The high incidence of picky-eating among children with learning and behaviour disorders is no coincidence and has been reported by researchers since the 1940’s. I see it my office everyday–and it is practically a hallmark of autism spectrum. Picky eating can not only be the result of imbalances taking place in the body but can further contribute to the brain and body being starved of crucial nutrients that are essential for learning, attention and good behaviour.
Both cognitive challenges and picky-eating is rooted in a whole brain-body imbalance that can often be improved through therapeutic nutrition. Below are often overlooked, but common causes that extend far beyond poor eating habits.
1.Zinc Deficiency – Deficiency in zinc is common among children with learning and behaviour challenges and coincidentally impacts brain health as well as appetite and taste buds. Deficiency can be marked by white spots on finger nails, a reduced ability to smell and food tasting bland.
2.Gut Bacteria – When there is an overgrowth of bad bacteria or yeast in the gut–carb and sugar addiction is present. Your child will likely only desire foods high in carbohydrates and sugar, not knowing it is the bad bacteria that is calling the shots.
3.Food Intolerance & Addiction – When digestion is impaired due to bad gut bacteria, insufficient digestive enzymes or stomach acid–foods like wheat and dairy are incorrectly broken down. These foods become converted into compounds that mimic morphine because they target the brain’s opiate receptors. Children become addicted to what I call the ‘carb and cheese diet’. They are addicted to simple, high carb foods like spaghetti and fishy crackers and of course–pizza. They limit their choices to only these foods which have a temporary ‘feel good’ effect on the brain.
4.Low Stomach Acid – Many children develop an aversion to meat because they experience bloating or discomfort after eating meat due to low stomach acid. Address the root cause—protein is a building block of brain health.
5.Processed Food & Chemical Addiction – Processed food contains countless chemical preservatives and flavoring which are highly addictive. These foods are designed by food engineers that seek ‘return customers’. An addictive cocktail is created by combining addictive foods and chemicals that enhances flavour and fuel cravings. The more processed food your child eats, the more likely their taste buds and food choices are being hijacked.
Want to learn more about how to address picky-eating so your child can be a successful learner and a happier, more confident kid? Schedule a free 20 minute Happy, Healthy Child Breakthrough session today!
In Health & Wholeness,