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Categories Children Diet

The Gluten-Free, Casein-free diet for Autism

The Gluten-Free, Casein-free diet for Autism

Children with autism need extra care and attention as they often experience symptoms like chronic diarrhoea, headaches, stomach cramps, poor sleeping patterns, and irritable behaviour. Many parents try different things and follow various diets to make their kids‘ journey smooth. There is a subset of autistic children with gut difficulties who may benefit from a gluten and casein-free diet.

What are Gluten and Casein?

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye milk, barley and foods made from them. For instance, bread, pasta, biscuits, breakfast cereals, etc. Casein is a protein found in cow, buffalo and sheep milk (to a lesser extent in goat’s milk) and foods made from them, for instance, cream, yoghurt and cheese.

According to the experts, Gluten and casein can worsen autism symptoms by causing inflammation in the gut.

What Is The GFCF Diet?

The gluten-free, casein-free (GFCF) diet is an autism diet that eliminates all gluten and casein from the child’s diet. Many parents of autistic children report that it aids in positive shifts in nature, sleep, and speech.

The diet is thought to work by removing two proteins that autistic children may be especially sensitive to: gluten and casein. These proteins are more difficult to digest and, in the case of gluten, can harm the gut.

How does the Gluten-free/ Casein-free diet work?

According to the theory, children with autism digest peptides and proteins in gluten and casein-containing foods differently than other people.

This discrepancy in processing may, in theory, exacerbate autistic symptoms. Some believe that the brain treats these proteins as if they were synthetic opiates. They claim that a child’s reaction to these chemicals causes them to behave in a certain way. The diet is intended to alleviate symptoms while also enhancing social, cognitive, and speech skills.

How to switch to a gluten-free/dairy-free diet?

Replacing foods with gluten and dairy can be tough for both parents and kids. Some kids have no trouble changing their diets, but others have sensory and behavioural difficulties that make it all the way more problematic.

  • Support is very necessary for the transition.
  • It is better to introduce new foods during quiet, stress-free times.
  • Let your kid explore new textures and tastes.

What to eat on a gluten-free / casein-free diet?

Adopting a GFCF diet is more than avoiding bread and milk. An optimal diet is balanced and full of nutrients. People with autism are oftentimes deficient in certain nutrients, so a food list for autism will contain foods with these nutrients. Fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, beans, and eggs are adequate items to add to your food list. Here are alternate grains and milks that you can add to your child’s meal plans.

  • Rice (brown, red rice)
  • Sabudana or tapioca pearls
  • lentil flours
  • Chickpea flour
  • Quinoa
  • Millets
  • Kuttu (Buckwheat flour)
  • oats milk
  • Almond milk
  • Soya milk and tofu

A few crucial things to remember.

  • Use bean-based dishes and bake with alternative flours such as quinoa, rice, or sorghum flour.
  • You should avoid refined foods because many of these items include both hidden gluten and dairy products and the ingredient list might not identify them as GF/CF.
  • You can use almond milk, oat milk or soy milk, etc. as it’s accessible and healthy. Although be wary of the added sugars.
  • Become creative: Your child can savour ice cream with no dairy in it at all. Just mix a frozen banana with berries in your food processor and add chia seeds or almond milk for a little added protein depending on your kid’s preferences.

Takeaway

Some autistic kids struggle with changes, so gradually replacing gluten and casein foods with alternatives may be the best option.  Before making the change to a GFCF diet, consult a licensed dietician.

Kanupriya Khanna is regarded as one of the best dietitians in Delhi because of her unwavering commitment to making a difference in people’s lives by instilling good eating habits and lifestyles.

4 Ways to Help Your Child Form a Healthy Relationship With Sweets 
Categories Children Diet

4 Ways to Help Your Child Form a Healthy Relationship With Sweets 

4 ways to help your child form a healthy relationship with sweets 

There is a lot of fear associated with certain foods, which are often the sweeter foods: ice cream, cookies, and candy. Many parents believe that these foods are harmful to their children. We think it’s perfectly alright for kids to crave sweets. So, what should a parent do? Give our child candy all day? Or do you never serve them? Not-at-all. There is, in fact, a very happy medium. Let’s go over four strategies for helping your child develop a healthy relationship with sweets.

Where to start?

Let us return to the division of labour. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, parents are in charge of what, when, and where children eat, while children are in charge of how much and whether they eat. That means we get to decide when and how much we serve these foods, and our children get to decide how much they eat.

Kids notice when we completely restrict sweets, shame them, or create a negative atmosphere around them. They may desire these foods even more.

Here are my four best tips for removing sweets from their pedestal, i.e., treating them like any other food and teaching your children to do the same.

