Surprising Foods That Can Affect Your Child’s Behavior

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Any parent who has dealt with the aftermath of sweet treat and cordial fuelled kids’ birthday party will know that an overdose of sugar and food coloring doesn’t exactly lead to a peaceful household. But what if your child can’t sit still seems overly aggressive and has difficulty concentrating even when they haven’t had any junk food or sugar? Is sugar the only thing we should worry about or could they being affected by something else they are eating?

There are some less well known foods which may alter your child’s behavior.

– Broccoli

Although you might think you’re doing the right thing encouraging your kids to eat their greens, some vegetables contain very high levels of salicylates which are believed to cause restlessness, agitation and attention problems in susceptible children, broccoli is one of them.

– Pasta

If your child has a gluten intolerance or undiagnosed celiac disease, they may become tired and withdrawn after consuming foods containing gluten like pasta and bread.

– Fish

Fish that isn’t entirely fresh and fish products like fish sauce can have high levels of amines; a naturally occurring chemical compound which can cause migraines, aggressive behavior and depression.

– Bread

Most kids love bread, but certain preservatives, especially calcium propionate have been linked to behavioral problems in children.

– Cheese

Stronger flavored cheese in particular contains large quantities of amines. Dairy products may also cause issues in children who have intolerance, notably hyperactivity and problems with concentration.

– Tomato Sauce / Ketchup

Food dyes have been increasingly associated with hyperactivity and difficulties regarding concentration over the years. Other than for the obvious foods that contain high levels of sugar, look out for food colorings in cereal, muffins and sauces. Tomato sauce is also naturally high in salicylates.

– Instant Noodles

 Many kids love instant noodles but unfortunately most brands of instant noodles contain a cocktail of flavor enhancers, preservatives and MSG which could have a very negative effect on children’s health and behavior.

– Fruit Juice (Packaged)

Fruit juice drinks aimed at kids can be packed with sugar, preservatives and food coloring. Even natural 100% fruit juices may contain high levels of salicylates so it’s important to be careful when giving your children packaged drinks.

Note: Not all children react the same way to the chemicals in food. Some are more sensitive than others. If you’re concerned about your child’s behavior or think they may have food allergies, talk to your doctor immediately.

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