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The adhd diet - What is it and does it work for the child diagnosed with ADHD?

Updated on September 20, 2011

Many swear by the adhd diet and insist that it has greatly benefited their child who was diagnosed with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). There are many people, experts included, who are of the opinion that any child diagnosed with ADHD should be placed on this diet before any further steps are taken in treating this very common childhood disorder. In fact, they will go so far as to insist that this diet happens to be one of the best and most effective ways in treating the symptoms associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children.

Proponents of the diet insist that the child with ADHD who is on the diet will experience a better level of concentration and less hyperactivity issues. In fact those that go on the diet often also experience a total elimination of the behavioral and attention issues associated with the disorder without ever having to be placed on any of the refreshment drugs that are routinely prescribed.

More often than not the ADHD child is rather sensitive with regards to the foods that they eat. These are hyperactive children and there are many foods and beverages that can be held accountable for increasing the tendency of the child to be hyperactive. Also, parents have discovered that certain food allergies are also very influential in causing hyperactive behavior and it is for this reason that the ADHD diet has proven to be so beneficial and effective. It comes down to paying attention to what your child consumes on a daily basis.

Despite what some may say there is a clear and distinct link between ADHD and the diet that your child is on. For example you might notice that your child becomes far more active when they have had a soda or eaten a chocolate. If you have noticed this then you are definitely on the right path. Because certain foods and drinks result in a more hyperactive child the symptoms of ADHD become more difficult to combat. Unfortunately there are many parents out there who are not even aware that their ADHD child should be on a different diet and that it is a vital part of treating and managing the disorder.

Sadly, while many parents with an ADHD child may have heard of the diet and that it is known to be beneficial for managing the symptoms associated with the disorder, they simply have no idea of how to plan the menu for their child. Combined with a lack of skills in handling the ADHD behavior this leads to some poor choices and some major problems as well. There are certain foods that the ADHD child needs to avoid and those that they need to consume and when this adhd diet is adhered to it can often nullify the need for ADHD medication. Of course there are many recipes doing the rounds that are best avoided so make sure that you take note of the following criteria when it comes to preparing a menu for your ADHD child:

Foods to Avoid:

  1. Processed foods with additives, preservatives, artificial colorants and flavors
  2. Dairy products including cheese, cream, yogurt, and milk.
  3. Sodas of any kind.
  4. Fruit juices (these contain too much sugar)
  5. Junk foods which include sweets, chocolates, desserts, ice creams, etc.
  6. Processed meats
  7. Fried foods like potato chips, etc.
  8. No in-between meals snacks.

What not to Avoid:

  1. Organic foods
  2. Plenty of clean, fresh water
  3. Raw fruits and veggies
  4. Homemade meals (vary these so that nobody gets bored with the menu).
  5. Multivitamins and protein supplements
  6. Fish and fish oil supplements for the Omega-3 fatty acids.
  7. Homeopathic and herbal supplements

Of course it is vital to remember that for the child it is not likely to be easy to avoid those foods that exacerbate the ADHD and to eat the healthier alternatives. Be sure to praise and reward your child when they are willing to change their diet.


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