25 Smart Snacks for Growing ADHD Brains

ADHD medications sometimes curb kids' appetites so they don't eat all day, then arrive home from school starving. To fuel homework and afterschool activities, try these snacks with all the right amounts of protein, fat, and complex carbohydrates.

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Fruit Smoothies

Fruit-based smoothies are winners for nutrition and taste. Odwalla and Naked Juice make organic, nondairy smoothies that are as rich as milkshakes and come in kid-friendly flavors.

Odwalla’s Soy Smart line combines six grams of soy protein and 32 mg. of omega-3s with vanilla and chocolate flavors. Naked Juice’s Superfood smoothies are high in vitamins (especially B vitamins, which may increase the brain’s levels of dopamine) and antioxidants.

A recent study found that children with ADHD have high levels of nitric oxide, a cell-damaging free radical, and low levels of superoxide dismutase, an enzyme that protects against free radicals. While more research is needed, this study suggests that those with ADHD may be more sensitive than those without the condition to damage caused by free radicals.

For children who prefer to sip their protein rather than chew it, Soy Blendz offers tasty smoothies -- Mixed Berry Medley, Orange Citrus Splash, Strawberry/Banana Blast, and Mango/Orange Dream. Soy Blendz uses whole soybeans (not soy isolate) in its vitamin- and calcium-enhanced products. Each bottled smoothie contains eight grams of protein.

Remember that all foods won’t appeal to all children. Some, like your once-famous peanut and banana sandwich, will never make it out of the lunchbox. Experiment until you find the bar or beverage that clicks with your child.

Next: Snack Suggestions from ADDitude Readers

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TAGS: ADHD Diet and Nutrition, Back to School, ADHD-Friendly Meals, Homework and Test Help

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