Fitness Minutes: (14,252)
9,689 9/23/13 8:56 P
I have a child with ADHD. When she has sugary foods or beverages, I notice a sharp spike in her symptoms. She knows if she drinks soda, she has to have diet, since it doesn't have sugar (caffeine has the opposite effect on her... it calms her down. A diet cola is a great alternative to meds in the evening when her morning meds have worn off.)
Quality of the total diet is the most important. Children can handle a serving of a high sugar food--when it is surrounded by a balanced healthy diet. However, when the foods selected are nutritionally lacking and then the diet is loaded with sugary, high fat, overly processed foods----(that is when problems can increase).
Becky Your SP Registered Dietitian
Fitness Minutes: (30,869)
75 9/23/13 4:16 P
I don't know if sugar will necessarily cause ADHD or low grades, etc. But I do know a healthy diet is going to help improve health, attention, and happiness.
Nancy Appleton, Ph.D says......Sugar can adversely affect school children's grades and cause learning disorders. Sugar can contribute to eczema in children. A High refined sugar diet reduces learning capacity. Avoid food coloring yellow and red. Avoid Artificial, Anything...trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, MSG and who knows how many other chemicals and preservatives
Focus on a diet high in protein, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats. A 1-ounce mozzarella cheese stick has over 20% of a child’s daily needs for calcium, eggs are an excellent source of protein ...Promote Protein at every meal or snack.... include fish, poultry, meat, eggs, beans, nuts and seeds, cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices, celery sticks stuffed with low fat cream cheese or peanut butter, cottage cheese with fruit added
Make sure you child gets enough fiber...How much fiber is enough for the younger set? Nutrition experts recommend that a child’s daily intake of fiber should equal “age + 5 grams” to determine fiber needs for kids
Most research that looked at specific foods did NOT find an association with "hyperactivity." (I use that word because that's what it was called in the '80s when it was blamed on sugar and food coloring.) But kids without ADHD usually behave better when they're eating well, because they feel better. Limiting sugar and processed foods won't prevent ADHD, but it will improve concentration just by keeping the child from being distracted by hunger and blood glucose fluctuations.
And the fact that you're concerned in the first place is also helpful. If you care enough about her learning and school performance to monitor her diet, she will always know that you care about her education. Just that, all by itself, is a huge factor in a child's success.
Does anyone know if there is scientific data to show any foods that increase children's hyperactivity and distractibility levels? My daughter is not ADD/ADHD and has not been diagnosed with any other conditions but just wondered about food's effect on her learning and behaviors. Thanks!
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