Foods that can Worsen Your Child’s ADHD
There are some foods that seem to worsen AHDH symptoms or trigger symptoms that mimic that signs of ADHD in children. The following foods in particular might be playing a role in worsening ADHD symptoms:
- Candy: Loaded with sugar and artificial colors, candy can be a bad idea when it comes to children with ADHD who often need to follow an ADHD diet. Both of these components have been shown to promote ADHD symptoms in studies.
- Soda: These drinks often have the same sugars and sweeteners that make candy a bad idea for kids on the ADHD diet. Ingredients in soda such as high-fructose corn syrup and caffeine to worsen symptoms. “Excessive sugar and caffeine intake both cause symptoms of hyperactivity and easy distractibility,” says Dr. Barnhill, an expert on ADHD and the author of Mistaken for ADHD.
- Cake Mixes and Frostings: They contain high amounts of sugar and artificial colors that can lead to hyperactivity and other ADHD symptoms.
- Energy Drinks: These drinks have become increasingly popular among kids, especially with teens. Unfortunately, they contain many ingredients that can worsen ADHD symptoms: sugar, artificial sweeteners, artificial colors, caffeine, and other stimulants.
- Frozen Fruits and Vegetables: Most fruits and vegetables are healthy choices for an ADHD diet, but some frozen varieties can contain artificial colors, so check all labels carefully. In addition, Dr. Barhill says, “Foods treated with organophosphates for insect control have been shown to cause neurologic-based behavioral problems that mimic ADHD and many other behavior problems.”
- Fish and Other Seafood: Eating fish and other seafood with trace amounts of mercury can cause ADHD symptoms such as hyperactivity, in the long term. Some of the worst fish are shark, king mackerel, swordfish, and tilefish.
If your child or even you have ADHD, be careful with these foods. Try to minimize or completely avoid eating them to avoid triggering ADHD symptoms.