  1. No Limitations!
    When I mention this, I am sometimes met with a look of surprise. “Do you mean I just let my daughter eat all the cookies? But she’s not going to stop there.” But I want you to take a good, hard look at this; is she truly never going to stop, or is that just your preconceived notion? What you discover may surprise you: when we allow children to eat as much as they want of a particular food, it ceases to be special. It assists them in learning self-regulation.
  1. Avoid referring to these foods as good or bad.
    Stop transforming sweets into something they are not: something that makes us feel ashamed or judged when we consume them. When we label foods as good or bad, we begin to assign judgement to those foods. Does eating a cookie make us a bad person? No, but this message of good and bad can be internalised by a small child. Food is food, and we must remember this if we are to instill in our children a healthy relationship with food. Simply call the foods what they are: “We’re having cookies.” “Ice cream is on the menu today.”
  1. Do not use them as a substitute for other foods.
    I dislike using sweets as a reward for eating other foods, or for anything else. I want you to consider the message you are sending when you offer food as a reward: “I have to eat my broccoli to get my candy (yum).” We’re making the sweet seem special once more.
  1. They can sometimes be served with a meal.
    Here’s another opportunity I get a lot of strange looks and stares. However, to put sweets on a level playing field, serve them with a meal. Consider this: when a child knows they will be having a cookie (ice cream, etc.) as dessert at the end of the meal, what are they thinking about throughout the meal?

Getting that cookie. But if we give them the cookie with the rest of the meal, they won’t be talking about it and asking for it the entire time. You don’t have to give them all of the cookies they want, but you do have to decide how many.

Takeaway

If children do not understand when more opportunities for candy or sweets will arise, this can heighten their anxiety, making them MORE likely to continue asking and obsessing over it.

Instead, focus on strategically using language to reassure them that more opportunities to eat candy are on the way. To understand your kid’s needs better consult an expert.

Kanupriya Khanna is regarded as one of the best dietitians in Delhi because of her unwavering commitment to making a difference in people’s lives by instilling good eating habits and lifestyles.

Categories Children Diet

WEANING YOUR BABY

WEANING YOUR BABY

Dear parents, It’s time to introduce your little one to solid foods! This will be an important milestone as it can be difficult to know how to start, especially when you are new to it.

What is weaning?

Weaning is the stage in an infant’s diet when the mother gradually introduces foods other than breast milk or formula.

When is the right time to start Weaning?

It is recommended that you begin introducing solid foods to your baby when he or she is 6 months old. Some kids may be ready as young as four months.

Signs that it’s time to start weaning

  • Your child can hold their head up.
  • With the assistance of their high chair, your baby can sit up comfortably.
  • nursing in shorter sessions than before
  • being easily distracted while nursing “playing” at the breast, such as constantly pulling on and off or biting
  • nursing for solace (sucking at the breast but not drawing out the milk)

How to start baby weaning

When you first start preparing food for your baby, make sure that it is soft and smooth in texture, as they won’t be able to chew anything truly solid for the first few weeks. Some good first foods are:

  • over cooked rice mixed with breast milk or formula
  • over boiled lentils that have been puréed to resemble a thick paste
  • mashed or puréed fruits like bananas, pears, apples.
  • Vegetable purees such as carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, avocado, or pumpkin. Boil the vegetable and then mash or purée it.

 

Because these foods have a soft texture, you can spoon-feed them to your baby as they learn how to swallow solid food. Experiment with different options to see if your baby has a favourite. This is a fun time for experimenting, so don’t be discouraged if your baby spits out whatever you prepare for them. They’re constantly learning, and if you give it to them again on a different day, they might realise they like it.

What to feed your little champ!

When your baby has mastered purees, you can begin to introduce texture and lumps to their diet.

Add new foods one at a time, wait a few days between each new food, and watch for food allergies every time you start something new. Your baby will be able to eat the following foods by the age of 6 months:

  • eggs (eggs should not be eaten raw or lightly cooked)
  • foods like rice and split dals
  • fruits like ripe banana, puréed apple and pear, mango
  • Vegetables like carrots, potato, sweet potato, pumpkin, bottle gourd

nuts(serve them ground)

  • seeds (serve them ground)

Takeaway

Once you and your baby gain confidence in the weaning process, you can gradually introduce new foods. Just make sure you never give your baby anything that could pose a choking hazard, such as cherry tomatoes, unless you’ve cut it into very small pieces.

You should also avoid giving honey to your baby until they are at least two years old because it increases the risk of infant botulism, which can be fatal.

Kanupriya Khanna, a Senior Consultant Nutritionist & Dietitian with over 18 years of experience in child nutrition, can provide expert advice. Kanupriya Khanna is regarded as one of the best dietitians in Delhi because of her unwavering commitment to making a difference in people’s lives by instilling good eating habits and lifestyles.

Happy Parenting!

Also Read: Everyone Loves Rewards: A Guide for Parents and Teachers

Categories Children Diet

Everyone Loves Rewards A Guide for Parents and Teachers

Everyone Loves Rewards: A Guide for Parents and Teachers

Everyone Loves Rewards: A Guide for Parents and Teachers: Everyone enjoys being rewarded for a job well done or a noteworthy accomplishment. What do you enjoy giving as a reward? Is it a science fair ribbon, a soccer tournament medal, or an ice cream sundae for getting a good grade on a test? We frequently utilise food or drink as a reward. Reward foods are typically high in sugar and/or fat, low in nutrients, and high in calories. While eating these is fine once in a while, doing so on a regular basis might lead to undesired weight gain. Although physical exercise burns calories, we often consume more calories than we expend. Here are a few healthier alternatives to use as non-food rewards.

