I’ve been saying it forever. Finally science is catching up.
Diet can affect ADHD symptoms.
Now I’m not talking sugar and red food dye, although it wouldn’t hurt to limit the former and eliminate the latter.
I’m talking about real food. The kind with a really short ingredient list. Did you ever see an ingredient list on a package of carrots or a carton of eggs? There’s a reason for that.
Everyone benefits from good nutrition, but if you have ADHD, your body and your brain really need a healthy lifestyle in order to function at their best.
Now I know that kids are picky. I remember throwing most of my lunch away at school. The bread was too dry, I was tired of PB&J, whatever. I didn’t like to drink milk, so I would buy an ice cream bar instead. Keep in mind that my breakfast was probably a bowl of cereal and you start to wonder how I got through school at all.
So, the first rule of feeding your ADD Student is to start with a healthful breakfast that they will eat. Make sure to include protein. There are lots of alternatives out there to eggs, if that’s something you’re trying to limit or avoid.
Actually, protein needs to be present throughout the day at each meal. 10-15% of your calories should come from protein. Here is a really good article that explains it.
Try to also include fruits and vegetables, the more colorful, the better. An orange sweet potato, for instance, is healthier than a white potato. And french fries don’t count at all.
Include lots of water in your ADD Student’s diet. If they can have a water bottle at school, even better. Some sports drinks, 100% juice and flavored waters are also good choices.
You might also want to consider seeing how your child does with dairy products, especially milk, cottage cheese and yogurt. It seems to me that a lot of kids with ADHD also have allergies, and while they may not be allergic to dairy products, their brains seem to be a little foggy after consuming them.
You would have to do your own observations with this, and ask your child if they are old enough. Wheat is another one that may cause the same reactions.
In general, make sure your ADD Student has a diet that is not only healthy but delicious. There’s no point in putting the good stuff in their lunch if they’re just going to throw it out.