Foods to Avoid for ADHD Kids

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When it comes to ADHD, one of the major ways in which you can help control symptoms is with diet. Lean protein, many vegetables and complex carbohydrates are all part of a diet that can begin to help control symptoms. The more ingredients you can recognize, the better chance there is that it will be a wellness-promoting instead of an illness-promoting diet. In addition, there are some things that can help even more if you avoid them. Here is a look at some of the foods to keep off your child's plate:

Long before ADHD was defined and identified, the kids displaying symptoms were called hyper because they ate too much sugar. Though the name of the disease has changed from just hyperactivity, the link to sugar stays. Sugar isn't just sugar, though. Juice, too much fruit and other sweeteners like corn and maple syrup can all be counted on the sugar list. Though some advocate cutting it out completely, it's also okay to eat it in limited amounts, and to always have protein at the same time, which can dull some of the effects.

Simple Carbs
White rice, corn, white bread and potatoes all fall on the list of things that the body turns into sugar as soon as they enter the bloodstream. Because of this, they have a very similar effect on the body's metabolism as sugar. For ADHD sufferers, this means the same huge energy spikes and mania, and the same huge crash. The same eating suggestion follows. If you don't want to cut it out, then limit it and add a protein whenever you eat it.

Caffeine and Energy Drinks
A child with ADHD is basically creating their own hormonal version of energy drinks in their body all the time. There is no need to amp this up further with an artificial energy booster. It's like trying to put out a fire with lighter fluid. don't do it.

Common Allergens
For some kids, ADHD has a lot to do with their body's own reaction to a food intolerance. Intolerances are like low-level versions of allergies. They may not send you to the hospital, but they can still wreak havoc on your body's functions. If you suspect something outside caffeine, sugar and carbs are causing a problem for your child, then you may want to start by looking at the main allergens, which include wheat, corn, soy, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, and dairy. If you eliminate them all from your diet and add them back one by one while keeping a food journal, you will get a better idea if any of these things are a problem. Sometimes your child might have an allergy to something less commonly an allergen but common in the diet, like nightshade vegetables or other legumes. A naturopath can help you to do a more comprehensive elimination diet if you want to try.

Cite this page: N., Sam M.S., "Foods to Avoid for ADHD Kids," in, January 9, 2016, (accessed October 4, 2022).