5 Foods Affecting a Child’s Health you Didn’t Know About
- Updated on 19 May 2021
- Health and Nutrition
- Swastika Jana
- 4 mins read
How does food affect a child’s health?
As the old saying goes: health is wealth. This cannot be truer, both in the case of adults and kids. One of the greatest challenges as a parent is making sure your child has all the elements for healthy physical and mental development. In the growth stage, children’s bodies need more nutrients than usual. But growth and development aren’t the only things that are affected by a child’s diet. Have you noticed your child being irritable or annoyed for no reason? Are they behaving aggressively or having mood swings? Before you run off to consult a doctor, take a step back to analyze their day-to-day meal plan. There are a lot of specific foods affecting a child’s health. If you are wondering how to recognize these elements, below is a comprehensive guide of foods known to affect a child’s health.
List of food that can affect a child’s mood
1. Sugary drinks/ sports drinks
If we want to talk about foods affecting a child’s health, we have to talk about one of the main culprits: Sugar. Did you know that American Heart Association recommends up to 25g sugar intake per day in the case of children below 18 years? If you are wondering, 25g of sugar is roughly equivalent to 6 teaspoons. This number might seem absurd; after all, who feeds their kids 6 whole teaspoons of sugar a day? No one. But there are other things that parents feed their kids like pre-made fruit juices, soft drinks, or even sports drinks. To compare, the sugar present in a standard bottle of soft drink is 39 g, while a sports drink contains around 36 g. Experts in nutrition and child behavior state that consumption of sugary beverages poses a significant health risk to growing ids. It makes them prone to type 2 diabetes and cavities.
2. Reheated food.
Reheating food becomes essential when parents are juggling time-sensitive activities in their already hectic day. It might be convenient now, but does it affect your child’s health in the future? Experts argue that while the mineral content of the food isn’t changed, vitamins such as Vitamin C and B are significantly affected. These vitamins can affect chemicals that are responsible for mood issues. To combat these, parents can opt for microwaving the meal rather than using a stove or gas. The short duration of the heating process guarantees the least damage to these Vitamin molecules. Thus, when it comes to foods affecting a child’s health, temperature plays an important role too.
3. Allergic food items
Does your child behave differently after eating particular foods? If so, the next time you visit the hospital, schedule a general allergy test for your kid. Studies have shown a relationship between food allergies and aggressive behavior in children. There is no limit to allergens in human beings, but some of the most common ones include nuts, heat, seafood and fish, eggs, and dairy being the number one. The symptoms of these allergic foods range from breaking out in hives, swelling of tongue and lips, itching and tightening of the throat, and vomiting. If an allergy is significant enough to put life in danger, then doctors might suggest carrying medicine in person. In case of not mild symptoms, your minor child might be unable to express their discomfort. So, they will try to avoid eating these foods affecting a child’s health. Having a proper diagnosis will help you distinguish whether your kid is suffering from allergies or just doesn’t like the taste of broccoli.
4. Dairy products.
It might come as a surprise to many parents, but being lactose intolerant can be behind your child’s food sensitivity and behavioral problems. Many children become easily irritable and aggressive after consuming dairy products, especially raw milk. The reason behind this is that their body is unable to process and break down the protein casein which is found in dairy products. The dairy product might cause stomach aches, headaches, and even mood swings since the body cannot digest them. Most lactose-intolerant people, however, can consume cheese, butter, and ice creams in moderate quantities.
Other than lactose intolerance, cheese made of unpasteurized milk can cause various food-borne bacterial diseases. So next time you buy dairy products from the supermarket, check if it’s one of the foods affecting a child’s health.
5.Packaged meals and frozen snacks.
In the constant rush of your modern-day life, it’s tempting to make instant ramen or microwave the instant paste we got from the supermarket. But these foods, consumed over a long time, can deprive your child of the proper nutrients they need to grow up. Prepackaged meals and fried foods are among the worst offenders when it comes to food affecting a child’s health. The sodium content in instant noodles ranges from 397 – 3678mg of sodium per 100g serving, which can be almost half of their expected 2,300 mg per day.
On the other hand, frozen food that needs to be microwaved or deep-fried needs additional preservatives to keep them edible. Insufficient nutrients often lead to vitamin deficiency in the case of children. Since Vitamin B plays a major part in producing chemicals that affect mood, these items are often considered as food that causes aggression by parents and child nutritionists.
So, what are my options? You might ask. Instead of the food items mentioned above, you can opt to incorporate healthier alternatives to your child’s diet. Some of the item that are both good for a kid’s health and are versatile to be used in numerous recipes include:
- Lentils and beans
- Leafy green vegetables
- Peanut butter
- Whole grains and oats
Including these items in your child’s meal will provide them with the required energy and nutrients to lead an active and healthy life. Now that you know about foods affecting a child’s health, which product are you removing from your kid’s diet today?