Smart, Healthy Snacks for the ADHD Brain

Can't get your ADHD child to eat a full lunch? These nutritious snacks will fill your child’s stomach -- and awaken his brain.

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When Meds Affect Appetite

All moms and dads have their work cut out for them in getting their children to eat something more than Fruit Loops, sugary soda or iced tea, burgers, and their chips of choice. Moms with ADHD children have a bigger problem: getting their child to eat.

ADHD medication can blunt a child’s appetite, and his fickle taste buds can cause him to turn up his nose at last week’s lunchbox favorite. The result? School lunches go uneaten.

As if that weren’t enough to send moms to mealtime rehab, there are things some kids with attention deficit disorder should lighten up on or eliminate -- sugar, food dyes, and preservatives -- and others they should load up on: protein (to sustain alertness), omega-3 fatty acids (to increase brain function and memory), complex carbohydrates (to avoid blood sugar spikes and crashes), and certain vitamins and minerals (zinc, iron, and magnesium, to improve focus).

Finding foods rich in protein, the right fats, and complex carbohydrates -- tasty enough to appeal to picky eaters -- would have been a daunting task a few years ago. Today, there are energy bars, snacks, and beverages you can pop into your child’s backpack that will wind up in his tummy, not in the cafeteria wastebasket.

Next: Fruit and Energy Bars


This article comes from the Fall 2009 issue of ADDitude.

To read this issue of ADDitude in full, buy the back issue.


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