Early Childhood Behavioral Problems Explained
Has your older toddler or school-aged child been having behavioral issues lately? It may not be for the reasons you think. It may surprise you to learn that what you feed your child can have an effect on their behavior. Targeted research studies have shown that high levels of “bad” bacteria, fungi, and viruses found in your child’s gut can have a detrimental effect on their behavior. In this article, we talk about the effect of bacteria on your child’s behavior and how changing your child’s diet can help improve bad behavior.
How Gut Health Affects Your Child’s Behavior
When today’s parents think about resolving childhood behavioral problems, thinking about changing our child’s diet is likely at the bottom of the list. However, your child’s diet and what they eat plays a critical role in how they behave. Research shows that there is a direct link between our diet and behavior.
According to experts, the gut is responsible for the production of mood-regulating hormones like serotonin. Serotonin is one of the chemicals responsible for mood regulation in adults and children. Not only is there a link between gut health and physical health, but there has also been a link found between gut health and mental health.
Having an excess or deficiency of unhealthy bacteria growing in the gut can interfere with the production of good bacteria. As a result, the production of mood-regulating hormones like serotonin can be affected. When the production of key chemicals in the gut is affected, noticeable behavioral changes can happen.
Gut Health and Mood Regulation In Children
For example, research professionals have linked serotonin deficiency with mental health disorders like anxiety, depression, aggression. If your child is experiencing this deficiency, their behavior can be directly affected. Feeding your child a healthy diet filled with natural foods, fruits, and vegetables is one way to make sure they have a healthy balance of good bacteria in the gut. Another important step to take is to supplement your child’s diet with probiotics.
Probiotics are “good” bacteria that help maintain gut health. Companies like Sproutedbiome designed probiotics made especially for kids. Sproutedbiome is designed to help regulate your child’s gut health by restoring gut function and regularity.
This chewable probiotic is designed especially for children aged 3 and above. Interested in learning more about this kid-friendly probiotic? Click here to find more.
How to Naturally Improve Your Child’s Gut Health
High-stress levels and how parents engage with their children are other important factors that can affect your child’s behavior. Beware of your child’s stress level and the overall atmosphere in your home environment to avoid triggering bouts of bad behavior.
Avoid overfeeding your child to prevent an overproduction of bad bacteria. Make sure you’re serving your child proper portion sizes and feeding according to their age and weight. Talk to your doctor or primary care provider to learn about your child’s specific needs by age and weight.
Feeding your child a high-fiber diet can aid in digestion and the production of healthy bacteria in the gut. Examples of foods that are high in fiber include apples, berries, beans, and high fiber cereals. Ask your doctor or nutritionist about the recommended foods.
Keeping your child hydrated is another easy way to help improve their gut health. When your child is properly hydrated it helps them to have regular bowel movements. Healthy bowels can prevent a buildup of bad bacteria in the gut that can lead to behavioral problems or illness in children. Make sure your child is drinking enough water and other healthy fluids to maintain a healthy flow.
If your child isn’t getting enough exercise, it may show up in their behavior. Getting regular exercise helps to regulate your child’s overall body systems. Exercise also aids in digestion and reducing stress for mental health issues. Talk to your doctor or primary care provider to learn what exercises are appropriate for your older toddler or school-aged child.
Now that you understand what may be causing your child’s bad behavior, you can take the steps to help get them back on the right track. If you aren’t sure where to start, reach out to your family physician, nutritionist, or a certified mental health professional for support.