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How Food Affects Your Child's Mood

How Food Affects Your Child's Mood

By Angela Ilagan | | Health, how food affect kids mood, How food affects mood, Mood, Nutrition, Parenting

It may sound surprising but what you feed to your child may impact their behavior, cognitive function, and mood. 

Though there are tons of risk factors that may contribute to one's mood issues, one of the factor which impacts our mood through our food intake are the neurotransmitters in our body. These neurotransmitters serves as tiny messengers that carry thoughts and actions in our brains. 

In addition, Serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter control things like sleep, hunger, moods, and even pain. Surprisingly, most of your serotonin comes from your belly, which has lots of nerve cells. So, your tummy doesn't just handle food, it also plays a big role in how you feel. This is why what we eat may either improve or mess our mood. 

You know how kids can be quite sensitive, right? Well, the culprit may be the unhealthy food that we feed them. To back this up, studies have proven that processed foods can mess with their behavior and mood. 

Let's explore more why and how food affects your child's mood and provide some practical tips for maintaining a harmonious emotional balance.

Why Does Food Affect Mood?

  1. Blood Sugar Regulation: Just like a car needs fuel to run smoothly, your child's brain requires a steady supply of glucose (sugar) for optimal functioning. Consuming sugary snacks and drinks can lead to rapid spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels, resulting in mood swings, irritability, and fatigue.

  2. Nutrient Influence: The nutrients in food play a vital role in the production of neurotransmitters, which are chemicals that transmit signals in the brain. For instance, tryptophan, found in turkey and bananas, helps produce serotonin, a mood-regulating neurotransmitter. Insufficient nutrients can lead to imbalances in these chemicals, affecting mood.

  3. Gut-Brain Connection: Emerging research highlights the profound connection between the gut and the brain. The gut microbiome, composed of trillions of microorganisms, influences brain function and mood. A diet rich in fiber, fruits, and vegetables nurtures a healthy gut, positively impacting mood.

How Food Can Affect Your Child's Mood Positively:

  1. Balanced Meals: Ensure your child eats balanced meals with a combination of carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats. This keeps blood sugar levels stable, preventing mood swings.

  2. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Incorporate foods like fatty fish (salmon, mackerel), flaxseeds, and walnuts into your child's diet. These are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which support brain health and mood regulation.

  3. Antioxidants: Encourage foods high in antioxidants, such as berries and colorful vegetables. These protect the brain from oxidative stress, contributing to better mood.

  4. Protein: Ensure your child gets enough protein from sources like lean meats, eggs, and legumes. Proteins provide amino acids necessary for neurotransmitter production, aiding mood stability.

  5. Hydration: Dehydration can lead to irritability and fatigue. Ensure your child drinks enough water throughout the day.

How Food Can Affect Your Child's Mood Negatively:

  1. Processed Foods: Diets high in processed foods, additives, and preservatives may lead to mood disturbances in some children. These additives can affect behavior and attention.

  2. Excessive Sugar: Limit sugary snacks and drinks, as they can cause blood sugar spikes and crashes, leading to mood swings.

  3. Food Allergies and Sensitivities: Pay attention to potential food allergies or sensitivities, such as gluten or dairy, which can affect mood and behavior in some children.

Food plays a significant role in shaping your child's mood and behavior. By prioritizing a balanced diet rich in nutrients, you can support their emotional well-being. Keep in mind that individual responses to food can vary, so it's essential to observe how specific foods affect your child and make dietary adjustments accordingly. Nourishing your child's body and mind through mindful food choices can contribute to a happier, more emotionally balanced child.

Love + miracles,



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