January 20, 2010,
L.D. asks from Minden, NV on January 18, 2010
High Protein Diet Good for Very Active 2 Year Old?
My son just turned 2 at the begining of the month, and with it being winter we're stuck inside all the time. Needless to say, this boy is bouncing off the walls. I remember seeing something somewhere about putting very active children on high protein diets to calm them down a bit? Is this true?
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B.S. answers from Honolulu on January 19, 2010
I wouldn't do high protein, just keep his food well-balanced. Something that has worked for me is I bought a small trampoline/rebounder and that helped work out the wiggles. :)
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C.H. answers from Los Angeles on January 19, 2010
I don't believe any kid this age should be on any kind of "diet", if not for medical reasons. As another person pointed out, you could potentially damage his healthy yet fragile kidney. I would, however, make sure that he consumes the least amount of sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and any kind of highly processed food. As for carb vs protein, balance is key!
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K.L. answers from Los Angeles on January 18, 2010
Yes it is true, however, your boy is only 2. He is supposed to be hyper. The one thing I can recommend is to make sure that every meal/snack includes a protein; serving of cheese, yogurt, meat, egg, nuts if allowed by pedi, etc. Our favorite is sunbutter (sunflower seed butter instead of peanut butter) for dipping apple slices.
My 7yr old DS was having trouble focusing in school and it was "suggested" by one of the support teachers that he might have ADHD. I began giving him a meat protein at each meal and his morning snack. He has calmed down and is able to focus. He also MUST have a strong protein before eating sugar so that he does not get too hyper. It helps keep the blood sugars level. Sooo wish I knew this when he was younger.
Boys are naturally higher energy and need to use their bodies more than girls. Maybe look into a small trampoline or bounce house for this cold weather when you can't go outside to play. We just bought a 55"trampoline with an enclosure for the house. It has been a huge lifesaver for both my kids. It is online at Walmart.
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C.A. answers from Los Angeles on January 19, 2010
Be aware protein can be hard to digest. I wouldn't just start w/o some advice from a pediatrician or dietician type person. There is a formula-something like 1/2 gram of protein per lb when you are trying to build muscle. (I am a bit fuzzy on the specifics). But, I know, for sure kidney function can get wacked if you eat too much protein.
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J.B. answers from Los Angeles on January 19, 2010
Some people really can't handle artificial colors and flavors/additives in foods. I would probably try to limit additives and preservatives in the foods he eats and see if you notice an improvement.
S.H. answers from Honolulu on January 18, 2010
A child gets hyper also because they can be bored, or OVER-tired, or OVER-stimulated too.
Without knowing the direct cause of your son's active-ness... do not feed something to him which can cause harm or imbalance his body negatively. And most certainly when you do not know the dosage or the medical contraindications of it.
There is something called "Hyland's Calms Forte-FOR KIDS" which is homeopathic and non-habitual and has no contraindications. You can find it at any natural food type stores or at Whole Foods. Hyland's is that brand that makes many homeopathic products. The Calms Forte, since it is homeopathic, may or may not work... it works for some and not for others.
But... Toddler boys, are just very active and physical anyway. I have a boy and girl, and my son is SO much more physical. So is my friends' sons. They DO need run-around time to expel their yah-yahs. Most kids do. So, in a sense, "letting" him run around in the house (since you can't go outside) is good.. main thing he has supervision and doesn't get hurt or fall off something. Put pillows on the floor... and let him jump around on it making a path with it... play tag, put on music and "dance" with him... play Simon-Says or follow-the-leader...
Toddlers NEED physical activity too.... and also though, if they are not getting regular naps, then some kids actually get more "hyper" when they are Over-tired. So, napping regularly is good for them.
Or, take him to the mall... and just walk around the whole mall as an "exercise" thing. I see lots of Moms that do that with their kids, especially in the morning before the stores open. So their kids can just let loose and walk/run somewhere safe and in a covered mall...
Something that also helps a child's activity level is having a ROUTINE for him... daily. I child needs that and to know what is happening next. If left to their own selves, they get out of control and bored and dont' know what to do with themselves... so, just plan simple activities with him everyday. They need to be structured... ie: help you put away, teach him how to help you cook or stir something, how to play puzzles, 'reading' or singing, helping you around the house, have fun in a bath with bubbles, and ALWAYS have a nap time and quiet time at about the time you know he gets tired. By mid-morning or lunch time, a toddler gets tired/sleepy.
A good book is: "What To Expect: The Toddler Years."
There is no need to give him things/medication/food quantities that you don't know is 'safe'... unless directed by the Doctor, or if the Doctor says he actually has a "problem" with his activity level. But, A toddler boy is just active none the less. They are like young wild colts running in a field.
