No matter how hard we try, the best laid plans of any parent can quickly go awry when facing the will and rambunctiousness of a child.
“I will feed my child only healthy food; I will ensure she eats a good breakfast; I will spend quality time with my son.” No matter how hard we try, the best laid plans of any parent can quickly go awry when facing the will and rambunctiousness of a child.
When it comes to food preferences, snacks, and treats, many parents have given in to a whining, screaming, or bargaining child. Allowing such treats is likely acceptable in moderation, but if your child starts having difficulty concentrating at school, often seems lethargic, or is constantly frustrated with trying to learn, nutrition could be both the problem and the solution.
Food for the brain
The brain is a very demanding organ, requiring a lot of energy to function well. Food choices have a great deal to do with alertness, mental agility, and ability to focus. Food allergies or intolerances can cause symptoms such as attention and learning difficulties.
According to Dr. Michael Lyon, author of the book, Is your child’s brain starving? Food not drugs for life and learning (Sandhill Book Marketing, 2003), there are common factors among children who have been labelled with learning difficulties or disorders.
“Most of these kids have food allergies or intolerances and nearly all of them have leaky gut syndrome [a]. Nutritional deficiencies or imbalances are common, especially low levels of important essential fatty acids DHA and EPA,” explains Dr. Lyon, who has helped develop functional foods and supplements to support learning.
Supplements for focus
If you can’t change a child’s food habits, you can add supplements to help prevent deficiencies. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are brain-critical nutrients. Studies show that supplementation with fish oils rich in omega-3s (especially compounds DHA and EPA) can improve mood, attention, and alertness among children with learning or attention disorders, particularly when balanced with omega-6 oils.
Brain-supportive formulas that provide the ideal ratio of essential fatty acids, DHA, EPA, and GLA, help build and repair cell and nerve membranes, and enhance brain and visual function.
Lack of certain nutrients, consumption of trans fats, and genetic factors can inhibit the body’s ability to convert and use omega-3 and -6 fatty acids.
Fish oil blends can provide omega-3 and -6 fatty acids that the body can use without conversion. Ask your natural health care practitioner or your natural health retailer to suggest a high quality brand that meets Health Canada’s guidelines.
Essential fatty acids supply important learning support for teens and children with attention and behaviour challenges so that parents and their kids can enjoy a better quality of life.