The hardest part of being a parent? Watching your child go through something really tough & not being able to fix it. Does your child find it difficult to pay attention in school? Do you often get notes from the teachers that he/she constantly moving around in the class without reason? Do you find her/her constantly interrupting you or others while speaking? If these issues are persistent and negatively affecting your child’s daily life, it could be a sign of attention deficit hyperactivity (ADHD) disorder.
Did you know that the biggest factor contributing to the ADHD behavior problem in kids is the lack of proper nutrition?
Eating a healthy, balanced diet optimizes the ADHD brain & even helps in reducing the symptoms of ADHD. At My22BMI, we have specialized diet plans for growing children & their daily nutritional requirements. Experienced health coaches will guide you towards a better physical as well as the mental growth of your child. We reach to the root of the health problem by promoting a healthy gut. To know more about diet & ADHD register yourself for a free session with our health coach.
ADHD IS NOT JUST A CHILDHOOD DISORDER.
Though it begins early in childhood, the symptoms can continue through teenage and even adulthood. ADHD is a disorder that makes a person restless and constantly active for no reason at all. It is difficult to pay attention & control impulsive behaviors.
WHAT CAUSES ADHD?
There are many studies and researches going on as to know the reason behind this disorder. Some of the current researches suggest that like any other disorder ADHD is not linked to a single gene, it’s complex. Multiple factors, some genetic and some environmental factors like low birth weight, alcohol, or cigarette use in pregnancy, brain injury may cause ADHD in children.
THE WARNING SIGNS:
People with ADHD usually presents with a classical three different types of symptoms:
- Difficulty in paying attention ( INATTENTIVE)
- Overactive most of the time (HYPERACTIVE)
- Acting without thinking ( IMPULSIVE)
These ongoing symptoms get in the way of a normal growth & development of a child, affecting the quality of life for both children as well as parents. These behavioral problems in children not only affect the child’s social circle but also isolates the parents too. The hyperactivity in kids usually improves as the child comes in his teenage years, but the difficulty in focusing, frequent impulsive acts and lack of order in their daily life can even follow till adulthood.
There are few other hidden symptoms that could be seen along with the three classic symptoms:
- Careless mistakes in class assignments very often.
- Having trouble in conversations as well as reading.
- Even when spoken directly, it seems they are not listening, due to the chain of thoughts running in their minds.
- Unable to follow instructions at the school or home, they start a task but quickly lose focus and interest in it, eventually easily distracted somewhere else.
- Failing in keeping room belongings in place or keeping things in order.
- Avoid doing homework which involves a sustained mental effort.
- Constantly losing their belongings in school like pencils, erasers and for adult.
These are few typical signs seed in ADHD kids:
- Fidgeting around while being seated.
- Constantly moving around when you are not supposed to like in the classroom.
- Talking constantly and interrupting others while speaking or playing.
- Not waiting for their chance to speak, cutting other people’s conversations in the middle, finishing their sentences.
Well, these signs don’t always mean that an individual is suffering from ADHD, many other disorders like anxiety, learning disability also have similar signs. If you have a doubt about your child’s behavior, your first step is to visit your pediatrician now and get a diagnosis.
A PARENT’S GUIDE ON HOW TO MANAGE ADHD IN YOUR CHILDREN THROUGH DIET AND NUTRITION
Yes! It is possible and very much effective. Eating a nutritious and well-balanced diet is crucial for a normal brain functioning in kids as well as adults. Parents raising an ADHD child or adults diagnosed with this disorder should know the following diet strategies to reduce the symptoms and effectively manage this disorder.
- Avoid all artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, and sweeteners often present in all processed foods.
- Test for any deficiencies like iron, zinc, and magnesium, Talk to your doctor about the blood tests to determine their levels. If levels are low, changes in the diet along with supplementation may help in reducing the symptoms of ADHD.
- It has been seen that often ADHD kids are either allergic or sensitive to certain food items. These food products may actually worsen the symptoms when taken. Try “Elimination diet”. Observe carefully & Eliminate the food items which you feel makes your child hyperactive and anxious all the time. Work with our My22BMI expert health coaches to make the ideal diet for your child, where he gets the complete nutrition in the best possible way.
- Limit the sugar intake: Sugar is the real villain behind ADHD brains. It’s a simple carbohydrate which is loaded with energy that quickly burns out, leaving your kids to crave for more. Sugar is known to cause hyperactivity, inattentiveness, impulsive behavior & worsens ADHD. Sugar is hidden in various products like corn syrup, dextrin, dextrose, maltose, maltodextrin. Read the label carefully before buying any eatable for your child.
