What if I told you that modern life made it INCREDIBLY easy to destroy the hypothalamus of your child? It's true and this can have devastating long term consequences for your little one as I document below. Yes, it's easy to slowly poison one of the major regions of your child's brain and below I will show you how many parents are unwittingly doing it.
NOTE: I have discussed this in some depth in my link on Testosterone and Excitotoxins as well.
First of all, let me explain the chemicals, collectively called excitotoxins, that we're talking about here: glutamates and aspartates. These two chemical families are actual neurotransmitters used extensively by the brain. The food industry has for decades poured it into our processed foods as flavor enhancers. It makes food taste better, so they throw it into anything and everything. Almost anyone, in the U.S. at least, has consumed signficant amounts of autolyzed vegetable proteins, MSG, monosodium glutamate, aspartame in chewing gum and diet drinks and on and on the list goes. Soups, sauces, powders and seasonings are very common sources as well.
What is particularly dangerous is that these excitotoxins will be in the majority of pre-prepared products that you buy for your kids. Furthermore, it is rife in fast food. Those chicken nuggetty things that your kids love? They probably have glutamates and aspartates in there.
The food and restaurant industry has avoided the issue by making the following claim: our brains are protected from the excitotoxins in food by the blood-brain barrier. There is a certain amount of truth to this, but here is what they do not tell you: 1) the blood-brain barrier is not fully formed in infants right out of the womb and 2) the hypothalamus is completely and utterly exposed to excitotoxins regardless of age. If you or your child consume excitotoxins, some of it is going to make its way into the hypothalamus.
So who cares? They hypothalamus has abundant glutamate receptors and even low dose levels of excitotoxins will destroy neurons and neuronal connections. If this goes on for a period of time, the hypothalamus will become damaged sufficiently to where the chemicals secreted by the hypothalamus will be affected. This has been verified in many animal studies. Here are just a few examples:
1. A study on infant rats showed that administration of MSG lead to five shrunken glands, including the testes.  Other studies have shown that growth hormone, thyroid hormones and many other endocrine functions can be assaulted by excitotoxins. NOTE: Some of the guys reading this information have wondered where their testosterone went. It is entirely possible it was assaulted by excitotoxins.
2. One study on mice showed that aspartate, the excitotoxin in diet drinks, gum and aspartame, did the same kind of neuronal damage to the hypothalamus that previous studies on glutamate exhibited.  This study mentioned that the research showed that excitotoxins lead to "subsequent obesity, skeletal stunting and reduced mass of pituitaries, ovaries and testes when administered subcutaneously to infant rodents". Yes, the research is clear that excitotoxins can literally damage (and reduce in size) the future development of your child's testes and ovaries.
3. One study on rats showed that female rats given low dose excitotoxins did severe damage to the hypothalamus with resulting nasty effects on multiple hypothalamic functions. 
4. Many studies have shown that excitotoxins given to young rodents leads to obesity. And, of course, obesity in humans leads to a host of health issues.
Neurosurgeon Russell Blaylock, in his must-read book Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills, documents that just one bowl of soup or one diet drink will push blood glutamate/aspartate levels past the threshhold that can damage the hypothalamus. It doesn't take much of these compounds to do damage and your children are particularly susceptible.
Scientists have been wondering why testosterone levels have been falling for the past several decades. Undoubtedly, excitotoxins have played a signficant role!
Of course, I'm hoping that by writing this, some children out there will get the chance that we never had - to live in a non-toxic environment unsaturated with neurotoxins.
1) Neuroendocrinology, 1978, 26(4):220-8, "Late endocrine effects of administering monosodium glutamate to neonatal rats"
2) JOURNAL OF NEURAL TRANSMISSION, 1974, 35(3):207-215, "Glutamate-type hypothalamic-pituitary syndrome in mice treated with aspartate or cysteate in infancy"
3) Neuroendocrinology, 1986, 42(2):158-66, "Developmental and sex-specific effects of low dose neonatal monosodium glutamate administration on mediobasal hypothalamic chemistry"