Food for Child Mental Health!

#BellLetsTalkDay #Letstalkaboutchildren #childmentalhealthmatters

M Parley has always supported #BellLetsTalkDay and tried to bring different perspectives every year. To read our previous articles on mental health check them out here. At M Parley we have a soft spot for children because they are just the best human beings. We routinely educate children all over the world through our Parley Kids services and today we shine the spotlight on children again!

Cultivating a healthy mind from a young age seems sensible but it is also objectively important! Mentally healthy children is an achievement in itself, but they are also more likely to have academic success than children who have a mental illness or are mentally unhealthy. There was a lesser chance of graduating from high school and poorer academic performance from elementary school through to university.

It can be difficult to identify mental health issues in children at times. They do not always express themselves in the way that maybe an adult would or the way that you would want them to. It’s our responsibility to take notice, take responsibility and look after their health. Many signs and symptoms of mental health issues in children can also be present in children not struggling with their mental health. These signs can be lower grades in school, angry retorts, reclusiveness, being adventurous and taking risks, having different mood swings and more. It is the degree of the signs, how intense they are, and how much the child’s life is disrupted by them that makes the difference. Adults are therefore charged with being observant and really establishing an open line of communication with the child thus making it more likely to spot significant symptoms that may indicate mental illnesses. Children most commonly suffer from attention disorders, mood and anxiety disorders, eating disorders and rarely, psychotic disorders.

Simple things can help improve a child’s mental health! A healthy diet for a child has always been promoted and again is both sensible and objectively beneficial. Today just adds another great reason that child nutrition should be on the top of every individual’s and organisation’s list. There is some evidence to suggest that mental health is better among children that eat regular meals, and a diet rich in fruits and vegetables!

  • Higher fruit and vegetable intake was associated with an almost 4 unit higher mental health score than children that do not routinely eat fruits and vegetables in their diet.
  • A complete meal for breakfast scored better than no breakfast and those consuming energy drinks as breakfast scored the lowest of all.
  • Skipping lunch was associated with an almost 3 point drop in mental well-being score compared with those that had a packed meal

Feeding children properly is the least that we can do and yet it makes a huge difference, not only for their physical health but also, their mental health!

#BellLe#BellLetsTalkDay #Letstalkaboutchildren #childmentalhealthmatters

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Published by Dr. Makini McGuire-Brown

God-Lover, Mother, Wife, Physician, MBA, Language-Lover, Arts-Lover, Happy Caribbean Girl!

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