How Good Nutrition Builds Your Child's Self Esteem
Boosting your child’s self esteem is an important benefit of eating healthy. Their self-esteem starts developing at age five, according to a 2015 study, and feeling confident in themselves is critical to their success in school, with friends and at home.
You can likely personally attest to the benefits of eating well and living a healthy life for your confidence and self-esteem. Days when you eat the healthiest are likely the days when you feel the best. A similar food-to-well-being connection is happening when kids eat good foods too. In a 2017 study, 7,675 kids, ages 2 to 9, were examined twice. Once between September 2007 and June 2008 and then once again, two years later.
Study authors found that children with a higher Healthy Dietary Adherence Score (HDAS) were more associated with having a higher self-esteem, both in the initial investigation and follow up. Children who adhered to the healthy eating guidelines showed fewer emotional and peer problems at the 2-year follow-up, regardless of weight.
Let’s dive into the ways that nutrition can help boost your child’s self esteem.
Good Nutrition Boosts Height
Height is not purely genetic. While 60 to 80 percent of your child’s height is determined by genetics, 20 to 40 percent is affected by outside factors—and that includes nutrition. Being the right height, or taller, can be a major self-esteem booster for children, suggests Alexandra Williams, M.A.:
“While being taller in and of itself may not be a goal for everyone, it’s certainly a byproduct of healthy nutrition, which is a life-enhancing objective worth pursuing.”
With so many things on your mind, your child’s height may be low on this list. But Williams reminds us of the importance of being a healthy height: “Parents may find this even more disconcerting in light of research showing that taller people have longer life spans, greater educational success, higher incomes, and a lower incidence of heart disease and stroke.”
Ue our growth calculator to see if your child is currently at a Healthy Height. If you find your child is falling behind on the growth curve, ensuring your child is getting proper nutrition can help. Here are a few helpful resources for you:
- Growing Kids: Simple Things Parents Can Do to Help Them Along
- The Best Healthy Drinks to Help Kids Grow
- Human Growth Hormone for Children: The Facts
- 5 Everyday Foods to Help Kids Grow Strong
Don’t forget to try Healthy Height Shake Mix too. See what one of our customers had to say:
“My son was in the 5th percentile for a very long time. I decided to search online for a solution and discovered these shakes. My son has been drinking these shakes for 2 years now, and he has reached the 40th percentile, which makes a huge difference for us.”
Bonus: The mix comes in both chocolate and vanilla, so you can choose the flavor your child likes best.
Reduced Sugar Intake Leads to Less Chance of ADHD
ADHD often translates to lack of confidence in oneself. “Constantly corrected and perpetually punished, many children with ADHD and learning disabilities develop low self-esteem,” suggests Larry Silver, M.D. Reducing sugar intake can help you avoid this disorder, according to a 2011 study:
“Simple sugar consumption may cause hyperactivity, given that snacks containing high sugar content cause massive secretion of insulin from the pancreas, resulting in hypoglycemia. This stimulates an increase in epinephrine, leading to activation of nervous reactions and hyperactivity disorder behaviors. In other words, elevated intake of snacks might increase the potential of nutritional imbalance, lower emotional intelligence and ADHD.”
And again, in 2014, another study found similar results: “Risk of hyperactivity/inattention increased by 14 percent for each additional sweetened beverage consumed, adjusting for age, race/ethnicity, sex, school lunch eligibility, family structure, and sugary food consumption.”
Despite the data, many scientists still say there’s not enough information to directly correlate sugar with ADHD. Whether you agree or not, it’s important to remember that high sugar diets can also lead to obesity, diabetes, and other health-related issues, all of which can impact your child’s self esteem.
To reduce sugar in their diet, start by eliminating all sugary drinks. Replace them with these healthy drinks, including milk and smoothies.
Make Time for Good Nutrition
We get it. Life is busy and chaotic, and sometimes it’s easier to toss a pop-tart into the toaster than make an entire breakfast. If it means you’ll get out of the house on time, then who cares, right? Unfortunately, those last-minute meals are often not very nutritious. Instead, try some of these ideas that will make it easier for you to make time for good nutrition.
- Make protein smoothies when you’re in a pinch. They’re high in nutrients, easy to make, and require minimal clean up. Bonus: kids can take them in the car with a cup, lid and straw so they can drink it on-the-go. Here are some awesome protein smoothie recipes.
- Prep easy homemade snacks on Sundays to have for the week. Having them pre-made and bagged makes it easy to grab-and-go before school. Check out these simple snack ideas.
- Hack your way to better nutrition with these parenting nutrition hacks. Sometimes a little help is exactly what you need.
Boost Your Child’s Self Esteem
There are many ways to boost your child’s self esteem, and you’re probably doing many of them already. Nutrition is just one more factor to consider, and an important one at that. Help your child be as healthy, happy and confident as possible with these tips and ideas.