How to Develop Healthy Eating Habits: Can Changes in Children Nutrition Reduce Child Behavior Problems?

The screams coming from her six month old daughter’s crib launches Jill to her feet and into the bedroom. Jill witnesses her six year old son yanking on his little sister’s hair through the crib. Instantly, Jill pulls the two apart and drags her son to the hallway. After asking her son his reasoning, he simply replies, “Because I felt like it.”

Jill has been dealing with behavior like this for the past year and can’t figure out why. After disciplining her son time and time again, Jill wonders if there might be a reason for the behavior and a solution she hasn’t thought of before.

Do you wonder why your children act out when there seems to be no reason?

Do your children have child behavior problems  despite your best efforts and you don’t know what is the cause of them?

Have you tried everything in the past to stop these child behavior problems, such as time outs, spanking, or even considered medication for aggressive behavior in children?

Children nutrition could be playing a big part in their behavior.

Reasons Your Children May Have Distasteful Behavior:

  • They are not eating enough or they are hungry and their blood sugar drops, which can cause irritability, tantrums, and meltdowns.
  • They have a food allergy that causes the child behavior problems. Food allergies symptoms can mimic disorders such as ADHD and oppositional defiance disorders. In fact, food allergies symptoms are often misdiagnosed as these disorders and children are put on medication when a simple, small change in their diet could prevent the problem in the first place!

Start observing your children’s eating habits. Make a journal of your children’s eating habits (i.e. what, when, how much, and how often they eat), and their behavior after each mealtime (including snacks).

If your children exhibit child behavior problems  after eating a particular food then the behavior may be due to food allergies symptoms.

How To Develop Healthy Eating Habits To Reduce Your Children’s Distasteful Behavior:

  • If your children are not eating enough or are hungry, try feeding them smaller meals throughout the day or provide healthy snacks for your children to graze on between meals.
  • See a doctor or pediatrician to test your children for food allergies and give you healthier food options, to provide the best children nutrition .
  • If your children have a food allergy, identify the food and replace it with a food with equal nutritional value (ex: if your children are allergic to eggs, remove the eggs from their diet and replace them with another protein, such as poultry or nuts)

Aggressive behavior in children  can be frustrating and tiring if not resolved. A change in children nutrition might be one solution to child behavior problems.


For more tips and solutions to help your picky eaters eat healthier and more information about The Parent’s Toolshop® and its unique Universal Blueprint® problem-solving system, get the Picky Eaters and Food Issues multimedia training package. It’s a one-hour discussion among parents and nutrition professionals on how to handle the most common food issues parents face, like those in this article series.




Jody Johnston Pawel, LSW, CFLE is president of Parent’s Toolshop® Consulting, where she oversees an international network of Toolshop® trainers. She has 30+ years experience as a top-rated speaker and parenting expert to the media worldwide, including serving as the Co-Producer and Parenting Expert for the Emmy-nominated Ident-a-Kid television series. She is the author of the award-winning book, The Parent’s Toolshop® and countless multimedia resources that support and educate parents from diverse backgrounds and needs, and other adults who live or work with children. You can find them at her award-winning website,

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