To cut down sugar for kids is not easy, but with little planning and effort, we can make this transition easy for them.
- At birthday parties limit the kid’s cake treats, cupcakes, and cookies. Keep a close watch, set a limit on how much cake or candy is allowed in a day, and make sure your child follows the limit. Distract them with games at the birthday party so that they do not binge on candies. For the return, gifts try giving fancy pencils or erasers instead of assorted candies.
- For snacks set out a colorful plate of cut fruits, or a bowl of nuts to munch on.
- Avoid store-bought cookies, loaded with trans-fats and sugar. Try baking healthy homemade cookies with ingredients like oatmeal, walnuts, raisins and less sugar.
- Replace juice and drinks with freshly squeezed fruit juices. Use whole wheat bread for sandwiches rather than using white bread.
- Use salmon, chicken, egg or beans sandwich with any drinks or juice. This protein and fiber work together to maintain a steady blood sugar levels.
- The more colorful is the cereal the more dyes and artificial colors it has. Avoid sugary cereals for breakfast, use the plain ones.
Unknowingly our kids start their day by eating sugar hidden in cereals, juices, sandwiches and plenty of other food items. And we wonder why more and more kids have trouble concentrating and focusing, and seems restless all the time.
GOOD NUTRITION IS THE KEY TO FIGHT ADHD
BALANCED MEAL: We all know that a balanced diet is required for healthy growth and development of our children. But what is this balanced diet? The best possible way to attain this is to make sure your child’s 1/4th plate should be protein, 1/4th whole grains and the rest ½ plate should be fruits and vegetables with a portion of dairy.
- PROTEIN POWER IN BREAKFAST: Start your day with proteins, like eggs, nuts, beans, and soybeans, chicken. Proteins in our diets are used up to make neurotransmitter, chemicals which helps nerve cells to communicate with each other. When the nerve cells work together, it helps in better focus and attention span.
- TRY TO SPREAD YOUR PROTEIN INTAKE EVENLY THROUGHOUT THE DAY: Proteins maintains your blood sugar levels in your body. Do not take the whole day’s protein requirement in one meal as your body will not be able to process it and most of it will be eliminated as a waste product.
- FAT IS NOT THE ENEMY: Fat has been in the bad books for years, not true though. 60% of brain & nerves is fat. The right kind of fat in the right amount is crucial for proper brain function. In stores when we pick up fat-free products, we don’t realize that the fat-free content has been replaced by sugar or refined flour, which is even unhealthier. And it can worsen the symptoms of ADHD in kids.
- KNOW YOUR FATS: Avoid bad fats in your child’s diet which includes all Tran’s fats. Tran’s fats is entirely artificial and are present in fast foods, fried foods, chips, and all processed baked goods.
- EAT SATURATED FATS IN MODERATION: Food products like meat, butter, cheese should be taken but in limited portions.
- INCLUDE UNSATURATED FATS IN YOUR DIET: Nuts, Olive oil, fish rich in omega 3 and omega6 fatty acids, avocado helps your body to absorb vitamins and minerals and improves blood cholesterol by promoting an increase in good cholesterol. A well-nourished brain with the right kind of fats improves memory, attention and focus on children as well as adults.
- SAY YES TO VEGETABLES AND FRUITS: Add a variety of colorful vegetables in your child’s diet. These are loaded with vitamins, minerals, & fiber. Fruits are our very own nature’s candy. While craving for sweets, arrange a platter of colorful fruits for your children. Enriched with antioxidants fruits are known to be beneficial in ADHD brains.
- STAY HYDRATED: Drink plenty of water and encourage your child to take water throughout the day not just when they feel thirsty. Soft drinks, aerated drinks, and certain fruit juices can dehydrate you, always keep a water bottle with you as well as your child.
“Kid’s with ADHD need someone in their corner, even if you don’t always have the answers, be that someone”
Contact our qualified nutrition and holistic health experts over a one time Free Consultation Call and get your own customized diet plan.
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My22BMI is a digital healthcare startup addressing the problem of managing lifestyle diseases through personalised diet plans. My22BMI empower lives to eat healthy and smartly and believe food should be your first medicine. The expert health coaches provide personalised diet plans for heart health, gut health, skin & hair health, weight management, mother & child nutrition and hormonal health. Download our Android app from the Google playstore.