Hi! I stumbled upon this "paleo" eating quite by accident. I have a gluten/casein allergy that has wreaked havoc on my health, and has induced autistic symptoms in one of my children. Since removing it from our diet, my eczema has abated, and my child's ability to cross-pattern appeared for the first time, along with her toe-walking (symptom of neurological damage) being a thing of the past … except when we get wheat contamination, and then she walks around like a ballerina again. (along with the diarrhea, aggression, and general malaise)
We experiemented with the whole GFCF (gluten-free/casein-free) world of other grains, but literally spent a fortune. In the hopes of reeling in the finances, I dropped all the "fun" foods, and stuck to non-allergenic foods that were readily available to us: grass-fed, organic beef, pork, chicken, vegetables, nuts, organic oils (EVOO, coconut and palm mostly), coconut milk, and some fruits (thank god for Whole Foods). Because of our leaky guts I shied away from legumes (mold). Well, there you have it: the paleo diet.
As we progressed along this line, I was astonished at my kids' recovery: they were happier, less tantrum-y, their skin (which had always been dry) became dewy soft, their chapped lips were a thing of the past too.
This is purely anecdotal, but I have noticed a tremendous difference in the behavior of children in rough correlation to the things I see them eating. Kids eating lots of cereal, mac & cheese, cookies, boxed juices, sodas, candy and so forth often behave as awful brats.
On the other hand, my wife has some relatives with two young children that are perhaps the best behaved I have ever witnessed in my life. The mother is a fish-eating vegetarian, I never observe much junk in their house, and though not paleo, it's always real food served up around there.
Coincidence? Well, one of the things that Weston Price often remarked about during his world travels to study people living on traditional, non-industrial diets was the good behavior of the children, and that he never saw any sort of harsh discipline or corporal punishment involved.
Then, there's this from Stephan some months ago. Go see how closely the increased use of industrial vegetable oils tracks with homicide
One of the major dietary changes that has accompanied the downward slide of American health is the replacement of animal fats with industrially processed vegetable oils. Soybean oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil and other industrial creations have replaced milk and meat fat in our diet, while total fat consumption has remained relatively constant. The result is that we're eating a lot more polyunsaturated fat than we were just 30 years ago, most of it linoleic acid (omega-6). Corn oil may taste so bad it inspires you to violence, but its insidiousness goes beyond the flavor.
Stephan also has a follow up post well worth a read (The Omega Ratio), as in addition to the epidemiological correlations, he lists a number of intervention studies suggesting that improving the omega 3/6 ratio ameliorates some behavioral problems.
– EPA supplementation (a long-chain n-3 fatty acid) reduced aggression and depression in a group of women with borderline personality disorder.
– DHA supplementation improved aggression in young Thai students.
– n-3 supplementation improved symptoms of bipolar disorder.
– EPA supplementation improved symptoms of unipolar depression.
– n-3 supplementation improved perinatal depression.
– n-3 supplementation improved symptoms of major depression.
– DHA and EPA supplementation reduced suicidal behaviors and improved markers of well-being in patients with recurrent self-harm.
– n-3 supplementation decreased anger and anxiety in substance abusers.
So, are your kids brats, and you think that's just the way it is? How about stop with the poison (flour, sugar, processed vegetable oils and all the crap made from some combination of them)? feed 'em all the meat, natural fat, vegetables, fruits and nuts they want, only that, and just see what happens.