Using medication to reduce symptoms of ADHD in your child is not always the only option. There have been many success stories from parents that found natural ways to help their children overcome the challenges caused by ADHD. One alternative option is to encourage healthy eating and change your child’s diet.
The question is – does eating healthily actually help children with ADHD?
There has been some success in improving ADHD through diet. Since ADHD is a developmental issue in the brain’s ability to perform certain functions, it makes sense to follow the advice of Richard Sogn, MD, an ADHD expert, that says “that whatever is good for the brain is likely to be good for ADHD.”
Implementing a balanced healthy diet based on food that is good for the brain may provide a positive result for your child and is worth testing.
Here are some helpful tips when implementing a change in diet
1. Take an Accounting
Reviewing and tracking the foods that your child is eating in an average week can be very eye opening. Many parents don’t realize the quantity and quality of food consumed until it is tracked.
2. Identify the Surplus’ and Deficiencies
After the accounting you can compare this to food and nutritional charts based on a nutritionist guidelines of your child’s gender, age, and size to see if they are getting too much of certain items and not enough of others. This will help provide you with the information you need to decide on which diet changes to make. The two big food ingredients to look out for are the amount of sugar and food colouring in the diet as these have the strongest correlation to hyper activity in children.
3. Create a Food Plan
Write a food plan for each meal in the week to ensure a balanced diet. You will probably need to go shopping to get the food types you’re missing, but it is also a good idea to remove from your house the foods that you no longer want to have. If you have a hard time thinking of healthy balanced meals, a quick internet search or Pinterest search will provide some great ideas.
4. Monitor the Change in Your Child
It may take a couple of weeks to see any difference in your child’s behaviour, and it’s important to keep an eye on it to determine if it’s working. Rating your child’s behaviour in different categories before the diet change, and then on a weekly basis can help you decide if it really is working.
It’s important to remember that any change you make in your child’s life can be difficult to implement. Ideally you should try to find creative ways to make it fun for your child to eat these new foods. You should also implement the diet change for the whole family. It can be very difficult to have one child eat healthy foods while the rest of the family isn’t.
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