All the best,
J.S. answers from Los Angeles on January 19, 2010
My son naturally consumes a high protein diet.. it's what he prefers. I don't force it on him and I do make sure that he gets his other nutrients as well. I'm a nutritional consultant and so I feel confident in what I feed him. I don't want to deprive him of snacks that other kids are eating because at some point he will be faced with them and if he sees other kids eating them I don't want him to feel left out or feel "different" even though he is being raised to be different. He does get some fruit snacks, but I prefer giving him the ones that are from tree top... made directly from fruit juice... they have a very different texture. As a couple of other mothers have mentioned... food colors have a very profound impact on our bodies. Skip them except for maybe a special occasion. Our society is full of pre-made, pre-packaged products .. a society of convenience... and a society of obesity.
When I give my son his meals and his snacks... I put out several items on a small plate (small portions of course) and I let him choose. After a few months of watching his preferences I can tell what he's going to naturally gravitate toward and I put more of those on the plate and less of the others.
At 2 years old.. he does need carbohydrates. NOTHING white though (except for cauliflower and maybe the occasional helping of popcorn). White products have had all of their nutrients stripped from them and only a small portion of them added back in to "enrich" them. Be careful of standard wheat bread as well..if you see enriched wheat flour.. put it back because that's simply white bread with molasses in it for coloring to make it appear like wheat. Even some of the ones labeled "whole wheat" aren't... so you must get in the habit of eating whole foods.
Offer fruit and veggie with every meal and snack, one complex carb such as a home-made cracker or granola bar, and some sort of protein source such as cheese, yogurt, or hummus.
If you have any further questions or would like to set up a consultation feel free to contact me. :)
K.H. answers from Honolulu on January 20, 2010
I'm not sure about the high protein, but it makes sense. I have had luck with my 4 yr old with building an indoor tent out of a large sheet helping him to mellow out a bit. Also calming essential oils are very effective. YOu may even want to have a "movement space"in the house with an old mattress, an exercise ball etc. for him to release energy. Also at night a joint compression massage in combo w/ essential oils can do wonders. Hang in there!
C.M. answers from Los Angeles on January 19, 2010
I read A LOT about kids and nutrition and I've never heard that. I would offer your 2 year old a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, veggies, protein and carbs and I'm sure he'll still be the same beautiful, active 2 year old he would be on a high protein diet.-www.weelicious.com
J.N. answers from Los Angeles on January 19, 2010
Balance is key! There are nutrition guidelines that your pediatrician gives you at each well-baby visit, and yours has either already come or will be coming very soon since he's just recently turned 2. Follow them. If he's getting eating too many carby snacks like crackers, goldfish, pretzels, fruit without protein and veggies to balance it, of course he's going to bounce off walls. As other moms have said though, a 2 year old boy is naturally very active. Just last night, my two year old and I spent nearly 30 minutes doing nothing more than running from one end of the hall to the other. First I chased him, then he chased me. When I got tired, I sat at one end, and basically played fetch with him, where I threw the ball across the room and he had to run and bring it back. By 45 minutes, he was tired and sat down with me and we read a book.
Good luck, and remember that kids need balance in their diets. Don't go HIGH protein, just make sure there's enough to balance out the energy-filled carbs.
M.S. answers from Los Angeles on January 20, 2010
A well balanced diet will help a child who is bouncing off the walls. Lean protein, healthy carbs (veggies/fruits) and healthy fats (nuts, avocado's,olive oil).
Lay off all prepackaged, processed foods. If you can't pronounce an ingredient then don't eat it.
Also, if you can, try to get out everyday, if it's wet/raining, throw on the rainboots, jacket, umbrella and go on a hike. 15/30 min a day will do wonders for a little boy! (just a walk to the mailbox, down the street, etc.. you don't have to drive anywhere).
M.N. answers from Los Angeles on January 19, 2010
A cod liver oil will help in many ways. Get a good brand. Weston A Price Foundation has many ideas with food. Be careful don't let the schools get you to put him on medication when he gets to that point. Boys should be active and they need an outlet to run. Take him to a park. I thought my son was well behaved but he was very sick. When he started feeling better I cherished the fact that he couldn't sit in the cart at the grocery store and he ran around the store! Careful of sugar(none) and processed foods like pastas and any premade stuff. Start looking at labels
A.Y. answers from Los Angeles on January 19, 2010
It would be far healthier to simply find him something to do, like run around something ten times! High protein will indeed slow him down, because you are taking away his carbs, which help him produce energy. However, humans aren't meant to live on a mostly protein diet. Your boy will slow down, but also get sluggish, not feel really good, and also get constipated from all of the protein. An adult person shouldn't have more than a fistful of protein at each sitting, so I imagine it is much less for a small child. You could give him whole grain carbs, like whole wheat crackers, and that would give him a more balanced energy, and try to keep the sweets and white carb treats to a min.