Feeding The Monster

by Debbie Twomey on April 12, 2012


(A child's food intake affects behavior, moods and brain function)
I was recently at a park and observed a young boy (about 9), who was screaming and punching out at the parent who was trying to calm him. He had struck out at the bat and was unable to rationally handle the perceived failure. Later after his team lost the game, he again had an outburst and this one took longer to control and his screams were quite disruptive and scary. Finally calm, he was treated to yet another Mountain Dew and an assortment of candy. In the time I observed him, he consumed so much sugar it was a wonder he did not fly out of that park.
I have dealt with emotional and mental issues with children long enough to recognize some major concerns with behavioral problems. I suspected there were several problems ranging from possible ADHD to a more specific type of mental trouble. His grandmother stopped and told me he was diagnosed Bi-polar and that his parents were ignorant as to how to care properly for him. To me, that statement was truer than she knew. Ignorance was the real culprit here.
Nutrition plays a vital role in caring for special needs children with challenges like this.  It may actually play a more important role than some parents realize. Eating nutritional meals and ensuring that your child gets the right amount of sleep and physical activity is vital for all children but perhaps it is the most important point to start for parents of children with behavioral issues. In fact, poor nutritional habits have been known to contribute to behavior problems in young children.

There may be a lack of information and understanding as to what might better help a child such as this handle the complications of behavioral challenges and how improper eating habits can create or aggravate that trouble. You have a child, with behavioral problems and you are Feeding that Monster (the problem) with an overload of sugar then expecting their behavior to immediately improve. Guess what—that was impossible. This child had just been given a toxic dose of sugar that would only increase his excitement/anger and add fuel to the fire of his improper conduct.
There is a more nutritional approach to mental health problems. Proper nutritional therapy involves determining what nutrients may be required to alter brain biochemistry making the proper foods more effective in helping children with ADHD, autism, and more severe mental issues such as manic depression and schizophrenia.
In a time when childhood obesity is on the rise in children ranging in ages from 2-19, providing healthier food choices is all the more important for our children's health future. There is a movement, that includes the aide of Michelle Obama, that is trying to offer better food choices, more physical activity, and getting our children back on a healthy track. For even more information on the topic of obesity check out:   http://www.thetotalwellnessdoc.com/obesity-is-killing-us-and-our-babies/  
Here are a few helpful suggestions that may make all the difference in the world to your child’s mental and physical health and well-being:
  • Don’t give your child processed foods, or foods with artificial additives and preservatives
  • Do not give them carbonated or caffeinated beverages
  • Avoid fried foods especially snacks such as potato chips and deep fried anything
  • Stay away from processed or packaged meats, instead choose fresh cuts of meat and cook daily
  • Avoid sugar whether in snacks or fruit drinks
  • Limit or eliminate dairy products
  • Avoid snacking between meals
  • Substitute water for all drinks
  • Set a good example by living what you teach
  • Add a multivitamin and protein supplements
  • Be sure to include essential fatty acids(Omega 3) and cook with healthy oils such as olive or canola
  • If necessary, go gluten-free (Gluten is a protein which occurs naturally in grains such as barley, rye and wheat)
  • Exercise regularly. Making it a family activity can make it fun for everyone and a habit that endures. Limit TV and video and replace it with something physical 

It is never too early to begin good nutrition and healthy habits. As parents of newborns, we decide between breast-feeding (which is hands down the better choice) or which formula provides the best nutrition for our infant. So why not continue that practice for the next 18 years and not fall prey to the hectic demands of life and choosing fast or processed foods? The benefits to your child will last a LIFETIME.



"I have dedicated my life to the care and welfare of children. I feel privileged to share what I have learned with you. I am also committed to continuously learning.  I will keep informed of the latest information in parenting children from newborns to teens and pass it on to all of you.”   I will also use that same passion to help you create a dynasty generate increases in your business with straightforward and specialized media managing skills that guarantee your connection and scope will grow. Keep up to date reading our posts and discover valuable insights that can make parenting and succeeding in the business of the blogging the most exciting adventure. (Debbie Twomey)

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Dr. Mary Starr April 12, 2012 at 7:31 am

Thank you for speaking out about this.  Giving in to the Monster will only be short term and by doing it we create addicts.  Many times parents will feed there kids junk because they won’t eat anything else.  But really eating nothing vs eating junk may be a better choice.  Over time approximately 3-5 days a child’s monster can be broken if the parent can keep the SUGAR away.  Expect rages, moodiness, tantrums, while the Sugar Monster rebels. But the Monster can and MUST be SUPPRESSED. 


Ebarbagallo June 3, 2012 at 1:22 pm

More great information from Debbie Twomey:)
One in every three children will become over-weight adults.
Please find out about risks of childhood obesity and tackle problems quickly.
Early intervention is so important in our children’s lives.


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