Keeping Our Kiddos Happy with Nutrition!
Every child experiences feelings of sadness or hopelessness during some time in their life. However, when a child feels persistent sadness and hopelessness, they may be diagnosed with depression.
Many factors, including biology and temperament, may play a role. Some children are more vulnerable to developing depression when they experience trauma or stress, are maltreated, bullied, rejected by other children, or when their parents have depression.
Some children may not talk about their feelings and may not appear sad. Depression might cause a child to act unmotivated, causing others not to notice that the child is depressed or incorrectly label the child as a trouble-maker or lazy.
Examples of depressive behaviors are:
- Feeling sad, hopeless, or irritable a lot
- Not enjoying or wanting to participate in fun activities
- Changes in eating patterns, i.e., eating more or less than normal
- Changes in sleep patterns, i.e., sleeping more or less than usual
- Changes in energy, i.e., being tired and sluggish or tense and restless more than usual
- Having a hard time paying attention
- Feeling guilty, worthless, or useless
- Self-injury and self-destructive behavior
It is essential to get a careful evaluation to get the best diagnosis and treatment plan. Cognitive-behavioral therapy may help the child change negative thoughts into positive, effective ways of thinking which leads to positive behavior. Other treatments include child therapy, family therapy, or a combination of both.
Living a healthy lifestyle is vital for all children and can be especially important for children with depression. In addition to getting the proper treatment, leading a healthy lifestyle plays a role in managing symptoms of depression.
Here are some healthy lifestyle factors:
- Having a nutritious and delicious healthy eating regimen centered on balanced meals with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, nuts, and seeds
- Staying hydrated with pure clean water and no sugar-added beverages (like KidsLuv!)
- Participating in physical activity for at least 30 to 60 minutes each day
- Getting quality sleep each night
- Practicing mindfulness or relaxation techniques
- Social support from positive friends and family
- Consistent routines for the day and week
A child's emotional well-being is as important as their physical health.
According to a study in Physiology & Behavior, parental responses to their child's emotional health during childhood influence their ability to deal with stressful situations as young adults. Good mental health helps children develop the resilience to cope with what life throws at them and grow into well-rounded, healthy adults.
Nancy Guberti is a Functional Medicine Specialist, Nutritionist, Author,
and passionate about empowering others to become their health advocate.
She is the founder of Total Wellness Empowerment Membership & Podcast,
Look and Feel Great Method, and Raising Achievers & Givers: Positively
Powerful Parent program. Learn more & be empowered at nancyguberti.com.
Research: Science Direct