Rewarding Techniques

  • Reward levels should be appropriate for the child’s age, interests, and abilities.
  • A simple grin, hug, kiss, or words of encouragement are frequently enough. Make frequent and sincere use of them. “Wow, you put a lot of effort into that project.” I’m so proud of you!”
  • The optimal time to provide a reward to a young child (under the age of 5) is when the behaviour or event occurs. Children under that age do not have the patience to wait for reinforcement.
  • A popular reward is just spending more time with mom, dad or siblings doing fun things, such as a board game, taking a walk, playing catch, reading a story, building with blocks, etc. You open the door for conversation and create lasting memories.

Reward Ideas

Children under the age of five: (Make sure the item is safe and acceptable for your child’s age.)

  • Stickers, a homemade or purchased card
  • Allow the child to choose the family movie or narrative.
  • Stuffed animals of various sizes
  • Healthy meals, nuts, and beverages, such as lemonade, are all good choices. can prepare a healthy drink out of fresh fruits for them.

Children ages 5 to 12: (Make sure the item is safe and acceptable for your child’s age.)

  • A handcrafted or store-bought card for a little more fun, throw in some confetti.
  • Gratitude or encouragement notes on mirrors, pillows, lunch bags, or the front door
  • A star with their name and accomplishment on the door or refrigerator
  • Allow your youngster to choose the family story, movie, or TV show.
  • Toys such as balls, baseball bats, table tennis rackets, etc

Teens:

  • Cards or notes
  • Magnets for lockers
  • Pencils, pens & markers
  • Pay for downloading 1 or 2 songs
  • Inexpensive jewellery

Teachers’ Reward Ideas

Find something each student may be rewarded for throughout the month or semester, such as improved grades, assisting another student, or displaying kindness to others. Everyone desires to be treated as a unique individual. As a reward you can make them class monitor for a week, incharge of discipline, etc. You might be surprised by the good outcomes of frequent praising or other forms of reward.

Preschool:

  • Stickers or stamps on papers
  • Award winners pick the story of the day or lead the line to the playground
  • Homemade or purchased certificates or ribbons

Elementary School, Middle and High School:

  • Celebration jar – deposit one or more marbles or beans for individual or group good behavior, kindness or achievements. When jar is full, hold a party.
  • Behavior charts with stars and long-term rewards
  • Stickers or stamps on papers or to take home

Treats or Snacks?

Snacks provide us with the nutrients and calories we require throughout the day. This is especially true for energetic, young children who cannot meet their entire calorie requirement in three meals. Snacks also prevent us from being overly hungry at meals. Foods or beverages served on special occasions are known as treats. Fried meals, French fries, cake, cookies, candy, and soda are all possible treats. Treats should not be consumed on a daily basis, but just once in a while.

Make your own “grab & go” snacks. Examples:

  • Keep washed fruit (apples, bananas, berries, grapes, oranges, pears) in a bowl on the counter or in the refrigerator.
  • Purchase or prepare bite size veggies and fruits such as carrots, jicama, peppers, grape tomatoes, mango, or pineapple. Store in individual plastic bags in the refrigerator.
  • Bag your own portion size popcorn, low fat crackers, granola or pretzels.
  • Insert a wooden stick into ½ a banana, roll in chopped nuts or coconut (optional), wrap in foil and freeze. Thaw slightly before eating.

 

Kanupriya Khanna, a Senior Consultant Nutritionist & Dietitian with over 18 years of experience in child nutrition, can provide expert advice. Kanupriya Khanna is regarded as one of the best dietitians in Delhi because of her unwavering commitment to making a difference in people’s lives by instilling good eating habits and lifestyles.

Read Also :(Why Bribing, Forcing And Pressuring At Mealtimes Don’t Work (And What To Do Instead)

Categories Children Diet

Why Bribing, Forcing And Pressuring At Mealtimes Don’t Work (And What To Do Instead)

Why Bribing, Forcing And Pressuring At Mealtimes Don’t Work (And What To Do Instead)
They say with parenting you need to “pick your battles.” How true this is with little ones. We don’t want to make everything a battle, but how do we know where to draw the line? I advise my clients that one place that should not, and need not, be a battle; is at mealtimes.

Mealtimes should be about fun, laughter and family. But, if you have little ones at home, you know this is often not the case. Let’s start by talking about what’s common.

Fits and Tantrums: New toddler preferences and budding emotional expression and language skills can often collide at the meal table. It’s totally normal that your little ones struggle with sitting at the table for anything above 10-15 mins.

Picky Eating: Picky or selective eating is a common developmental phase that children go through. The more we can remember this, the better off we will be.

Bribery or “forcing”: With any of the above, especially after you’ve just arrived home and had only a few minutes to think about how to get a nutritious meal on the table, it’s easy to get desperate. Offering sweet treats or threatening to take them away “unless you finish your XYZ” are understandable emotional responses.

