My older sister Alice sent me this book a few months ago, and I finally found time to read it over my school break. Neither one of us has kids yet, but I am very interested in what kids eat, how they eat, and how a parent’s approach to feeding can affect a child’s eating habits for life.
The NDD Book was written by Dr. William Sears (www.askdrsears.com; follow on Twitter @AskDoctorSears), and talks about the relationship between a child’s diet and their behavior, learning and overall health. “NDD”, or Nutrition Deficit Disorder, is Dr. Sears’ diagnosis for children who are not eating properly and therefore suffering from things like ADD, ADHD, depression, anxiety and other behavioral or health problems. He believes many of these disorders are simply a problem with the child’s diet, and that drugs can be avoided if diet is changed (sometimes, not always). I enjoyed the book because not only does Dr. Sears’ explain how to identify if your child is one of these misdiagnosed kids, but he provides a solution. He gives great advice for what and how to feed kids. And as a father of eight and grandfather of another eight, I am inclined to take his advice!
Some of the signs of a child with NDD include:
• Frequent mood swings or temper tantrums
• Restless sleep
• Poor attention span
• Labeled with a D by their teacher or doctor: ADD, ADHD, BPD, OCD, etc.
• Behavioral problems at home, school or day care
• Learning difficulties
• Dry, flaky or bumpy skin
• Intestinal problems (reflux, constipation, diarrhea, etc.)
• Frequent allergies
• Brittle hair or nails
• Pale skin, especially on the earlobes
Any of these things could indicate your child either is not receiving all the nutrients he or she needs, or has a food allergy that has not been identified yet. Dr. Sears recommends experimenting with diet change before putting a child on drugs. This is always his first prescription in his practice, and he has experienced great success.
Tomorrow I will list the foods to avoid and the foods to try, according to Dr. Sears. If a child is overly sensitive to certain foods or food chemical additives, even a small amount can cause severe imbalances inside their tiny little bodies.
As I stated, I am not a parent so I can only go by the books for now, but everything Dr. Sears is presenting seems to make sense. I have done plenty of babysitting to know the difference between the kids who ate boxed mac & cheese in front of the television for dinner, and those who ate “real” foods, like chicken and brown rice and veggies, at the dinner table with their families. Food and eating environment are undoubtedly key to a child’s behavior, learning and health.