Handling your child’s temper tantrums is a difficult part of child rearing. Young children often have trouble controlling their emotions, which makes it difficult for parents to calm them down. Children usually outgrow temper tantrums, as they get older. However, research shows that what children eat and how much sugar they eat may affect the length and frequency of their temper tantrums. In this article, we will discuss the relationship between temper tantrums and the food that children eat.
A child’s blood sugar level is often directly linked to whether he/she has a temper tantrum.
Temper tantrums often take place when a child’s blood sugar level goes down suddenly.
Eating carbohydrates like rice and bread often causes one’s blood sugar level to rise quickly.
Nutrients from food are distributed throughout the body after we eat so right after children eat they may be in good spirits. However, blood sugar levels decrease quicker than they rise which causes children to have temper tantrums. Eating too much white sugar often causes children to have a “sugar high” and get irritable about little things. If you think your child is having too many temper tantrums it is a good idea to look at his/her eating habits and cut down on sugary snacks.
Being able to control the following substances: serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline is an important factor in calming down one’s emotions. Serotonin is often called “the happy hormone” and helps soothes our feelings.
Dopamine enhances one’s feelings of happiness and satisfaction. Noradrenaline is called “the stress and anger hormone” and causes us to become nervous and emotional. To stop temper tantrums, it is important to improve the distribution of serotonin and dopamine and limit the distribution of noradrenaline. These substances can be controlled through one’s diet.
Tryptophan and zinc help distribute serotonin and dopamine throughout the body. Tryptophan is a type of essential amino acid, which is found in dairy products, soy products, fish and eggs. Fermented foods like yoghurt and natto are made up of proteins and help support one’s intestinal environment.
Zinc can be found in oysters and liver, eggs and dairy products. Some foods are hard for young children to eat but the substance can also be found in chicken. Try to find foods that are easy for your child to eat and a variety of cooking methods. Please try to include vitamin B6 and magnesium in your child’s diet as well.
On the other hand, to limit your child’s intake of noradrenaline, it is important to limit the amount of sugar he/she eats and increase his/her intake of vitamins and minerals. Eating lots of vegetables instead of focusing on rice and sweets is a good idea. Grains are full of minerals so substituting white rice for rice mixed with other grains is suggested. Eating healthier as a family is a good way to limit your child’s temper tantrums.
It is hard to prevent children from having temper tantrums during the “terrible twos and threes” phase. Although these temper tantrums are hard to deal with as a parent it is important to understand that they also interfere with your child’s emotional development. Sometimes parents try various ways to calm their child down but none of them work. When this happens, please take a look at their eating habits and try to eat healthy as a family whenever possible.