It’s important to think about the messages we are sending to our children by forcing or bribing. When we put pressure on our child they tend to pull back. Children don’t respond well. Pressure at mealtimes has been linked to disliking the actual food and unwillingness to eat the food. I have found in my practice, and with the hundreds of families I work with, that anytime parents put pressure on their child to eat, the child will eventually develop a dislike for that particular food.

Think about the downside of bribing or negotiating when it comes to food. What are we teaching our kids? For example, when a parent asks a child to “eat one more piece of broccoli and then you get a cookie” what a child hears is “I HAVE to eat the broccoli (yuck) to get my cookie (reward = yum).” We need to reframe that.

Ideally, we want our child to grow up enjoying the right foods, liking their bodies and themselves. Eventually they will be on their own, making their own food choices, right? We have the power to start shaping that relationship with food now.

So, what we can do instead?

1. We can trust our children when it comes to feeding them. When we trust our children, many of our feeding anxieties melt away, and soon you’ll begin to notice that kids will become more acceptable to the food you’ve put in front of them.

2. We should think about short vs long-term goals. Right now we want our child to be meeting their nutrition needs and growing adequately. But, our long-term goal is to help our children love the foods we love. Many parents are eager to have their children try something new, and a lot of the time it’s vegetables and fruits, but I remind parents to proceed with caution. It can take many attempts of offering a food until a child actually eats it (research shows it can take 20 or 30 exposures). So think about eating those foods as a long-term goal. If you continue to expose your child to those foods, and they interact with those foods, they are on their way to trying them!

3. Set respectful limits and boundaries. Although we don’t want to put pressure on our child to eat, we still have the responsibility to set limits when it comes to mealtimes. The behaviors at mealtimes that we don’t want to see (i.e. throwing food, not sitting at the table) need to be met with respectful boundaries that kids can grow into instead of running from. I recommend a 3 part formula: we state our expectations, we acknowledge and set limits and we follow through.

4. We should set feeding routines. Most young children do best with meals and snacks every 2-2.5 hours, while older children do best with meals and snacks every 3-4 hours. But observe your child. Some younger children can go longer stretches without food, while some older children need meals and snacks to be closer together. Build a feeding schedule based upon this observation. Children work well with a routine. This helps parents too: setting a routine for kids will help them to understand their day and keeps them relaxed.

Kanupriya Khanna, a Senior Consultant Nutritionist & Dietitian with over 18 years of experience in child nutrition, can provide expert advice. Kanupriya Khanna is regarded as one of the best dietitians in Delhi because of her unwavering commitment to making a difference in people’s lives by instilling good eating habits and lifestyles.

Also Read: Supplements and Children: Are They Necessary?

Categories Children Diet

Supplements and Children: Are They Necessary?

Supplements and Children: Are They Necessary?  “Does my youngster require a nutritional supplement?” As a dietitian, this is one of the most frequently asked questions by concerned parents. “Perhaps,” is the short response.

There are numerous factors that influence whether or not a youngster requires a multivitamin or specific supplements. A youngster that eats a well-balanced diet should not require any additional supplements in most cases. However, many youngsters with health difficulties or different dietary habits may be at risk for deficiencies, indicating the need for additional nutrients. If they:

  • Follow a vegetarian or vegan diet
    • if they have behavioural disorders such as ADHD, attention issues, hyperactivity, or autism.
  • celiac disease, cancer, cystic fibrosis, or inflammatory bowel disease are all conditions that decrease nutrient absorption or raise the need for nutrients (IBD)
  • have undergone surgery on the intestines or stomach
  • are fussy eaters who have difficulty eating a wide variety of foods
  • reside in places of the world where nutrients, such as vitamin D, are required

Some Important Nutrients for Children

The nutrient requirements of a child are determined by factors such as age, gender, size, growth, and activity level.

There are a few vitamins and minerals that stand out as key contributors to optimal health in children, despite the fact that they are all necessary.

IRON

This mineral is extremely important for a child’s health and optimal development. It aids in the transport of oxygen throughout the body by red blood cells. It plays a key role in the health of the immune system too. Anaemia and other serious health problems can result from an iron shortage. As a result, ensure your child’s diet has enough iron. Iron is found in whole grains, beans, nuts, fortified cereal, beans, lentils, green leafy vegetables, meats, etc.

CALCIUM

One of the most important minerals for children is calcium. It is primarily important for the formation of strong bones and teeth. Nerves, muscles, and the heart also require it. As a result, getting enough calcium during the developing years is critical. Milk, cheese, yoghurt, spinach, sesame seeds, and a variety of other foods can assist the body replenish its calcium levels.

D-VITAMIN

Vitamin D aids calcium absorption. It also contributes to the development of stronger bones and teeth. Other health benefits of vitamin D include enhanced immunity, improved brain function, and improved nervous system performance.

It is normally manufactured by our bodies in the presence of sunlight. It is also found in fish oils, fortified milk and cereals.

Vitamin D deficiency affects a large number of children and nowadays is the most common nutrient deficiency in the developed world. Therefore, supplementation of this vitamin is generally recommended.

