese, the phytoestrogens in soy have also been reported to cause thyroid disorders, early puberty, and aggressive behavior in children and teenagers. Remove soy from the diet for one month, make note of any changes, then reintroduce to test for a reaction. 

3. Aspartame

Aspartame is an artificial sweetener found in diet foods, sodas, candy, gum, and many other highly-processed foods. Aspartame poisoning has an alarming 92 different symptoms associated with it.

Some of the more common include: 

  • Autoimmune Disease
  • Headaches/Migraines
  • Confusion and Memory Loss
  • Hyperactivity
  • Depression and Anxiety
  • Irritability and Aggression
  • Insomnia
  • Phobias
  • Skin Allergies
  • Gastrointestinal Problems

4. High Fructose Corn Syrup

Remember those “sugar is sugar” commercials from a few years back? Unlike what they would have you believe, your child’s body can tell the difference between cane sugar and “corn sugar”.

Regular sugar is broken down by the digestive system into useable fructose while high fructose corn syrup gets turned into fat. HFCS has been reported to be a major contributing factor in childhood obesity. A child who is overweight is more prone to depression and becoming a target for bullying. 

In addition, high fructose corn syrup has been linked to cognitive problems such as:

  • Hyperactivity
  • Mood Swings
  • Aggression
  • Learning Difficulties
  • Extreme Tantrums

5. Food Dyes

Some children develop a serious intolerance to food dyes such as Red #40 and Yellow #5.

Both these dyes have been linked to the following symptoms:

  • Insomnia (Yellow #5)
  • Irritability
  • Tantrums
  • Aggression
  • Nervousness

Artificial food dyes can also cause severe physical reactions such as hives, itching, swelling of the lips and tongue and blisters. If your child is exhibiting any of these symptoms, remove all sources of food dyes from the diet. 

In this modern age, where so much of our food is processed, genetically modified, and just plain not good for us, carefully scrutinizing food labels is essential. 

No matter how “natural” or “healthy” the food claims to be on the front of the package, always read the fine print on the back. It may not only improve your child’s behavior, but better the health of your entire family!