Sunday, September 29, 2013

The ADHD Kid Diet


I've decided to medicate my kid (for now at least) to manage his ADHD symptoms. I think he does need it, although the idea of side effects can be scary.

However I would like to do as much as I can for him through simple diet management. The medical community isn't jumping on the diet bandwagon just yet but other moms living with their ADHD-affected kids are finding some things are successful. And I trust them. For example....

Elimination Diets:
I have removed gluten and artificial dyes from Christopher's diet. Since doing so I have noticed a dramatic improvement in his demeanor. Where he used to be violent, he is now much calmer. He used to spin around in circles and slam into people. He couldn't stop himself from hitting, biting and pushing other kids. No one wanted to be around him. And I was at my wit's end.

Once I removed gluten and artificial dye from Christopher's diet, the aggression stopped immediately. It was a god send! However, he can still be a little impulsive. And he will still get over-stimulated and sometimes slam into people. Clearly we're not completely done.

According to WebMD, there are other dietary changes we need to make.
  • Eat a high-protein diet, including beans, cheese, eggs, meat, and nuts. Add protein foods in the morning and for after-school snacks, to improve concentration and possibly increase the time ADHD medications work.
  • Eat fewer simple carbohydrates, such as candy, corn syrup, honey, sugar, white rice, and potatoes without the skins.
  • Eat more complex carbohydrates, such as vegetables and some fruits (including oranges, tangerines, pears, grapefruit, apples, and kiwi). Eating complex carbs at night may aid sleep.
  • Eat more omega-3 fatty acids, such as those found in tuna, salmon, other cold-water white fish, walnuts, Brazil nuts, and olive and canola oil. Omega-3 fatty acids are also available in supplement form.

So in essence, say no to:
  • Gluten 
  • Artificial dye
  • Candy
  • Corn syrup
  • Sugar
  • White rice
  • Potatoes

Say yes to more: 
  • Beans 
  • Meat
  • Nuts
  • Oranges
  • Tangerines
  • Pears
  • Grapefruit
  • Apples
  • Kiwi
  • Tuna
  • Salmon
  • Walnuts
  • Brazil nuts
  • Olive oil
  • Omega-3 supplements
Sounds like I've got a grocery list to make...

2 comments:

  1. You are off to a great start avoiding artificial dyes. These dyes are usually in the products kids like that also contain gluten so it may not be the gluten as much as it is the dyes that are the problem. Consider also avoiding artificial flavorings (vanillin is one of thousands), the preservatives BHA, BHT and TBHQ, as well as some fruits and vegetables (salicylates.) These eliminations are called the Feingold Program and what brought amazing results in our son. I joined a wonderful support group where I learned what products to buy - including candy! It's called the Feingold Association, named for Dr. Feingold who wrote 'Why Your Child is Hyperactive.' The website is full of info and how to join. www.feingold.org

    You wrote "the aggression stopped immediately. It was a god send! However, he can still be a little impulsive. And he will still get over-stimulated and sometimes slam into people. Clearly we're not completely done." What I did might get you the rest of the way!

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    1. Hi Marcia, I definitely need to look into the Feingold Diet because I've heard really good things about it. Right now we're mostly Paleo and organic, which works mostly well. I say "mostly" because my kiddo can be very picky. But to have an organization put together the menu so I don't have to would be incredibly helpful. Thanks for the tip!

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