WHAT YOUR CHILD EATS IMPACTS THEIR LEARNING CAPACITY
Cheryl Meyer AKA Cheryl M Health Muse
This is an article that I wrote for Dr. Suki Stones WriteReadLead magazine. Dr. Suki is a literacy expert and can teach your child to read in 14 days or less.
To get a copy of her magazine,
I want parents to discover the power of eating real fruits and vegetables for their childs brain power and attn, which is why I was proud to write an article for Dr. Suki’s magazine.
We are what we eat; what your child eats matters.
Are you fortifying your child’s body with fast, cheap, easy, and fake food? Or are you buying the finest quality organic fruits and veggies and grass-fed grass-finished meats? Are you cooking so that you control what your child eats? Their bodies are growing and constantly changing throughout their youth. To build strong bodies and brains, they need all the phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and proteins available in fruits, vegetables, and pastured meats.
Why is this important for the dyslexic child? Eating for nutrition directly impacts their brain and reading abilities.
Dyslexia is a learning disability. Scientists indicate that diet may play a key role in managing this disorder. Diet also impacts ADHD, which is closely related, and often the child is afflicted with both. ADHD impacts the child’s ability to concentrate, which directly impacts their ability to read.
What we are feeding our children is often a bleak diet of fructose, diet and sugar pop, chemicals, and artificial additives in processed and fast foods in the US. This diet is increasing disease in our children. Fatty liver disease is on the rise in children setting the dismal stage for liver transplants, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and abnormal cholesterol in their later life. In addition, we are feeding our kids what is called the Standard American Diet (the SAD). This popular diet is loaded with CRAP (Carbonated, Refined, Artificial, Processed) substances with little food value.
The impacts of the SAD on our children are chronic illness, learning difficulties including the ability to read, ADHD, low energy, depression, and more.
When we feed children the Rainbow Diet, where 75% of the foods eaten are fruits and vegetables, we ensure that the child eats the full spectrum of colors in whole foods. Over 25,000 phytonutrients in these foods work together to create health. Processed and fast foods do not provide the child these needed nutrients. Add quality protein. I recommend meat that has consumed that animal’s own species-specific diet- grass-fed grass-finished beef or bison, pastured pork, chicken, and lamb, wild fish including wild salmon, and pastured eggs add to a child’s brainpower, health, and energy. Eating these foods improves focus and concentration. Eating whole foods is critical to support your child’s ability to learn and read.
Eat organic if possible. Do not give your child an unhealthy dose of pesticides and herbicides with every bite. Refer to EWG.org’s Dirty Dozen list to buy those organic if you have budget restrictions.
Include omega-3 oils, which are crucial for cognizance, and your child will have the nutrition to improve his energy and ability to learn. “The identification of the nature and extent of the role of nutrition is important because it is one factor that can be modified in order to optimize cognitive development.”[i] Include exercise and foster good sleeping habits, and you are on your way to rearing a healthy child. Studies have shown that dyslexic children have deficient omega-3 levels in their bodies.
Quality food is code for your child’s brain. Each color in the rainbow signifies different phytonutrients that build a strong body, immune system, and brain. Eating the rainbow also impacts the child’s mood. What we eat is also what our gut micropia eat. The gut-brain axis determines our mood. The gut organisms that we foster send chemical signals to our brain. Since we are what we eat, we need to emphasize eating plenty of plant foods to help our children be healthy and happy. A positive mood enhances the child’s ability to learn to read.
Blue-purple foods are excellent sources of brain-protective antioxidants. For example, eating berries can keep the mind sharp and focused. To achieve maximum benefit in the child’s body, they also need red, orange, yellow, green, and white foods. The phytonutrients in these different colors create a synergy for health. Have you ever seen a rainbow with only one color?
How to enroll your child in eating for nutrition? Take them with you to the farmers market or grocer. Have them pick out fruits and vegetables in all the colors for the week’s meals. Please include them in the preparation of the food. Once they break the addiction to the SAD and CRAP, they will enjoy the fruits and vegetables in their meal planning. They will begin to feel the difference in their energy, learning capability, and reading ability. These practices teach them the importance of eating for their future health and happiness and enroll them in the process.
In addition, by cooking and eating real, whole foods, you avoid food additives that hinder learning. The SAD has additives, food coloring, preservatives, artificial flavors, and other harmful chemicals that add no value and are addictive. These ingredients impede your child’s health and learning. Studies show that these additives are partially responsible for ADHD.[ii] If you cannot pronounce it or do not know the ingredient, your child’s body will not either.
It is also possible that your child has a food sensitivity that interrupts their learning. A food sensitivity is different from an allergy and creates inflammation which causes brain fog. Brain fog hinders concentration and reading. The best food sensitivity test, in my opinion, is by Genova Diagnostics, but some conventional pediatricians might not be familiar with sensitivities and won’t order the test. If you experience this, there is a test that you can order and administer on your own that is available from Meridian Valley in Seattle, WA, and a 1-hour consultation comes with the test results. Once you know your child’s food sensitivities, they can be avoided in your child’s diet.
A researcher in New Zealand has discovered a food sensitivity in many dyslexic children called Salicylates. For a list of these foods please refer to “Dyslexia and Food Sensitivities Possible culprits – Cheryl M Health Muse” (https://cherylmhealthmuse.com/dyslexia-and-food-sensitivities-possible-culprits/). First, eliminate them all for 30 days. Then, add them back in one at a time and monitor if there is an improvement in your child’s learning and reading.
A few other thoughts. All these things have been shown to impact concentration and literacy.
Check for Gluten sensitivity.
Check for adequate Vitamin D levels and zinc levels with your pediatrician.
Lower the toxic load in their environment. Look up foods, cleaners, personal care products, fragrances, and water in the EWG.org database and trade out products for lower toxic items. Eliminate plastic for water bottles and storage. Each toxin eliminated is a step closer to health. Toxins impact the child’s brain and slow down the ability to read.
Toxins cause inflammation, creating more brain fog in the child, hindering learning, and reading.
“It’s important to fill your child’s diet with a variety of nutrient-dense[iii], whole foods. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and protein foods all offer a wealth of vitamins and minerals that are essential for your child’s nutrition, along with other essential nutrients[iv] like fiber and antioxidants. It is also particularly important for children with developmental dyslexia that any treatable nutritional deficiencies should be diagnosed. Controlled trials find that vitamin and mineral supplements improve intelligence scores and brain-function tests and reduce brain-wave abnormalities.”[v]
Improving your child’s diet will build their future health and learning foundation. Also, manage and eliminate environmental toxins in food and your home. All these strategies will improve your child’s reading skills.