Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

The Better Behavior Show with Dr. Nicole Beurkens

Nov 28, 2018

My guest this week is Judy Converse, a licensed registered dietitian, and nutritionist who works with children of all ages to customize nutrition strategy so that they can learn, grow and thrive. In addition to running her private practice, Nutrition Care For Children, she has published three print books, two e-books, and numerous articles on nutrition support for children with autism, ADHD, allergies, FPIES, growth and feeding issues, behavioral disorders, constipation and more. I hope you'll enjoy this episode learning about the effect of nutrition on children's behavior. 

In this episode, Judy and I discuss the incredible power of nutrition and its effect on children's mood and behavior. Judy shares her expertise on how parents can begin to assess their children’s nutrition and what signs to be aware of when nutritional intervention may be necessary. She brings an extensive history of knowledge to the table and even discusses a few case studies where nutritional interventions had a life-changing effect on children in her practice. Learn more about Judy Converse here


Nutrition Support for Children with Advanced Behavioral Disorders

  • Most physicians do not receive training in nutritional support
  • Your child may look fine on a growth chart but may have a nutritional deficit that’s overlooked.
  • Autism spectrum, ADHD, and sensory processing issues can be addressed with nutritional intervention, however, medication is often the first line of defense.


Assessing Nutrition In Children

1. Assess the Gut and What Their Eating

  • A large body of research shows that the microbiota (or gut bugs) has a direct affect on mood and immune function
  • Find a practitioner who can properly assess your child's gut health.
  • Is the child withholding stool?
  • Are they struggling to eat during the day and have a calorie deficit? This is commonly overlooked.


2. Growth Patterns

  • Often pediatricians will not catch a growth issue unless the child is significantly failing on the growth chart.
  • Are they sleeping well?


3. Iron Status

  • Being marginal for iron status, pre-anemia
    • Functioning falters and could affect a child's ability to learn, specifically in math
  • Children need iron to make and break down serotonin and dopamine (these affect mood and focus)


Kids Need Fat and Carbs

  • Use clean carbs like fruits and veggies vs processed foods high in sugar
  • Carbs are important for energy output
  • Before putting your child on a restrictive diet be sure to discuss with a nutrition expert or practitioner


Why Working with a Professional is Essential

  • When diets are improperly applied, a host of other issues may surface
  • For example, diets may change growth patterns, affecting how bones are mineralized and can lead to more fractures in children


What Parents Can Do at Home Before Seeking Professional Intervention

  • Shift away from processed foods and prepare more whole foods to eat
  • Cut out glyphosate, GMO, and pesticides (these are typically found in processed food)
    • These ingredients can often trigger ADHD symptoms
  • Create a healthy mindset around food
    • Make food fun vs harping on which foods are “bad.” Celebrate healthier food

Nutrition is Powerful

  • Children with mental health issues can be drastically helped by diving deeper with nutritional interventions
  • Nutritional intervention may aid in the removal of medication overall, or help find the appropriate blend by optimizing their nutrition and balancing it with the correct medication vs. relying on medication alone to solve the problem
  • Nutritional interventions should not be overlooked for even the most fragile cases

Where to Learn More About Judy Converse MPH, RD, LDN