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Promote healthy eating habits in a child with ADHD in these ways

January 4, 2019

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a developmental condition that is marked by difficulty in concentration, hyperactivity and impulsiveness. There are numerous therapies available to ensure that a child with ADHD lives a normal life. What is key to this is a healthy and balanced diet.

All children benefit with a balanced diet. When it comes to a child with ADHD, experts advise staying away from foods with added colours, dyes and preservatives, high calorie content or excessive sugars and artificial sweeteners. It is not possible to always avoid them, but make sure its at the bare minimum.

Many experts say home cooked meals are best.

At Navajeevan, we give instructions to parents to only give home cooked meals to children with ADHD. Outside foods contain a lot of chemicals and preservatives that can destroy the child's health. We avoid giving them chocolates, milk products and even biscuits because such foods can actually make them more hyper. Add a lot of fruits and vegetables to their diet. Stay away from too much of chicken which contains a lot of chemicals. - Shiny Vinson, Principal, Navajeevan

Here are some tips to ensure a healthy diet.

  • High proteins - Most of the junk food available today have zero nutrients and can worsen the health of a child with ADHD. Add more eggs, almonds, milk, yogurt, oats and leafy vegetables to their diet. This will make them healthy as they are rich in proteins. They will be able to start their day fresh.
  • Fruits and vegetables - This helps reduce risk of many diseases including high blood pressure, heart attacks and even certain types of cancers. A child with ADHD has to have a balanced diet. So parents and caregivers must ensure regular intake of fruits and vegetables.
  • Avoid sugar intake - Excessive intake of sugar is not healthy for children because it can cause a lot of health hazards later on in life. Experts point out it is always better to have lesser sugar. Since it difficult for a child with ADHD to remain calm and focused, it is best if he or she stays away from sugar. Avoid canned and packed fruit juices that can cause health hazards. Instead, switch over to 100% fresh juices that are made at home. You can see how it improves the health of your child.
  • Whole grains - Grains, oats, brown rice and corn are some of the most popular whole grains that are easily available in our super markets. Since they have minimum fat and calorie content, they are extremely good for a child with ADHD to stay fit and healthy. In fact, these whole grains have a lot of fibre does that wonders to your child's health.

"Make sure that you avoid bakery items, foods with too much sugar and even fried stuff because that can make them restless and also lead to attention problems. Best foods to go for are healthy ones like fruits and vegetables. Nothing to beat home cooked food", says Sarbani Mallick, Founder, Bubbles Centre, Bengaluru

ALSO READ: Medication not the only approach to treat ADHD



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