With about almost five percent of all schoolchildren in the United States struggling with hyperactivity and attention deficit disorder, a national crisis has both parents and teachers concerned over how to manage their hyperactive children and students. Unable to focus and control their impulses, children with attention deficit disorder (ADD) have experienced some success from taking the drug Ritalin.
For years, the stimulate drug, Ritalin has been known to calm down hyperactive and ADD children as it helps them focus. When our older son was in the fourth grade years ago, his pediatrician prescribed Ritalin when he was first diagnosed with ADD. At first, it seemed like a miracle drug—-At last, he was able to comprehend concepts in his math class and complete his homework.
In fact, he continued taking Ritalin up until his junior year in high school. That’s when he rebelled, refusing to take his medicine as well as abide by our house rules. All hell broke loose in our home, as we learned he was addicted to drugs and alcohol. To this day, we’re still not sure if there was a connection between Ritalin and his drug and alcohol addiction. On the contrary, we were adviced that if we didn’t give him Ritalin, his self-esteen would suffer and his chances of becoming drug addicted would increase.
However, I do wish I’d started earlier in making him eat certain foods while avoiding others that seemed to aggravate his ADD symptoms.
I admit it. It is much more convenient to have your ADD or hyperactive youngster pop a pill than to administer major dietary changes. In fact, our son was a tough assignment. Even if we monitored our kitchen cabinet at home, he’d still find ways to get his fix on candy and other junk foods that trigged ADD symptoms
What’s more, there are some children who have had bad side effects from taking Ritalin, such as weight loss, stomachaches, and other conditions. None of these symptoms affected our son. In fact, he gained weight rather than lost it.
Although Ritalin is widely prescribed for most children struggling with hyperactivity and attention deficit disorder, diet also plays a major factor in controlling a child’s behavior and ability to focus and sit still. If you do plan to make diet an important factor in treating your child’s ADD, then it’s vital that you do it as soon as possible—when they’re still young enough to actually prefer good foods. If you start when they’re babies and toddlers, they’ll acquire a preference to healthy foods.
What are some foods and food products to avoid?
Studies have shown that just by eliminating refined sugar products as food additives, children with attention deficit disorder (ADD) have improved remarkably. In fact, it’s been proven that almost half of all children struggling with ADD and hyperactivity are affected to food additives such as artificial food colors and preservatives. Parents of ADD and hyperactive children wondering if their child is sensitive to certain foods and food additives should experiment through trial and error to determine if the eliminations of such foods results in fewer ADD symptoms in their child. Other red-light foods are dairy products, as well as processed foods, which usually are loaded with sugar. Also, avoid foods containing MSG and cut back on fried foods, as well as junk food.
Finally, be forewarned that you may experience resistance from your child, especially if he’s older. But you can do what you can to make sure he’s eating those healthy foods at your house that won’t trigger his ADD symptoms. Again, the younger you start teaching your child how to eat healthier, the more he’ll choose those foods that are good for him.