Research has shown that intolerance to certain foods or food chemicals can be linked to a variety of chronic illnesses or behavioural or psychological diagnoses.
Our food consumption has changed in the past several decades…increased preservatives, more convenience foods and diets heavier in carbohydrates. But how do you know if this is really having an effect on your child and what is the difference between food allergy and food intolerance?
Research has shown that certain food chemicals (artificial colouring in particular) are highly linked to behavioural disorders such as ADHD.1 Many children with ADHD may also have sensitivities to gluten (wheat) and casein (dairy) that cause an increase in their symptoms. It is important to note that these food sensitivities may not be the sole cause of their diagnosis, but may increase certain behaviours or symptoms. However, there are many children that have sensitivities to these foods without the accompanying behavioural symptoms.
Most children can, at times, exhibit some of the symptoms of ADD/ADHD, and there can be many other reasons behind such behaviours. Lack of deep sleep, improper nutrition and lack of exercise are among them. If you think your child may have a food sensitivity that is affecting their behaviour or wellness, you should first be sure that your child is getting enough sleep, is active for at least 60 minutes each day and is eating a varied diet including healthy fats (flaxseed, fish, avocado, foods fortified in omega 3 fatty acids), whole grains, fruits and vegetables.