But what if your child has already been diagnosed?
Upon diagnosis, many kids are prescribed Ritalin or Adderall, both of which come with nasty side effects, like nervousness, insomnia, stomach pain, nausea, dizziness, headache, vision problems, increased heart rate and blood pressure, and even suicidal thoughts, personality changes, and psychosis.
Faced with these scary side effects, it’s easy to see why so many parents feel like the “cure” in this case is just as bad as (or worse!) than the diagnosis, and are seeking alternative remedies instead. The good news is that by making dietary and lifestyle changes and using certain supplements, I’ve known many parents who have been able to dramatically reduce (or in some cases, even eliminate) symptoms of ADHD.
DISCLAIMER: You should never discontinue a medication your child has been taking regularly without discussing it with your pediatrician first. I recommend collaborating with your child’s doctor and trying the following natural remedies to see if your child can be weaned off of prescription medications.
Just like preventing ADHD in the first place by eliminating certain foods and substances before and during pregnancy, you will want to reduce your child’s exposure to toxins in their environment, and also eliminate certain foods from your child’s diet. In particular, you’ll want to make sure you eliminate all artificial food additives.
Much like toxins that harm your fertility, artificial food additives can be difficult for your child’s liver and endocrine system to process. They can build up over time, making ADHD symptoms worse—and food dyes in particular have been directly linked to hyperactive behavior in kids.
Here’s a list of what to cut out:
The most important thing to remember is to concentrate on whole, unprocessed food that you cook yourself. Beyond that, there are a few specific foods that can help ease ADHD symptoms:
Fast food and sugar-laden prepackaged snacks became popular with parents and kids for a very good reason—life with small kids can be stressful and chaotic, and many kids are notoriously picky eaters. When you’re feeling rushed, tired, and your kid is hungry, it’s important to be prepared with easy options for both of you. Here are a few tips:
If you have a toddler (or have ever been around one during mealtime) you know that it can be super tricky to get them to try new or different foods. This method gives kids a variety of options to choose from, makes it easy to see and pick what foods they’re eating, and is a great way to encourage kids to taste food with unfamiliar flavors and textures. This method can also work with older kids (and even some adults!).
In the sections of a mini-muffin tray, ice cube tray, or bento box, place a variety of the following foods (always choose organic and pasture-raised whenever possible, especially for the meats):
The trick for this recipe is to always include a couple favorites and a couple of new foods, or even foods kids have disliked in the past. Kids’ palettes are always changing, and so it’s important to consistently introduce (and re-introduce) a wide variety of food with different tastes and textures. It’s okay if they don’t eat everything or even try everything—just keep making lots of options available!
Preheat your waffle maker. In a large bowl, combine almond flour, arrowroot, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon; mix together. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs together. Add milk, vanilla and syrup to the bowl with the eggs and stir. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix well. Once waffle maker is warmed and ready, pour a little more than 1⁄2 batter into the waffle maker and flip waffle maker over. Your waffle maker should alert you once waffle is complete; once it is, use a spatula or tongs to remove from waffle from waffle maker. Heat a little coconut oil in skillet over medium-high heat, add the banana slices and cook for a couple of minutes until they are caramelized on one side. Top the waffles with the grilled bananas, a drizzle of real maple syrup or honey, an additional sprinkle of cinnamon (and maybe some chopped walnuts or almonds), and enjoy!
Looking to have a more in-depth conversation about ADHD prevention & treatment? Schedule a consultation with me!