Sugar has become more and more of an enemy to our children’s diets as the food companies sneak sugar into EVERYTHING! The next time you are shopping have a look at the sugar content of everything you buy – grams per 100 in the carbohydrate section of the food label. Most things have at least 10g – 2 teaspoons!
Protein, protein, protein!
Protein can prevent surges in blood sugar. So, a sugar surge gives us a lovely burst of happy feelings and energy but then a very quick slump afterwards. Protein also makes neurotransmitters!! These are the things the brain cells use to communicate to each other – which would really help with the learning we want to see take place. Eggs, or bacon, or even a lovely chicken sausage or a handful of biltong or peanut butter on toast or oats for breakfast is the best way for us to see this learning happen.
Omega 3s are also an important part of the brain function and with our current diet we don’t eat nearly enough. Salmon is ridiculously expensive (and kids don’t eat it) and the tuna’s quality has fallen due to huge demand and fish farming (is that what its called?). A whole tin of tuna gives a child only half the daily recommended dose of Omega 3s. A cup of spinach gives the required 700mg daily amount or a teaspoon of flaxseed oil or 2 ounces of roasted soy beans. We are going to have to get creative in our shopping! Or the supplement Eye q is a good substitute. It has to be taken long term, though. Sean found the taste was really awful so I recommend the capsules that are just swallowed.
Iron levels are usually low in children with ADHD but as too much iron can be dangerous its best to have the ferritin levels in the blood checked first, as the article suggests. Of course a delicious fillet steak is always welcome
and high in iron, as well as, chicken, turkey, shellfish (yummy tempura prawns!) and beans. Adding all these into the weekly diet will always improve your health but to make a significant difference to children an iron supplement can be included after the ferritin levels have been checked.
A lack of Zinc and Magnesium is also causing problems in most of our health as there is less and less in our diets. Zinplex is an excellent source of Zinc and is the first thing I give my children when they are ill. It boosts the immune system to help fight off the bugs. It also plays a big part in the health of our dopamine – happy hormone! If its lacking then we feel low. Magnesium promotes concentration and attention – a big part of ADHD symptoms.
Spinach, nuts and avos – to name a few – will add magnesium into a daily diet. Magnesium supplement are also good – at least 400mg.
Additives must be removed from our diets – easy to say but hard to do – as they are put in everything, so, I guess the advice can be to stay away from them as much as possible. No nik-naks! Sweets as a special occasion. As little processed food as possible. All the things we know but with our busy life styles its hard to maintain. Unfortunately, these busy life styles are making an impact on the development of our children.
I hope these few tips can start to make a difference for our own health as well as for our children, and, to the kids in our classes.
Read further about The ADHD Food Fix