9 Tips to Consider When Feeding Kids With ADD or ADHD

While there’s no nutritional magic bullet for people with ADHD and ADD, simple changes in diet can have a dramatic effect. Eliminating culprits like artificial food coloring and preservatives, wheat, milk products, and chocolate can vastly relieve symptoms. And, some people are helped by nutritional supplements targeting certain minerals and vitamins.

For parents wanting to help their children with attention, behavior, and mood challenges, our experts recommend starting with these integrative, nutrition-based approaches.

1. Removartificial colorings from your child’s diet.

These dyes — especially Red #40, Blue #2, Yellow #5, and Yellow #6 — trigger hyperactivity in many kids, notes Columbia University Medical Center psychiatrist David Schab, MD, MPH. In addition, they serve to “get children interested in foods that are globally unhealthy — Pop-Tarts, sodas, processed cereals, energy bars.”

2. Eliminate food additives, especially the preservative sodium benzoate, from your kid’s diet.

It is most commonly found in soda and other carbonated beverages, fruit juices, jams, salad dressings, condiments, and pickles. Be sure to read ingredients labels and beware of fast-food menu items, which can contain a significant dose.

3. Remove medicines and foods containing salicylates.

These are found in hundreds of medicines, including aspirin, as well as some fruits. In some people, salicylates can cause or exacerbate asthma, fatigue, and, notably, the symptoms of ADHD.

4. Supplement your kid’s meals with targeted micro-nutrients. 

Look for foods and supplements that have specific vitamins and nutrients, including vitamin D, the range of B vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, amino acids, calcium, iron, magnesium, and zinc. Be sure to consult with a skilled naturopath or integrative physician so that you do not oversupplement.

5. Consider your child’s gastrointestinal health.

Working with your doctor, you may want to add probiotics to his or her supplements, along with the supplement tricycline (which contains berberine, artemisinin, citrus extract, and walnut hulls). This treatment is designed to improve problems related to leaky gut, a condition in which damaged intestinal walls release undigested food particles into the bloodstream. Leaky gut is associated with a range of inflammatory and immune responses.

6. Try an elimination diet.

Remove casein (found in dairy products, such as milk and cheese) and gluten (found in wheat, barley, and rye) from your child’s meals and see if it makes a difference. Reintroduce these substances after they have cleared the system (three weeks for casein, three months for gluten) only if no positive changes have occurred with elimination.

7. If your child is still acting hyperactive, try a restrictive diet. 

Try limiting meals to water, organic rice, turkey, lettuce, carrots, pears, and other whole foods that rarely cause food allergies. See if your child’s symptoms subside; if so, slowly reintroduce foods to his or her meals to see which items cause symptoms to reemerge.

8. Consider a low-glycemic eating plan.

Try an eating plan that is high in protein and fiber, and low in carbs, such as refined carbohydrates and sugar.

9. Rebuild your child’s diet.

Focus on whole, organic, nutrient-dense foods.

 

Written by Pamela Weintraub

Post originally appeared on Experience Life

57 comments

Katharina F
Katharina F25 days ago

tyfs

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Stephanie s
Stephanie s26 days ago

Thank you

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Janet B
Janet B26 days ago

Thanks

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Paulo R
Paulo R26 days ago

ty

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Marigold A
Past Member 27 days ago

Thank you for posting.

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Maureen G
Maureen G27 days ago

Didn't realize what artificial colouring could do until my then 10 year old ate several artificially coloured yellow sweets that had been given to him and then spent nearly 30 hours of activity which included a couple of hours running over the shearing shed roof. After that mind boggling and very stressful incident he, himself, refuses to eat any artificially yellow coloured food as he said it makes him feel so awful afterwards. If I hadn't seen the change in him myself I would not have believed it possible.

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Janis K
Janis K27 days ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Joemar K
Joemar Karvelis27 days ago

Thanks

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Marija M
Marija M28 days ago

tks

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Paulo R
Paulo R28 days ago

ty

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