MAGNESIUM

This mineral is frequently overlooked. It is necessary for key things in children’s lives, like bone development and proper muscle and neuron function. Magnesium insufficiency is commonly the source of ailments like muscle cramps and spasms, but there are a few lesser-known symptoms that may surprise you.

  • Hyperactivity
  • Attention Deficit Disorder
  • Anxiety
  • Sleepless nights

Good sources of magnesium include oysters, cashew nuts, pumpkin seeds, etc.

If your child eats a restricted diet, has trouble absorbing nutrients, or is a fussy eater, a supplement may be beneficial. Before offering supplements to your child, always consult a healthcare expert. When selecting a supplement, search for high-quality brands that have undergone third-party testing.

Not to mention, buy vitamins designed exclusively for children and make sure they don’t contain megadoses that exceed a child’s daily nutrient requirements.

Children’s Safety Precautions

When vitamin or mineral supplements are taken in excess, they can be toxic. This is especially true for the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, which are stored as fat in the body. It’s worth noting that gummy vitamins, in particular, are easy to overeat. They can resemble candy in appearance and flavour. To avoid inadvertent overdose, keep vitamins out of reach of small children.

Final Thoughts

Food normally meets the nutritional needs of children who consume a healthy, balanced diet.

Individuals with behavioural issues such as ADHD, finicky eaters, youngsters with a health condition that inhibits nutrient absorption or raises nutrient demands, or those who consume a vegetarian or vegan diet may need vitamin supplements. Choose high-quality products that include suitable dosages of vitamins for children when giving them.

Also Read:- NUTRITION AND ADHD IN CHILDREN

Categories Children Diet

Nutrition and ADHD in children

Nutrition and ADHD in children

Diet is frequently left out of the dialogue or suggested as a ‘last resort’ in helping to treat symptoms of ADHD and behavioural problems in children.

While there is no proof that nutrition causes the behavioural condition ADHD, research shows that specific dietary adjustments can help with symptoms and that certain foods can alter behaviour.

SO, HERE’S WHAT WE KNOW:
Without a question, all children, even those with ADHD, require adequate nutrition in order to feel and act their best.

Children with ADHD are more likely to have:
• Nutrition shortages/deficiencies
• Issues of development
• A poor quality diet
• decreased appetite
• Picky eating
• Unfavourable food-related associations

Medication side effects, parental pressure, self-esteem concerns, and a variety of other factors can all have a detrimental impact on all of the above.

Why isn’t nutrition a topic of conversation?
So, given how important nutrition is, diet is often overlooked as a means of assisting children with ADHD symptoms. This is because, parents and/or healthcare providers may feel that there is not enough research to justify any modifications: this is not the case!
According to National Institutes of Health, the science behind the effect of food on behavior is still quite new and controversial. However, certain foods do affect behavior.
For example, caffeine can increase alertness and chocolate can uplift mood.
Nutritional deficiencies can also affect behavior. One study concluded that taking a supplement of essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals led to a significant reduction in antisocial behavior, compared with a placebo.
Studies suggest vitamin and mineral supplements can also reduce antisocial behavior in children, and polyunsaturated fatty acids have been shown to decrease violent behavior.
Since foods and supplements may influence behavior, it seems plausible that they could also affect ADHD symptoms, which are largely behavioral.
Challenges faced by parents can also be detrimental in initiating an appropriate diet or dietary changes. For example they may feel:

• They’ve heard far too many ridiculous promises that a certain diet can cure ADHD and refuse to believe them. True. On social media, there is a lot of health frenzy and scare mongering.
• Fear that a new ‘diet’ would be too difficult to maintain. It won’t feel difficult if a change works and makes a child feel better.
• They would rather utilise medication to treat the symptoms. Medication and diet can be used together. It’s a two-pronged strategy.
• They are simply too weary to ‘argue’ with a child about food. This is a valid worry. Parenting is difficult, but with a few simple modifications and competent guidance, it won’t be a constant battle.

BUT that doesn’t mean we don’t give it our best shot. We must be advocates for children who are suffering from any of the negative effects of ADHD and/or its treatment. Let’s talk about diet for a moment. Amazing nutrition may genuinely aid in the management of ADHD, as well as prevent malnutrition, growth concerns, and poor eating habits, as well as making them feel amazing in their own skin.

Our Suggestion:

Consume Nutritious Food
There hasn’t been a lot of research done on ADHD diets. However, many health professionals believe that what you eat and drink might help alleviate symptoms. Whatever is good for the brain is likely to be excellent for ADHD, according to experts. You might want to try:
• A high-protein diet is recommended. Protein can be found in beans, cheese, eggs, meat, and nuts. These foods are great for breakfast and after-school snacks. It has the potential to boost concentration and extend the effectiveness of ADHD drugs.
• Complex carbs are preferred. Choose whole grains over refined flours always.
• Consume plenty of fruits and vegetables, such as oranges, tangerines, pears, grapefruit, apples, and kiwis.
• More omega-3 fatty acids are needed. Tuna, salmon, and other cold-water white fish contain them. Other foods that include them include walnuts, Brazil nuts, and olive oils. You could also take a supplement containing omega-3 fatty acids.
Foods to Avoid With ADHD
Cut down on how many of these you eat:
• Candy
• Corn syrup
• Honey
• Sugar
• Products made from white flour
• Simple carbohydrates.
• White rice
• Potatoes without the skins.

