Mums and Dads that visit Focused Education often ask “Can what you eat help attention, focus, or hyperactivity? It is really important to use common sense and listen carefully to the advice of the health professionals at Focused Education. A combination of therapy, expert teaching and medical treatment is the best approach to overcoming ADHD symptoms. Following an ADHD diet rich in protein and vitamins helps but is not a cure by any means. Focused Education’s scientific research has linked several foods to ADHD. Our ADHD specialists hope your child benefits from our ADHD diet and nutrition tips.
Colours, preservatives and ADHD.
Previous research has linked certain food colourings and preservatives to ADHD symptoms. These ingredients are often found in processed foods like lollies, soft drinks, biscuits and cakes.
(The artificial colours, which are often called Azo dyes, believed to cause bad reactions in children with ADHD have the numbers: 102, 107, 110, 122-129, 132, 133, 142, 151, 155 and the natural colour 160B. Problem preservatives include 200-203; benzoates 210-218; sulphites 220-228; propionates 280-283 and added antioxidants 310-312 and 319-321. Other triggers can be flavour enhancers such as MSG and numbers 620-635.)
Research has found that when eaten by kids who are sensitive to them, these colours and preservatives not only set off ADHD behaviour, but can also cause a range of reactions including hives and swelling, stomach and bowel irritation, and headaches.
But these artificial colours and preservatives aren’t the only problem foods says Anne Swain, head dietitian at Melbourne’s Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. She says some whole foods can also be a problem.
“The typical foods that can be a trigger for sensitive people are highly-flavoured foods such as lots of tomatoes, citrus, berries and cherries, fruit juice and honey,” Swain says.
Some of these foods – tomatoes and oranges, for example – were excluded from the diet of children taking part in the Dutch ADHD and diet study.
There is no special ADHD diet. Just use common sense and eat healthy food.
Research has demonstrated a clear link between children’s diet and their behaviour. However at Focused Education we don’t believe children with ADHD should eat a specific “ADHD Diet” that is difficult to adhere to or will produce more parent stress than meaningful results. We teach parents how to plan healthy eating for their children that works for them rather than a ‘fad diet’.
Our dieticians advocate a healthy diet and avoid too many artificial colours and preservatives. Typically a healthy diet from the five food groups will assist in a holistic ADHD management plan that includes support and advice from a multidisciplinary team of health professionals, speech therapists, occupational therapists and specialist teaching staff similar to the Focused Education team.
Processed foods have preservatives, colours and flavour enhancers that can make anyone feel unhealthy. ADHD children need to steer clear of every single colour and preservative. It is important for parents to notice which foods trigger their child’s ADHD. Eat as many natural whole foods as possible. It will help the whole family feel healthier and happier.
If you think your child’s diet is unhealthy consult a health professional.
If you think there is a serious problem with your child’s diet consult your local health professional. Focused Education employ psychologists, occupational therapists and dietitians to help you work through your child’s eating difficulties. Whether your child eats a limited diet due to their ADHD symptoms such as sensory difficulties or you need assistance in developing a healthy eating plan that links to a behaviour management system; our ADHD specialists can help your child.
We invite you to call our friendly reception team to discuss your child’s ADHD diet and health treatment needs on: (08) 61887669 or complete the contact form below.
Our caring staff hope to see you at our ADHD health and wellbeing centre in Osborne Park Perth W.A.
CONTACT US BECAUSE WE CAN HELP YOUR CHILD