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Healthy Eating Tips for Children with ADHD

Children diagnosed with ADHD are encouraged to partake in a healthier diet to manage their symptoms. While a healthy diet does not always guarantee a symptom-free child or a life without therapy and medication, it can help tremendously. If your child struggles with ADHD symptoms or other concentration issues, try these tips to change up his diet.

Simple Carbs Are a No-No

Simple carbs like bread, rice, and white potatoes all contain high glycemic levels. Even some healthy fruits contain higher glycemic levels. These types of foods cause a rapid spike of insulin in the body. When the body cannot properly regulate blood sugar, behavior issues are more likely to happen, along with poor concentration and focus. Feed your child foods with their blood sugar in mind. This means stay away from the simple carbs, processed foods, and sugar.

Go Mercury Free

Certain fish, like tuna, are high in mercury. Mercury has been found to make ADHD symptoms worse because mercury is hard to digest. Since it is hard to digest, the mercury accumulates over time and leads to hyperactivity and other symptoms of ADHD. However, you shouldn’t say no to all fish in your child’s diet. Fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon, can actually help relieve symptoms of ADHD, making them more manageable for your family.

Allergens Should Be Avoided

Many children have sensitivities to certain foods. These sensitivities can manifest in many different ways in different children. For children with ADHD, consuming allergens can cause hyperactivity, skin issues, and bad moods. The best way to determine if your child is sensitive to a certain food is to eliminate the top eight allergens from their diet for a month. Then slowly introduce each one back in, one at a time. This will help you see which ones cause issues with your child. The top eight allergens are gluten, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, eggs, fish, and shellfish.

Avoid Artificial Colors

A study in 2007 has found that consumption of artificial coloring can increase hyperactivity in children. This study showed the artificial colors increased the hyperactivity in all children, so you can imagine how much worse it would be for children who already struggle with ADHD symptoms. To cut out artificial colors in your child’s diet, read the labels. Better yet, cut out all packaged foods to eliminate the risk.

All children could benefit from a healthier diet to help their moods and concentration. These tips will help children with ADHD, as well as many other children too.

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Donnie Ray Jones

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