Certain ingredients in the foods that children eat can trigger behavioural issues in them. Read on to know more about such ingredients.
Today’s kids have more liking towards packaged and instant foods than homemade foods. These foods seem to be appetising but kids are not aware that some of the ingredients in such foods can actually trigger behavioural disorders in them. So, it is the responsibility of parents to keep their kids away from such foods and encourage healthy eating in them. Below mentioned are the top 5 ingredients that can trigger behavioural disorders in children.
Refined flour is one of the common ingredients that are used in most of the food preparations that children love. It is used for making pizzas, burgers, samosas, pastas, sandwiches and the list is unending. Although, children love munching on such food items, overconsumption can be responsible for health disorders like obesity and behavioural disorders like hyperactivity.
2) Artificial Food Colours
Artificial food dyes are neurotoxins which can be responsible for disorders like migraines and headaches in children. They can also cause mood swings in them. Consuming food items containing artificial food colours can trigger behavioural disorders like aggressiveness and hyperactivity. In fact, they can also trigger learning disorders like autism and ADHD. Artificial food colours are usually used in packaged drinks, fruit juices, candies, syrups, cereals etc.
3) Monosodium Glutamate
Monosodium Glutamate is mainly used in Chinese food items and instant soups. It is also one of the ingredients that are used to make food items like crackers and chips tasty. As it is also a neurotoxin, it can trigger behavioural and learning problems in children. It can also cause disorders like migraine and other health problems in children. However, due to the different names which are used for this ingredient, parents it can become difficult for parents to trace it. So, to identify this ingredient, parents can look for terms like “glutamate”, “glutamic”, “yeast extract and yeast ingredients”, “Some gelatins”, “Calcium or sodium caseinate”, “Textured protein or protein isolates”, “hydrolyzed or autolyzed” etc; on the food packages.
4) Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners are usually used in sugar free and diet foods. This ingredient can trigger behavioural problems as well as hamper the brain development of children. Just like monosodium glutamate, this ingredient is used to enhance the taste of packaged food items. Such ingredients have an ability to make food items more appealing to taste buds as compared to the natural ingredients. So, children start craving for such food items more. If they consume more of such foods, their physical and mental health can definitely get affected. To identify the usage of artificial sweeteners in food items, parents can look for words like sucralose, acesulfame, aspartame, saccharin, neotame etc; on the food labels.
5) High Fructose Corn Syrup
High fructose corn syrup is nothing but a sweetener that is made using corn starch. It is mostly used in processed foods as it is a cheaper alternative as compared to sugar. Its higher sugar content as compared to natural sugar makes it harmful for children to consume. As it is high fructose by nature, it goes directly into the blood stream instead of letting the body process it naturally. Thus, it is not good for the health of children and at the same time it can trigger hyperactivity in them. The food items that contain high fructose corn syrup include candies and candy bars, jellies, frozen foods, packaged fruit juices, breads, sport drinks and energy drinks, ice creams, energy bars, jams and so on.
The above mentioned ingredients are common in packaged foods and junk foods. So, parents must definitely check the labels while buying such foods for their kids. The best way to avoid these ingredients and the problems that come along with them, parents can focus on giving homemade food to children. Homemade foods can be made enjoyable in many ways. At the same time, there are many child-friendly recipes which do not involve the use of above ingredients. So, if parents take interest in making such foods at home, children will definitely forget the foods containing harmful ingredients and learn to eat healthy to grow-up into happy and successful individuals.
How does eating habits of children affect their behaviour? What are the common causes of behavioural problems in children? How to inculcate good eating habits in children? Discuss here.
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- The Indiaparenting Team