The new school year is starting. It’s time to get your child back to a regular schedule with a healthy diet for maximum focus and better behavior. However, even if you have the healthy part down, there may be food allergies that are making some ADHD symptoms worse. Studies have confirmed that elimination diets can improve attention, reduce hyperactivity, and calm oppositional behaviors in some children. Foods that have been found to cause ADHD reactions are:
- Corn (including corn starch and other corn products)
- Nuts (including peanuts)
- Artificial additives (this includes artificial flavor, color, sweeteners, and preservatives)
- Meats that are cured (ingredients will list “nitrite” or “nitrate”)
The Elimination Diet Procedure:
Consider eliminating the above foods for up to 4 weeks to see if your child’s symptoms start to subside. Also, limit excess sugar to 25 grams per day (recommended by the American Heart Association). Added sugars have been shown to cause hyperactivity in some children.
If the symptoms don’t go away after 4 weeks, then they are most likely not due to a food allergy (or at least these foods which are the most common allergens). If the symptoms do go away, bring one food back into their diet and if the symptoms are still gone after 5 days, bring in another food. This will help you determine which food may be the culprit.
At Play Attention, we know there is no one-size-fits-all solution. This can be one step towards a customized solution to help your child reach their full potential in the upcoming school year.