- Kids treated for ADHD are more susceptible to foods that can make them even more hyper.
- Here'a list of diet tips which can help parents in ways powerful drugs cannot.
- In fact, these dietary tips can help all parents ensure their children benefit from good nutrition.
Whether or not ADHD (Attention Deficit-Hyperactive Disorder) is a made-up condition doesn’t seem to matter to the millions of doctors prescribing powerful psychotropic drugs to a whole new generation of Ritalin-addicted third graders. But, what about when the kids get the munchies? Here are some dietary Do’s and Don’ts for children diagnosed with ADHD that may keep this modern scourge (which used to be called hyperactivity) under control and help kids shut up, sit down and pay attention. Now, where were we?
Do: Serve Fresh Fruits And Vegetables: Duh. Everybody, not just kids, can benefit by seeking out the freshest fruits and vegetables you can find. Helpful Tip: Deal locally. This is one item super food chains haven’t quite cornered the market on. Yet.
Don’t: Serve Frozen Fruits And Vegetables: Like all processed foods (even “fresh” frozen vegetables) artificial food coloring keeps the product looking good until the expiration date – and beyond. ADHD symptoms can be exacerbated by the high-fructose corn syrup added to those preservatives.
Do: Serve Peanut Butter And Jelly On Whole Wheat Bread: Peanut butter and jelly on whole wheat bread is a tasty source of brain-food protein. Slice up a banana topping for an extra dose of Potassium and Vitamin B.
Don’t: Serve Cake Mixes And Frostings: Alas, over-indulging in sweets is a no-no for kids diagnosed with ADHD. And, with cake mixes and frostings, artificial sweeteners are thought to kick up the adrenaline level another notch.
Do: Serve Fruit Smoothies: Kids diagnosed with ADHD benefit from the vitamins, minerals, and fiber that fruit provides. Make that fruit more appealing by dressing it up in a smoothie that will ensure all that goodness goes down a whole lot easier.
Don’t: Serve Soft Drinks And Candy: Ironically, two snacks identified with childhood in the past are suspected of actually causing ADHD. Sugar-laden candy and the artificial food coloring in soda are bad for kids – of all ages.
Do: Serve Whole Wheat Pretzels: Kids love crunchy snacks, but potato chips are usually too high in sodium. Try unsalted, whole wheat pretzels instead when it comes down to a healthier, more protein-rich crunch time.
Don’t: Serve Too Much Fish And Seafood: Most children don’t sit down to a regular meal of Cod or Whitefish, unless it’s on the Kid’s Meal menu. But even tuna fish contains increasingly higher levels of Mercury – a trigger for ADHD symptoms. So limit the tuna casserole to just a few times a month.
Do: Serve Hummus Spread On Pita Bread: Fiber and protein are important for the developing brain and Hummus spread over whole wheat pita bread is a good source of both. Throw a few veggie spears in for some fun dippers.
Don’t: Serve Fatty Meats: Meats are an excellent source of protein, but try to avoid preparing less expensive, fattier cuts as they may convert more sugars in the bloodstream.
Do: Serve Mini Veggie-Pizzas: Making a mini pizza out of an English muffin topped with healthy vegetables is another good way to give kids diagnosed with ADHD a little more fiber and protein in their diet without them knowing it’s actually good for them.
Don’t: Ignore Known Allergens: Duh. We like to kid here, but, seriously, be aware of foods known to cause allergies in some children and be careful to serve a small portion first if you’re not sure. Then closely monitor their reaction.
Bonus Do: Serve Nutritious Foods Disguised As Sweet Snacks: Jessica Seinfeld popularized this age-old trick by sneaking ground-up broccoli into a cupcake recipe when the kids weren’t paying attention. Hey, if they have ADHD, how hard can that be?
What do you think?
Do you have more Do’s and Don’ts for kids diagnosed with ADHD?
Please let us know with a comment below!