Diet and behavior
How diet influences behavior in the classroom
Theoretically, children who eat a good diet should be able to get all of their nutrients from their food. So what would be a good diet?
A good diet for a growing body would include:
- Whole grains
- Vegetables – and lots of them, fresh or lightly steamed
- Good fats: nuts, avocado, whole grains, olive oil, coconut oil, butter
- A source of calcium for growing bones
The calcium source does not have to be dairy products. In some countries, children do not get dairy. But they eat a lot of vegetables, some grains and nuts and seeds, and they get a lot of exercise. They do not have osteoporosis.
We eat more dairy products than any other nation on earth, yet we also have more osteoporosis.
Protein sources: can be meat, fish, poultry, eggs, or plant sources like beans, for example.
A healthy child should be eating three meals per day with two snacks.
This kind of diet would provide the child with lots of healthy fiber needed for a healthy gastrointestinal tract. White bread, white milk, and white sugar do not provide either the fiber or the nutrients children need to grow to be healthy.
What is essential is that the food be very nutritious in order for children to get all of the micronutrients they need.
In addition, children need to be adequately hydrated with clean water.
Our bodies are 70% water. Our brains are 80% water. Even 5% dehydration has serious effects on our health. At 15% dehydration, we die.
In the real world, children’s diets do not adequately provide all of the nutrients they need. Thus supplementation is very helpful.