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Diet patterns critical for development of children with ADHD, says new study

May 28, 2019

Maintaining a healthy diet is important for all children, regardless of disability. However, when it comes to a child with a ADHD, what he or she eats can make a crucial difference to their well-being, says a new study. In the case of a child with ADHD, the diet needs to be monitored even more closely as they are more prone to eating unhealthy food.

Given the abundance of junk food options today, ensuring your child eats a good, balanced meal is a challenge for any parent. When it's the case of a child with ADHD< parents must watch over their plate like a hawk, with occasional indulgences.

Preetha Anoop Menon's son, Shiva has ADHD and loves to eat junk food. She was concerned about his unhealthy food habits but decided to draw boundaries instead of imposing a blanket ban.

I had put him on a gluten- and sugar-free diet for a long time but I found this did not help. A child with a developmental disability usually speaks only when they want something. When they love something and ask for it, it is best to give them that. The more you try and control, the worse it is for your child. It will have a negative impact. - Preetha Anoop Menon, Parent of child with ADHD

In the study, children between the age group of six to eight years were put on a diet of high calorie foods and meat products and monitored. Researchers found that the dietary patterns followed continued to impact the child for years regardless of gender or weight.

"Sweets like ice-cream or chocolates can cause the child to be more hyperactive, feels Shiny Vinson, Principal, Navajeevan Special School. "Healthy foods like fruits and vegetables must be made a regular part of their daily food intake.

Broadly speaking, an ADHD nutrition plan is rich in protein and vitamins as these can help control signs of attention deficit. But remember to keep away from sugar and artificial flavorings. Certain foods like gluten, wheat, corn, and soy can also cause some children to lose focus and become more hyperactive.

ALSO READ: Some ways to manage ADHD without medication

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