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Foods to Seek and Avoid for Kids with ADHD / Autism

We are constantly bombarded with the latest diet information and grocery lists to lose weight and live a healthier life.

What if we were bombarded with a list of food proven to have a positive effect on treating ADHD?  What about one reporting which foods made it worse?  Search no longer, this list is below.

Children with ADHD and Autism often feel and behave better when they are on elimination diets rid of junk foods. Mostly foods labeled as highly inflammatory.  The closer to the source we eat, the better we feel and the better we function.

Foods to Avoid:

  1. Dairy Products (especially ice cream, yogurts, and cheeses). These foods tend to be loaded with sugar, even though they are marketed as healthy and wholesome. Dairy is known to inflame and upset stomachs whiles being nutritionally sparse.
  2. Sugar: Added sugar of any kind can be dangerous, it does nothing for our systems functionally. Also, causes us to have a spike in energy only to crash later. Sugar is labelled the most addictive substance in the US. Similar to giving your children a drug and expecting them not to get hooked or exhibit the symptoms of a junkie.
  3. Caffeine: Children with ADHD, the addition of caffeine can be overwhelming.  It can add feelings of jitteriness and an inability to concentrate to an already struggling child. Foods like coffee, soda, tea, and chocolate tend to have caffeine in them and should be avoided.
  4. Frozen Meals: These tend to be packed with additives and preservatives to keep them fresh and frozen for longer periods of time. The HIGH levels of sodium introduced to our bodies can be dangerous. Unknowingly ingesting a chemical cocktail.
  5. Junk food:  Obviously, anything created in a factory with an ingredient list a mile long (and is difficult to pronounce) should be avoided. Filling our children and even ourselves with foods containing little to no nutritional value is a leading cause of health issues for people of all walks of life.

Foods to Fill Up On:

  1. Eat from the Rainbow: Eating a diet close to the source and colorful can improve health, concentration, and quality of life. Whole foods with little to no additives or chemicals can assure your child is getting the nutrients they need to be healthy and boost their immune systems. The likelihood of getting sick lessens as well.  Research tells us if our children feel nourished, they find concentrating, sleeping, and engaging in life much easier and more enjoyable.
  2. Omega-3 Fats: Fat is our friend, at least this kind is. Our body needs a certain amount of fat to function and protect our inner systems as well as keeping us warm. The solid weight of our brain is 60% fats. Think Salmon, leafy green veggies, avocados, and walnuts.
  3. Cinnamon: Not only is this spice something used to turn basic fruit into a tasty treat (think about sprinkling apples with cinnamon), it’s been shown to improve attention and regulate blood sugar in the body.
  4. Garlic and Oregano: Load up on the natural spices. Spices and herbs directly from the earth are excellent for brain health while adding different flavors to foods without the added chemicals and sugar/sodium.
  5. Water: drink up! Our brains are 80% water and our bodies are 75%. A leading cause of headaches, fatigue, loss of energy and health issues are associated with not getting enough water for the body to nourish and reset itself throughout the day.  The better our hydration, the better our blood flow. The better the blood flow the better our blood stream carries nutrients where they need to be.

Fun Ways to Include Better Foods:

  • Participate in a community garden
  • Make a garden in the backyard
  • Visit a farmer’s market as a family instead of going to the grocery store

These tips create positive memories and associations with members of the family. They also instill lifelong health lessens in children they can carry into their adult lives.

Other Related Blog Posts: Helping your Child Cope with Anxiety by Modeling Good Behaviors

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