As long as your child is eating from each of the healthy good groups and doesn’t get too much sugar they’re getting what they need, right? Well in most cases, yes – but for a small group of children, those who suffer with food intolerances or sensitivities, some of those foods that are so healthy for most children, cause them problems that growing research is showing can affect learning.
While the number of children in the general population who have problems in this area is small. Children who have learning challenges more frequently have underlying food intolerances or sensitivities. Some of the signs they present with include:
- frequent day dreaming
- difficulties with sleep
- persistent snoring and/or mouth breathing
- skin rashes, hives or eczema
- bloating after meals
- frequent constipation/diarrhoea
- frequent ear infections and/or runny noses
- explosive emotional outbursts for no apparent reason
These above mentioned problems can contribute significantly to learning challenges and identifying and managing these intolerances can make a big difference to therapy and learning outcomes for these children, in my experience.
To “unpack” this complex issue, this week I sat down with my colleague Emma Blank, Paediatric Dietitian from Allergy Medical. Emma has a special interest in food allergies, intolerances and sensitivities, and in our discussion we talk about:
- how these issues present in so many ways,
- why that is so, and
- how to go about dealing with it.
For your convenience, Emma has provided a number of links to excellent resources to make exploring this important issue a little easier:
Royal Prince Alfred Food Intolerance Resource Pack
A Review Of Unorthodox Food Testing
An Overview of Food Intolerance Signs, Symptoms, Assessment & Management
Really helpful thanks. I’m wondering if there are any written publications outlining the components of a healthy lunchbox as discussed by Emma ?
Thanks Jan – I’ve put a call out to Emma for the definitive answer to your question, but have come across this handy manual you can download as a starting point: Caring For Children Manual by the NSW government.
It’s a long one – 198 pages in total, but has some good information for children up to 5 years old relating to healthy food choices. As soon as Emma gets back to us with her thoughts we’ll be sure to share them. In the meantime I hope this helps!
It’s quite difficult to find reputable resources on the world wide web in this space, however, I do often refer to the Raising Children’s Network, & the Go for 2 & 5 campaign resources. Please find below a few relevant links:
Yours in enjoyable eating,
Thanks so much Emma – with so much out there it’s good to know what’s best!