Ask the Experts

Sugary Snacks: The Lowdown

“I keep reading that I should limit sugar consumption for my son, who has ADHD. I make sure that he doesn’t get a lot of the sweet stuff, and he seems a little calmer. Do you have low-sugar snack suggestions?”

Sugar is a problem for many children with ADHD. When limiting sugar in meals and snacks, think about the nutritional components of the food that contains the sugar, not just the number of grams of sugar in it. For instance, the sugar in a sweet potato will have a much less negative effect than the sugar in a soda, because the potato’s sugar will be absorbed more slowly and evenly due to its higher fiber content. This will mean less of a “sugar rush.”

Here are some healthy low-sugar snack suggestions:

  • Carrots, apples, pears, snap peas, or any other vegetable or fruit cut up and eaten plain, or dipped in peanut or almond butter, hummus, yogurt, guacamole, or salsa. Cut up the vegetable or fruit and place it on the table. Kids are less likely to eat veggies and fruits that are sitting in the refrigerator.
  • Nuts of any kind, whole-grain crackers and cheese, or whole-grain tortillas with beans or meat.

Avoid most of those frozen “pockets” and other prepared, processed snacks. They are generally high in fat and sodium and low in nutrients. Healthier choices include Amy’s Kitchen organic Broccoli and Cheese in a Pocket or Wild Harvest Beef Burrito.

[Free Download: What to Eat (and Avoid) for Improved ADHD Symptoms]