Did you know studies suggest that dietary changes may improve the symptoms of hyperactivity, inattention, and impulsivity in ADHD kids? Find out how to make your family´s diet ADHD-Friendly with these meal suggestions from ADDitude Magazine.
The Best Breakfast–A breakfast rich in protein jump-starts better learning and behavior, say experts. Why? Protein is used by the brain to make neurotransmitters—chemicals that help brain cells talk with each other. For your morning menu, try scrambled eggs with whole-grain toast; or natural peanut butter on whole-grain bread. Make sure to skip sugary cereals, which can cause spikes in blood sugar and increase hyperactivity in ADHD kids.
Smart Snacks–Since ADHD medications tend to blunt the appetite, it’s important to make every calorie count. You’ll also want to load up on protein (to sustain alertness) and complex carbohydrates (to avoid blood sugar spikes and crashes). Quick, calorie-filled snacks combos for ADHD kids include: creamy or cheesy soups with croutons; string cheese, crackers, and an apple; a banana and peanut butter.
Balanced Lunch and Dinner–When preparing an ADHD-friendly meal, half of the plate should be filled with fruits and veggies, one-fourth with protein, and one-fourth with complex carbs. This combination of food may control swings in behavior caused by hunger, surges in blood sugar, or a shortfall of a particular nutrient. In addition, whole grains help prevent blood sugar levels from spiking and then plummeting, which can increase inattention.
Healthy Desserts–If your child pushes away the main course or has appetite loss due to ADHD medication, use dessert to get some extra calories and nutrition into her diet. Studies show that high-sugar diets may increase inattention in ADHD kids, so opt for less sugary treats. Here are healthy dessert options: homemade applesauce; yogurt parfait — alternate layers of yogurt and fruit; or chocolate pudding made with skim milk.
Foods to stay away from–Several studies suggest that artificial additives and sugar may increase hyperactivity in ADHD children. Fresh, unprocessed foods are best for ADHDers, as they contain few additives. To be safe, check labels and cut back on foods containing artificial colors, flavors, dyes, preservatives, and excess sugar.
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