Food and Child Behaviors: 5 Steps to Happy, Healthy Kids

Step 1: Learn about how food really does impact behavior

  • Conditions for which food had been scientifically studied for behavioral impact: ADHD, allergies, autoimmune disorders, antisocial behavior, autism spectrum disorders, bipolar, dyslexia, dyspraxia, schizophrenia, sleep and vision.

  • References for more information:

Food and Behavior Research:

Institute for Food, Brain, and Behavior:

Appleton School -


Read Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar – Your Brain’s Silent Killers by David Perlmuter, MD.

Step 2: Identify the “Big Bad Ones”

  • Sugar
  • Food Dyes: Blue No 1, Blue No 2, Green No 3, Orange B, Red No 3, Red no 40, Yellow no 5 and 6.
  • Preservatives: MSG, sodium nitrate, sodium benzoate,
  • Artificial Sweeteners – sorry, all of them
  • Caffeine
  • Pesticides
  • GMOs
  • Hydrogenated oils
  • Gluten

Step 3: Eliminate Triggers

Eight most common food triggers:

  • Gluten
  • Sugar or sugar substitutes
  • Dairy
  • Nuts
  • Shellfish
  • Eggs
  • Soy
  • Beef or Pork

Elimination Diets

GAPS protocol:

Clean Gut Diet: Sample 21 day menu plan -

Step 4: Add in the “Good Guys”

The microbiome: How can we positively impact our microbiome in order to improve our overall health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases? These several steps will help you enhance the good bacteria in your body and your immune system as well.

  • Don't murder your good bacteria – keep your microbiome vital by avoiding unnecessary antibiotics. Ask your doctor if you really need that antibiotic. And don't run to the doctor when you have a cold – it's viral!
  • Enrich your microbiome with probiotics – we can replenish the microbiome when we take good quality probiotics. These capsules, available over the counter, often contain billions of microrganisms. Look for ones that have lactobacillus and bifidobacterium, both critical for immune function.
  • Eat foods that are plant-based – greens and other vegetables are what your microrganisms feed on. Fermented foods like sauerkraut and pickled vegetables along with artichokes, garlic, beans, oats, onions and asparagus will help your good bacteria grow and flourish. When your microbiome is strong, so is your immune system. This will help to reduce inflammation in our bodies and reduce our risk of developing chronic diseases.
  • Avoid junk food – processed foods can be toxic to the microbiome. Sugar can promote an overgrowth of bad fungi. Think high fiber diet, with lots of fruits and vegetables to enrich your good bacteria
  • Get your hands dirty – working in the garden or digging around in the soil exposes you to trillions of good bacteria that can enhance your immune system. Enough with the hand sanitizer already – with overuse, we limit our exposure to the very microrganisms that are here to protect us.

More Good Guys

Fermented foods

Supplement science is not yet solid, but here are the things that helped children with impulse control: Magnesium, Vitamin D, B 6, amino acids, and Omega 6 and 3s.

Wahl Protocol-

Step 5: Follow Through with Behaviors

  • Example: Cecelia
  • GAPS Protocol – You have to regain control. Your child’s eating habits are out of control. Your child has to know, that until they make good choices, the parent is in charge.
  • Kids “earn” everything. Ex: You may eat with the family when you are ready to eat your food. Until then, you may wait in your room. Ex: You may turn the tv on after you finish your broccoli.

What we did…

Day 1-3: Bone Broth, boiled chicken and blueberry smootie with almond milk

Day 4-5: Bone Broth, boiled meat with juice from fermented veggies poured in, smoothies, fruit, “pancake”

Day 6-8: Bone Broth, boiled meat, smoothies, fruit, “pancakes,” and steamed veggies

Day 8: Add in rice, see how it goes

Day 10: Add in fermented dairy and see how it goes

Day 12: Add in eggs and see how it goes

After 2 weeks we add in breakfast bars (Laura Bars) and some gluten free breads. We start serving meat baked.

After 3 weeks add in dairy and see

What you need to have on hand…

  • Good meat – organic whole chickens are the easiest
  • Bone Broth
  • Ghee
  • Lots of organic veggies and fruit
  • Kefir
  • Organic pasture raised eggs
  • Gluten Free pancake mix – Pamelas is the best one

How to make this work with busy schedules

  • Bake two chickens Sunday afternoon. Eat one Sunday for dinner and save the meat from the other in the fridge to use for corn tortillas later in the week. Take the carcasses and put them back in the crock pot to make bone broth for the week. 
  • Buy a rice cooker. Use bone broth instead of water and add veggies to the steamer.
  • Cook more meat than you need at one time and use the leftovers on salad.
  • Buy a ton of vegetables and learn to make fried rice.