The Top 3 Foods Your Kids Should Not Eat For Breakfast: The Gut Psychology Guide To Mentally Healthy Kids

The Top 3 Foods Your Kids Should Not Eat For Breakfast: The Gut Psychology Guide To Mentally Healthy Kids

By: Dr. Nicole Cain | No Comment | Uncategorized

Picture this: A striking white, spotless kitchen is the setting, where a perfectly demure mom is packing lunches for her two charming children. A catchy jingle plays in the background as the kids kiss their mom good bye and pick up their backpacks to go to school.

“Don’t forget your breakfast!” The mom winks and tosses a carb-filled-frosting-glazed-sugary snack across the counter, through the air, and straight into each child’s waiting hand.

“Oh! Wow, my favorite! Thanks mom!” The kids cheer in unison. Munching on their candied confections, they grab their paper lunches, and skip out the door.

What this surreal and magical video doesn’t show is what happens in class later that morning.

Imagine a different scene: You are in a classroom filled with 15 kids and one teacher. He is standing at the board, chalk in hand and arithmetic tables are sprawled out before him. The kids are squirming around in their desks restlessly. Some are shooting rubber bands at their adversary across the room while others are in a daze, a line of drool slipping out the corner of their cheek. Frustrated with his students’ lack of attention, the teacher does his best to rally his class. Enter scene: Our hero from scene one, the happy, perfectly serine seven year old boy is now slouched so far in his seat that he has landed on the floor beneath his chair and is now army crawling towards a wad of paper that he had used as a weapon just moments before. This causes uproar amongst his peers and a mutiny breaks out.

The common outcome for a child in these circumstances: Who is chronically inattentive, disruptive, or hyperactive in class, is that he or she is referred to their primary care physician who slaps on a diagnosis of ADD/ADHD and prescribes them pharmaceutical methamphetamines.

But what if we rewind this whole scenario and go back to the beginning? You might notice that despite the breakfast company’s brilliantly nostalgic marketing campaign, is it possible that loading a child up with carbs and sugar in the morning might have something to do with their behavior later at school?

Believe it or not, your diet does matter.

There are a myriad of possible causes for a child’s inattention, difficulties with concentration, comprehension and behaviors. Here are the most common culprits:

  1. Insufficient sleep: I don’t know about you, but when I don’t get enough sleep it is hard for my brain to work and I end up craving quick feel-good, dopamine boosting solutions, eg: sugar, carbs, and more sugar. Try to get at least 8 hours of sleep, your child likely needs upwards of 12 hours. Talk to your doctor about your child’s specific sleep requirements.
  2. Foods: If garbage goes in, garbage comes out. For example, if a child eats a high-carb, high-sugar breakfast not complimented by any fat or protein, that child will have a blood sugar crash later that morning. Blood sugar crashes can cause inattention, brain fog, poor memory, irritability, nausea, hunger, sweats, and more. Try to focus on a breakfasts comprised of a protein, a fat, a vegetable and a piece of fruit.
  3. Emotional distress: A peaceful mind is much more able to create, think and concentrate. Work to cultivate a mindful morning ritual with your children. Forming healthy habits when they are young will set the stage for healthy habits as adults.

Let’s go back to our mom in the story above. Sometimes it’s tricky to know what to feed our kids and what not to feed our kids. Below is a list of the top three your kids should NOT be eating for breakfast:

  1. Sugar and carbs: Instead, try to focus on fat and protein. Eg: breakfast sausage, lunch meat, hard boiled or scrambled eggs, stir fried veggies, raw veggies and nut butter dip.
  2. Things containing food coloring: Food coloring has been associated with ADD/ADHD and other cognitive and behavioral issues. Quick tip: Look at the ingredients label on the back of the food item you are considering, if there is a color and a number listed, throw it away.
  3. Artificial ingredients: Research shows that artificial ingredients are linked with attention and behavioral concerns in both children and adults. Good rule of thumb: If you can’t pronounce it, you probably shouldn’t be eating it. Instead, focus on whole food ingredients that are found on the periphery of the grocery store.

To learn more about how our gut affects our brain, download the Gut Psychology Program today and get started on the journey towards the health you’ve been dreaming of!

To purchase the Gut Psychology Program, click here

To learn more about Dr. Nicole Cain, ND, MA and her work, click here


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