glutamate) is a common flavor enhancer found in numerous foods.
High levels of MSG, food colors, and other additives can affect
young children, and have been associated with hyperactivity,
sleep disorders, and even autism.
A study cited in the journal Pediatrics
reported that more than 50 percent of hyperactive children show
fewer behavior problems and had less trouble sleeping when put
on a restricted diet free of all artificial and chemical food
additives, chocolate, monosodium glutamate (MSG), preservatives,
and caffeine. Large quantities of sweets and refined foods can
also lead to hyperactivity.
If a child has trouble getting to
sleep, staying asleep, or sleeping soundly, try eliminating all
food products that contain these chemicals. To help calm a child
before bedtime, offer chamomile tea (iced or regular).
"The Role Of Diet And Behaviour In
Breakey J. J Paediatr Child Health 1997 Jun;33(3):190-4.
This article reviewed the results of the
most important research published in 1985-1995, on the
relationship between diet and behavior in children. Particular
emphasis was placed on double-blind, placebo-controlled studies. A
wide range of foods and foods additives were found to adversely
affect behavior, and the symptoms triggered were typical of
those of children labeled with attention-deficit disorder, hyperactive disorder, sleep disturbances and mood swings.
"Food Additives to Avoid"
"Best and Worst Children's
"ADHD & Diet: How Food Affects
"ADHD Report and Parent's Guide"