Kanupriya Khanna, a Senior Consultant Nutritionist & Dietitian with over 18 years of experience in paediatric nutrition, can provide expert advice. She is regarded as one of the best dietitians in Delhi because of her unwavering commitment to making a difference in people’s lives by instilling good eating habits and lifestyles.

Also Read: HEALTH ADVANTAGES OF QUINOA

Categories Children Diet

Impact of too much sugar on your child’s health

Impact of too much sugar on your child’s health

Sugar is all over the place. Portion sizes are increasing in today’s society, processed foods are becoming the standard, and as a result, we’re consuming more sugar than ever before. A high sugar intake is linked to an increased risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and dental cavities. Sugar’s impact on your child’s brain health is also becoming clearer according to recent studies.

There are both immediate and long-term consequences of high sugar intake on brain health. You’re certainly aware of ‘sugar high,’ which is defined by a spike in your child’s energy followed by sugar consumption. But did you know that sugar also has long-term consequences for your child’s brain health?

Let’s have a look at our brains:

The Prefrontal Cortex (PFC) is a key regulator of cognitive activities like attention, behavioural control, and self-control. These do not form until later in life because this area of the brain is still maturing until the early twenties. Sugar has an especially negative impact on a child’s brain because the brain is continually developing. Long-term, everyday use of high-sugar (and high-fat) diets has been related to a loss of neurons (brain cells) in the prefrontal cortex, which may have an adverse effect on the creation of the cognitive processes indicated above. During this stage of life, an undeveloped prefrontal cortex might reduce self-regulation, which could be the cause of your child’s behaviour problems.

The Hippocampus is a brain region important in learning and long-term memory. The production of new neurons, known as neurogenesis, is a key element of memory and learning development. High sugar intake has been demonstrated in studies to slow down this process, potentially affecting performance on tasks like learning ability. Sugar consumption has also been linked to poor performance on nonverbal IQ tests.

Is sugar an addictive substance?

Let’s move on to the brain’s reward system. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter (think of it as a brain messenger) involved in movement, motivation, and addiction. Dopamine is released when you eat a highly enjoyable food (such as a sugary snack). Eating large amounts of these foods can activate the reward system to a great degree, causing a person to eat more food than necessary to meet their energy needs. With consistently high sugar diets, this overeating can begin in childhood and persist throughout maturity. Research is also showing that sugar can be characterized as an addictive substance and may even have addictive properties including withdrawal or continued cravings when sugar is deprived

What should you do?

Sugar is so widely available that it’s easy for your child to consume too much. For a list of typical sugar sources and guidelines, check the previous blog (INCLUDE LINK). If you’re having trouble reducing your child’s sugar intake, try implementing the following suggestions:

1. Avoid fruit juice: Juice has an abnormally high sugar content. Many of the nutritious characteristics of fruit, such as fibre and vitamins, are stripped away during processing. Instead, make water the preferred beverage.

2. Be inventive when it comes to baking! Use natural sweeteners like dates or bananas to sweeten your food. Because many recipes ask for a lot of sugar, lowering the amount can also assist.

3. Keep an eye out for food marketing. Many smoothie businesses, for example, love to pitch their products as the healthier option, but they might actually be filled with 50+ grammes of sugar!

4. Finally, make a positive start to your child’s day. Many traditional breakfast meals, such as cereal or Pop tarts, contain a lot of sugar, which causes your child’s energy to jump and then drop before lunch. Including more complex carbohydrates and fibre in the first meal of the day (for example, overnight oats, eggs, peanut butter, and whole grain bread) can make a huge difference.

Kanupriya Khanna, a Senior Consultant Nutritionist & Dietitian with over 18 years of experience in paediatric nutrition, can provide expert advice. She is regarded as one of the best dietitians in Delhi because of her unwavering commitment to making a difference in people’s lives by instilling good eating habits and lifestyles.

References:

1. Reichelt, A., Gibson, G., Abbott, K., Hare, D. (2019). A high-fat high-sugar diet in adolescent rats impairs social memory and alters chemical markers characteristic of atypical neuroplasticity and parvalbumin interneuron depletion in the medial prefrontal cortex. Food & Function, (4).

2. Reichelt, A. (2016). Adolescent maturational transitions in the prefrontal cortex and dopamine signaling as a risk factor for the development of obesity and high fat/high sugar diet induced cognitive deficits. Front. Behav. Neurosci,

3. Neuroscientifically Challenged. (2015, January 16). Know your brain: reward system.

4. The University of Queensland. (2017, May 18). What is neurogenesis?.

5. Freeman, C. R., Zehra, A., Ramirez, V., Wiers, C. E., Volkow, N. D., & Wang, G. J. (2018). Impact of sugar on the body, brain, and behavior. Frontiers in bioscience (Landmark edition), 23, 2255–2266.

