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Bad Food is Taking a Bite out of Your Children's Mental Health

A well nourished brain is vital to your child's creativity. The body and mind can produce most of what you need with a good balanced diet, with the brain being the master controller of the body as well as the mind. We should be concerned about our children's mental health, and also which fats and foods can make our children smart and which make them not smart. For example, children no longer consume enough of the vital omega 2 fats contained in fish, which is crucial for their brain development and function.

Another common cause of a lack of essential healthy fats is allergies and a low immune system. When the intake of these complex omega 3 fats is too low, then the body can cleverly build its own essential fats from simple omega 3 fats that we find in nuts, seeds and green vegetables. But then unfortunately this conversion process is ambushed by the high intake of hydrogenated and saturated fats such as what is found in processed foods and unhealthy snacks.

Essential trace elements that are required for the normal development of a child's brain and immune system are elements such as calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc. Deficiencies in selenium, zinc and chromium play a very important role in behavioral problems. A dietary deficiency of zinc alone is known to lead to aggression and depression in children. Partly because of this we can see a rise in behavioral and learning disorders and disabilities in today's children.

We as parents should be worried about the use of chemicals and artificial additives that occur in children's foods, for these do not introduce any nutritional value to foods. The reason these unhealthy stuff is added is because they make foods visually more appealing and the taste more attractive. Some of the words offenders that eat away at your children's mental and physical wellbeing are amongst others sunset yellow dyes (E110), tartrazine (E102), carmoisine (E122), ponceau 4R (E124), the flavour enhancer monosodium glutamate (E621) and the preservative sodium benzoate (E211).

Care needs to be taken in your selection of enough quality protein and essential healthy fats. The very first step to managing children with behavioral problems and learning disabilities is to return to more nutritional eating and cooking habits, to start to replace the junk food with meals that are high in the basic raw materials that is required by the body and brain.

In addition, we should strive and try to remove sugar, diary and refined products from our children's diet gradually by replacing it with fresh, unprocessed home cooked or raw food. The fresher it is, and the closer to the way nature intended and made it, the better. We should teach our children to drink fresh vegetable and fruit juices, and to eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Teach them to drink sufficient clean water, this is essential to the electrical firing of the brain and can not be overstated enough. We should also encourage our children to eat fat free soups along with fresh lean meat, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds.

The responsibility lies with us as parents to help our children develop lifelong healthy nutritional eating habits as they grow into adulthood by creating that for them now while we can.

For more details you can consult with Dr. Sharmistha Barai. Dr. Barai, a leading Child & Adolescent psychiatrist based in Saint Louis, Missouri can help you or anyone you know dealing with depression to find effective, medically-proven techniques to deal with the disease and other disorders. She specializes in general psycho-geriatrics, child and adolescent psychiatry, drug and alcohol.

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