Parenting Australia

Mood Swings

6 Votes

tantrumpicMood Swings are common in young children and often caused by something which the child cannot control.  While the behaviour can be embarrassing please know it is not your fault.  When you are out and about and you feel embarrassed turn to those nearby and say “He is learning to use gentle touches” or “He is learning to use his words”.
The first thing that comes to mind with mood swings is food allergies.  Your descriptions of a child who is fine one day and not the next is not normal and it is important to look for the underlying cause. His behaviour indicates it could be a food allergy.  Today practitioners are finding more and more children have food allergies or food intolerances.  Some children will eventually grow out of food allergies. Meantime some actions to take:-

I would immediately remove all foods that are high in sugar such as coco pops, cordials, sweet biscuits, ice cream, sweets and highly processed foods.  Replace with rolled oats, unsweetened muesli and cornflakes. Avoid cordials & juice and give milk or water. Remove foods with colourings particularly red and yellow. Notice if there are any changes in his moods.
Arrange for allergy testing through blood test, scratch tests or kinesiology. (Kinesiology is the least invasive way to test young children).  Seek advice from your preferred health practitioner.
Some children are allergic to “healthy foods”, such as wheat, dairy, and even apples!  So best to get it checked out by your preferred health Practitioner. (GP, homeopath, kinesiologist, or naturopath).
Preservatives can set some kids off: 223, 224, 228 (and many others).
Purchase a book from your local news agency or book store  “The Code Breaker”.
MSG is hidden in many foods and can cause mood swings/irritability –It can be listed as 621, ‘flavour,’ 622, 623,624. It is found in soups, biscuits, and even some brands of rice crackers
Provide frequent nutritious snacks for children that age – up to  6 ‘meals’ a day as some children “lose” it if stretched for too long without food
Drink water – regularly – get the child to sip at least every hour.
Get a chiropractic check up – if it has started ‘out of the blue’  it may be associated with a fall, a  nightmare, following illness or a  fever.
Provide a low GI diet for you’re your child.  This will sustain his energy so he can better deal with frustration and change. This means providing a protein and a carbohydrate with every meal or snack.
Some ideas would be:-
  • Baked beans on toast
  • Fruit with nuts and yogurt
  • Fruit with cheese
  • Ham & tomato
  • Chicken & avocado
  • Hummus and carrots
  • Pasta with mince sauce
  • Rice with vegetables
  • Scrambled eggs with tomatoes/spinach/beans
  • Plain biscuits with peanut butter
  • Smoothie with banana, milk, yoghurt, honey (a little), frozen berries, and a couple of teaspoons of almond meal – to add protein = longer lasting energy.
Can easily make it dairy free with soy or rice milk
Some children do not manage change easily so it is important to guide them gently through change.  Give plenty of warning eg “In ten minutes it will be bath time”  “ In 5 minutes we will need to get into the car” etc.
Commencing day care can be a big change for a young child and you may need to work with the centre to instigate a gradual “settling in” process.  Ask them to consider letting your child attend just a few hours a day for a few weeks.  If he is really upset see if you can stay with him for the first few days.  Then leave him for only one hour and gradually build up the time.
Another suggestion is to leave him for short period of time with a friend for say just 1 hour.  This reassures anxious children you will return.
Give him a photo of yourself to mind in his pocket.
Please contact me at if you need help to source  to a child care centre that is willing to work with you in this way to settle your child happily into care. It is achievable!

Brain Gym is a series of gentle exercises that help children to focus, concentrate and to be calm.  It can help with mood swings. As a brain gym practiotner for many years I have used this in conjunction with dietary changes to help with mood swings. A brain gym practiotner can test to see if your child needs this modality

They are reflexes controlled by the brainstem and associated lower centre of our nervous system. These reflexes develop during pregnancy and are essential for a baby’s survival in the early stages of life.
As a baby’s brain and nervous system mature, these uncontrollable reflexes are no longer needed, and in normal situations the higher centres integrate and take over the primitive reflexes. While everyone has these reflexes they remain with us for the remainder of our life, , it is very important they become integrated or controlled by the higher centres in the brain early in our childhood.  If not remediation is required. A good osteopath can help with this work or a paediatric physiotherapist.
Please contact me to ascertain if this applies to your child. It is vital that practitioners really understand about reflexes. I can discuss indicators with you and recommend a practitioner.

  • Remove all sugar from the diet
  • Provide low GI food to sustain energy
  • Drink lots of water
  • Check indicators for worms
  • Have allergy tests with preferred health practiotner
  • Introduce change gently
  • Consult a brain gym practitioner
  • Consult an osteopath who understands sacro cranial work
  • Stay calm
Symptoms of worms are itchiness, restless sleep or irritability.


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