Tricks for including Omega-3 fatty acids into Your Child’s diet
Categories Children Diet, Nutrition Blogs

Tricks for including Omega-3 fatty acids into Your Child’s diet

Omega-3 fatty acids are critical for a child’s nutritional needs. It cannot be overstated how important it is especially for a child’s brain health! Omega-3 fatty acids are important for overall health and can help a child focus, reduce hyperactivity, and lead to better memory, uptake and retention overall. It is critical that we provide high-omega-3 foods or supplements to growing children as much as possible.

What exactly are omega-3 fatty acids?

Omega-3 fatty acids are an essential fatty acid, which means that the body cannot produce them and they must be obtained from food or other sources.

The three main omega-3 fats are ALA, DHA, and EPA (the titles are confusing, so don’t memorise them).

DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) are produced in modest amounts by ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), which can be obtained from foods such as certain oils, nuts, and seeds.

The DHA and EPA produced by this ALA are insufficient. As a result, you must consume it!

Fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, anchovies, and tuna provide DHA and EPA to the body.

DHA and EPA are critical for a child’s cognitive and behavioural development.

So, where may Omega-3 fats be found?

Although this is not an exhaustive list of omega-3-rich foods, there are a few items you can try to incorporate into a child’s diet.

• Fish and seafood, particularly fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and sardines that we’ve already discussed;

• Walnuts, flax, hemp, and chia seeds are examples of nuts and seeds.

• Oils from plants.

Even if parents do their best to provide nuts, seeds, and fish to their children on a regular basis, they may not accept them willingly or eat as much as they require. This is where supplements can help to fill in the gaps in your omega-3 intake.

Introducing omega-3 supplements to children

We’ve all experienced how tough it is to convince a youngster to take supplements, right? Omega-3 supplements, especially those in liquid form, make this even more difficult because they have an oily texture and can have an unpleasant fishy flavour. This may not be a problem if your child is older and can take a pill or gummy, but we’ll focus on liquids today.

So, here are a few ways to mask the fishy taste of omega-3 oil:

1. Toss it with your child’s favourite freshly squeezed juice: Citrus fruits, such as orange juice are best for masking the flavour and texture.

2. Toss with yoghurt in a smoothie or frozen yogurt along with fruits: The soft texture and strong flavour of flavoured yoghurt will help to mask the oil’s taste and consistency.

3. Add to nut butter and spread on toast, crackers, or fruit.

4. POPSICLES WITH FRUIT!: There’s nothing like a delicious fruity popsicle to cool off after a long day of school or activities. Before freezing, hide some omega-3 in the popsicles.

In conclusion

No matter how hard you try, not every child will accept an omega-3 supplement, but it is a crucial nutrient to include in their diet. Don’t give up.

Kanupriya Khanna, a Senior Consultant Nutritionist & Dietitian with over 18 years of experience in antenatal nutrition, can provide expert advice. She is regarded as one of the best dietitians in Delhi because of her unwavering commitment to making a difference in people’s lives by instilling good eating habits and lifestyles.

Categories Children Diet

Diet Culture Dropout: The Best Feeding Advice for New Parents

I’m on a quest to help you rediscover the pleasure that should come with eating. I don’t want you to miss out on memories of your motherhood or your children’s childhood because of food or eating anxieties.

The good news is that optimal nutrition does not need sacrificing a positive relationship with food. Choosing to focus on supporting your children does not imply that you are neglecting nourishment or that you are no longer “caring.” There’s no way. You do it because you care, and you’ll discover that healthy nourishment for your children is the result. So, where do you begin? How may this appear in your home?

It may appear hard to work for something different in your home when you look at the large picture. Especially, if food is difficult to understand and feeding children is a stressful experience. We’re already inundated with “rules” about how to feed our children and how to produce healthy eaters. Diet culture has penetrated a lot of this knowledge. Does any of this ring a bell?

  • Allow no packaged foods to be consumed by your children.
  • Offer them no processed foods.
  • Before the age of two, no additional sugar is allowed.
    • Limit sweets in your home and don’t allow your kids to consume sugar.
  • Nothing frozen should be consumed.
  • Stay away from convenience foods.

But what do you do if your kids gravitate towards foods that are intended to be “off-limits”?

This is where I see power struggles between children, parents and their caretakers begin, and where food becomes a source of conflict.

Perhaps you’ve seen something similar before?

You want your children to eat healthy meals, on the one hand. You want them to be fit and healthy, with a strong immune system to boot. You don’t want kids to have behavioural issues, and you’re concerned about their physique sizes. You want them to succeed and grow into capable, strong adults.

Diet Culture Influences Common Child Feeding Rules

Food rules can influence how we feed our children in the most subtle ways – things we might not even realise are food rules.

It’s critical to comprehend how diet culture operates, as it frequently promotes a rigorous attitude to food and eating while also normalising these practices as the best way to create a healthy family.

