Could Little Bean’s eating habits be affecting her behaviour?
To say that Little Bean’s behaviour is a challenge of late would be a HUGE understatement. It’s rather like living with Jekyll and Hyde some days, one minute she can be the sweetest, kindest little girl and a pleasure to spend time with and in the next second she reminds me of the devil child in the Exorcist, I swear one of these days her head will actually spin 360degrees!
I am sure this won’t come as a surprise for many people but Little Bean’s poor eating habits have been playing on my mind more and more as her behaviour has been even harder to handle. I know myself how I can feel tetchy and grumpy if I need something to eat, when my blood sugars have dropped. The problem with Little Bean’s eating habits is that when she does finally eat, it still isn’t probably the best food for her. I encourage her to eat as healthily as possible but with the best will in the world that isn’t always possible.
Three weeks or so before Christmas, we entered a new phase with Little Bean which seems to be adding to her less favourable behaviour. Not only is she struggling to fall asleep at bedtime but then she is waking up early in the morning and cannot get back to sleep which leaves us with an extremely grumpy, snappy and belligerent 5 year old who is clearly overtired. One morning last week I awoke at 5am to feed Jelly Bean only to find Little Bean’s bedroom light on, when I entered her bedroom she had got up and switched on her DVD player. I told her to get back into bed and go to sleep, initially she protested but eventually fell back to sleep and slept until 8.30am, her latest morning in months! That day we had probably the best behaviour we’d had in a long time.
I have been trying to ignore her eating for a while in the hope that it would improve by itself but that doesn’t seem to be working so I’m back to trying to work out how I can help her to improve. A friend of mine directed me to an article about a young woman who appears healthy but actually has lived on a diet of junk food, it turns out she had severe reflux as a child and so it made food taste bad and over time created a mental issue with food which is now too ingrained in her to change. Little Bean suffered with bad reflux when she was a baby so perhaps it could be similar issues with her?
I also found another article myself about how eating habits can affect the behaviour of children. This particular article was about a child with autism which raised a further hurdle for the mother who could not get her child to try new foods. She worked at re-building her child’s gut so that her child would crave healthy food and it worked. I need to look into this one further but the simplest way to explain is that she began by giving her child fermented foods in liquid form by mixing them into orange juice or stirring them into chocolate desserts to mask the taste and it slowly changed the acid levels in the stomach, making the taste buds react differently. If I find out anymore I will let you know but if you can think of anything that will help then all help is very much appreciated.