ADHD or ADD Diet – Good Nutrition for Attention Deficit Kids
Eating right is important for any child or any adult for that matter. For children with an attention problem a proper diet is more important than ever. A well balanced meal gives a child the right type of nutrition and energy and will help you focus on real problems and not those caused by malnutrition. Diet is one of the first treatments you should consider.
A good way to approach an ADHD diet is to use a multi step logical process that accomplishes a few things. First, you want to make sure the child’s problems are not being made worse because of a food allergy. The only way to know this is to put them on a healthy controlled diet for a week or so and observe them. Then you would move them to phase two which is simply a healthy well balanced diet that excludes certain types of foods. In addition to this you are going to want to include foods in your child’s diet that improve brain function and help them concentrate better. Note – these are only suggestions. You should consult your doctor before making any drastic changes to your diet.
Before we go into phase one remember to DRINK MORE WATER. The brain is 80% water so a dehydrated person will not perform as well as someone who is hydrated.
To begin the first phase you will want to cut out almost all sugars and junk foods. Also, cut out anything that the child may be allergic to like milk, dairy and wheat gluten. Basically, anything processed or artificial. No chocolate, no fruit juice, no nutrisweet, no artificial colors, no fried foods, no soft drinks, etc. Just a healthy diet of high protein meat, vegetables, water, etc… By doing this you will hopefully be able to isolate any foods that are causing an allergic reaction or that may be adding to the ADHD problem. If the child’s situation improves after cutting these items then you can add them back one at a time in an effort to identify any problem foods. Here’s a great idea. Go to a book store and buy an old cook book that would have come from the pre 1950’s era or even older. This would have been before the modern fast and junk food epidemic. Cook like they did back then and you will be doing your entire family a favor and especially an ADHD child. The first phase would last about two weeks.
The second phase will be to implement a good healthy diet. This phase will last an indefinite period of time and consists of excluding and including certain foods.
First, you will want to make a list of foods to exclude or reduce. Foods that contain large amounts of processed sugar should be kept at a minimum. This would also include things like candy, sodas, chocolate, etc.. Also, many experts say to exclude artificial colors, especially red and yellow and food additives such as aspartame, MSG (monosodium glutamate), and nitrites. Fried foods should be reduced as well as any other food that is difficult to digest. Also, in this phase, if you determined that certain foods like milk or wheat gluten affect your child then eliminate those. If not then include them.
You will want to include high protein meats, vegetables, foods high in protein, Omega-3, nuts, fresh fruits and fresh fish. You don’t have to go organic but you do want to eat smart. Keep in mind that eating well is more work than eating poorly but worth it.
In addition to the above recommendations you may want to add a multi-vitamin to your childs diet. Theoretically, the body gets all the vitamins it needs from a balanced diet, however, a multi-vitamin will assure you that nothing is lacking.
Including flax oil is said to improve brain function. It contains the Omega 3 oils you need anyway so adding it to a diet is helpful either way.
As mentioned above, cook like they used to before the modern junk food era. Get an old cookbook and have some fun.