Diet culture has been cloaked in the guise of “wellness culture” in recent years, but it is still an unhealthy obsession with the things we eat. Diet culture has become a mainstream aspect of how we conduct our lives, making it difficult to spot it when it appears.

It frequently manifests itself when it comes to feeding our children, which is why this is an important subject to investigate.

Here are a few instances of how diet culture can manifest itself in how we feed our children:

  • Keeping a tight grip on the meals our kids eat or have access to
  • Allowing children to eat particular meals based on external norms (e.g., “Processed foods are harmful, thus they can’t eat any processed foods,” “Sweets are unhealthy for kids,” “We don’t allow any sugar in the house,” and so on)
  • Keeping your child away from events where other outside meals are offered that you are not comfortable with them eating.
  • Are you worried about what your youngster is eating?
  • Using a “good” versus “bad” lens to describe food
  • Trying to teach your child about healthy eating, food selection, and so on

These items may appear to be “applauded” by diet culture on the surface. Diet culture honours and rewards parents who are overly concerned about their children’s health and the foods they eat.

But how much will it cost? Many families who become enslaved to tight eating rules or a black-and-white view of health wind up with more complicated challenges. Mealtimes are typically chaotic when our children are fed through diet culture. Parents may feel trapped in a never-ending cycle of power battles with their kids. When we try to get our children to adapt to our norms or views around food and eating, this doesn’t allow our children to keep their underlying intuitive eating talents.

We essentially take away the autonomy that we want our children to acquire and grow, forsaking the most crucial components of forming a pleasant relationship with food in order to stay in the diet culture’s safe zones. Please believe me when I tell that as parents attempting to raise healthy, capable children, we only have the finest intentions.

I don’t believe any parent is intentionally attempting to sabotage their children’s connections with food and their bodies.

The goal here isn’t to condemn parents in any way; rather, it’s to recognise the toxic milieu in which we’re trying to feed and raise our children. Diet culture has penetrated every aspect of our lives, including how we parent and feed our children. It’s all too easy for us to fall prey to its enticing hooks if we don’t take intentional actions to proactively combat it. To become a part of the system from which so many of us seek liberation. So many of these feeding methods are ones we were exposed to as children, or that our parents were exposed to, and so on – through the centuries.

It all starts with becoming more conscious of how it hides and lurks in your own home, as well as questioning the norms you’ve internalised about food and your body.

What food ideas do you have that are currently influencing how you feed your own children?

Understanding this and taking the time to honestly reflect on it can help you make a proactive decision for you and your family. Take a piece of paper and write down some of the norms or attitudes you have about food or feeding your children that are influenced by diet culture.

If you’re unsure, write down the first thing that comes to mind. When thinking about this, consider TRUST as a component.

If you or your children don’t trust themselves or each other around food, this can be a key motivator for rules, as rules provide an artificial sense of control.

Fear is what keeps rules alive, so think about what you’re afraid of when you evaluate the food rules that have crept into your home or the base from which you feed your children. Diet culture instils fear and fosters the notion that we can’t trust ourselves or our children. Returning to the basics and learning to live and eat free of food restrictions necessitates beginning from the ground up. Because feeding our children involves more than a transaction: it isn’t just handing them food and expecting them to eat it. (Diet culture portrays feeding our children as something to be controlled in this way.)

However, this overlooks the most important aspect of feeding our children: cultivating a trustworthy feeding connection. This provides a sense of security and connection, and it is in this environment that children can learn to trust their bodies and form positive dietary associations that benefit their general health. Cultivating such trust is crucial to having food freedom as a family and breaking the chains of any internalised food rules you may have had.

Learning to consume and feed your children outside of these dietary restrictions can be quite beneficial, not just to yourself but also to your children’s attitudes toward food and their bodies. This is why it’s critical to be aware of the eating rules you follow, whether consciously or unconsciously. What is the perspective from which you feed your children, and how has that perspective been formed?

When you can begin to study and comprehend it, you may begin to demolish it in order to feed your children outside of diet culture’s confines and structures.

This could include bringing in previously forbidden items or questioning your own dietary guidelines regarding what or how much your children “need to consume.” This may appear to be bending your rules about when particular foods are allowed (for example, many of us grew up with a dietary rule that said we could only eat sweet foods after dinner – but why? Who told you that this was the rule? And what is the point of it?

If you’re not sure if the dietary “rules” you have for your kids and yourself are related to diet culture, consider this: “What is the objective behind this rule?” Is there a regulation in place to provide you some control over a dish that makes you feel uneasy? Taking an honest look at this will help you comprehend the rules you may have around food, as well as reveal which restrictions may need to be questioned and destroyed in order for you and your family to enjoy more freedom with food.

Kanupriya Khanna, a Senior Consultant Nutritionist & Dietitian with over 18 years of experience in child nutrition, can provide expert advise and the right kind of diet for the children. Kanupriya Khanna is regarded as one of the greatest dietitians in Delhi because of her unwavering commitment to making a difference in people’s lives by instilling good eating habits and lifestyles. (Children’s Nutritional Needs During the Pandemic:)

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