Any ideas on the best way to maintain good eating habits for a child with ADHD?
My 9-year old son has Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Although he is very hyper at times, bouncing off of walls, he is very smart. He is on medication (6 mg of Invega) once a day. As my son is getting older, he is trying different foods. He does have a sweet tooth though. Any ideas on the best way to maintain good eating habits for a child with ADHD?
Hi Scott,<br />
I don't have an ADHD child but I do sympathize with you. It must be challenging, while at the same time so rewarding to have your child in your life. From what I've read, they do say that keeping your child's blood sugar levels even and avoiding caffiene in sodas and the like is important. I even heard that keeping tabs on their carbohydrates is important as well. I've also read that citrus and citric acid can actually interfere with ADHD medications. I'm not an expert, though, but just a member here trying to be helpful. Nice to meet you!<br />
Hi Molly,<br />
Thanks for your ideas. We do try to avoid caffeine in sodas and excess sugar. Another thing to avoid is believe it or not, food colorings and other food additives, they seem to have a negative effect. However it is difficult to get a 9 year old to follow any program. If you are interested in more information on this topic please check out my bog at http://health-vitamin.info<br />
Recently, I read about a very large English study about the effect of nutrition on child behavior and academic performance. The results were astounding! According to the study, children who ate the most processed foods had twice as much bad behaviors as those who did not eat processed foods. Foods that were cited in the study as those promoting good behaviors and better test scores at school were vegetables and nuts.
As a person who has ADHD I can honestly tell you to just keep feeding him the same things you usually do, as long as they're a healthy choice.
Just because someone has ADHD, doesn't mean their diet has to change. It isn't a food issue, it's a chemical imbalance in their brain. Just make sure your son isn't eating absolute junk.
The sweet tooth? Yeah, I have that too. Just give him a small portion of a sweet dessert, after dinner, to satisfy that. It can be a healthy dessert, but I'd only use it as a reward for a good day or an achievement accomplished.
My diet didn't change and I love sweets. I just eat them in moderation, or at least attempt to. Make sure you monitor his eating habits all together though, and keep an eye on the snack stash... I know for a fact that if I get that craving and can't ignore it, or divert it without another, more healthy food, I'm going to make a beeline to the pantry and snatch up two or three Little Debbies or fruit gummies, or a couple handfuls of Oreos. But that's just me.
In short, just introduce healthy snacks and meal options, if it isn't already being done. Monitor his physical activity. Healthy desserts, such as fruits, are a good choice, but splurging every once and again and dishing out ice cream, cookies, cake, or popsicles isn't a bad thing either. MONITOR HIS SNACKING.
But this is just my take, as a person with ADHD. I was diagnosed with it 10 years ago, mid-to-late May of 2003. So having dealt with this disorder for ten years now, I can say that while eating healthy is a big part of being healthy for everyone, you don't need to change his diet much, if it's already very healthy.
Hope you found this helpful, despite it being so back and forth and all over the place. (A natural side effect of an attention disorder.)