Friday, January 21, 2011

Protein for Tantrums

I keep food in my car's glove-box. This practice started when my daughters were very young. There were many times we'd be out on the road, at a garage sale, waiting in line at the bank, or some other errand and they'd get hungry. As a new mom I quickly learned if my daughters became more cantankerous than usual, they were probably starved.

To ease their hunger, I'd pick some food item from the glove-box for them to munch on. Not only did it keep their little mouths occupied - giving me brief peace - but it soon improved their behavior.

When kids are hungry, a brain chemical triggers aggressive, contrary behavior. Nutrition solves the problem. Today, I know that protein staves off hunger since it metabolizes slower and stays longer in the body.

Want fewer - or less intense - tantrums? Try a little protein. Trail mix, peanuts, soy beans, and low-cal protein bars are easy to store in your car and might give you a more peaceful ride. Now that's smart discipline!

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