Four foods to feed your child with ADHD

August 21, 2014
Dr. Jeff Crippen

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Our health is what we make of it – give it attention and it improves,
give it none and it subsides. John F. Dimartini

Conventional medical thinking says Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), is a disease that is best treated by medications.

First of all, I often don’t agree with the diagnosis of ADHD as it is often given to energetic young boys who don’t like being told to sit down and be quiet in school. I know this feeling as I was one of these energetic boys when I was younger.

The diagnosis of ADHD is sometimes given simply to justify using pharmaceuticals to control children.

However, given this diagnosis of ADHD, its symptoms that can be very real and the pressure parents can face from the school system, it is clear something needs to be done to help these children.

The traditional medical treatment plan of prescription drugs ignores the powerful effect of food on our body, especially on the brain and nervous system, and the consistency of clinical improvement doctors like myself have seen in practice.

Recently, I had multiple parents ask me about natural alternatives for children with ADHD— parents who were looking to avoid giving their kids Adderall or Ritalin (aka kiddie cocaine) to treat these symptoms.

In my experience diet and supplementation, along with Chiropractic care offer promise and hope for these kids — naturally. In this article, I will present you 4 dietary DO’s for children with ADHD.

Later this week, I will share with you the dietary DONT’S for children with ADHD.

Dietary Do’s for Children with ADHD:

Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) – Did you know your brain is nearly 60% fat. Because of this, healthy fats, especially Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA), are vital to supporting the brain, especially in children with ADHD. In fact, studies show children with ADHD often have an EFA, deficiency.

Food Sources – Fish, grass fed beef, flax seeds, nuts (especially cashews, macadamia and Brazil nuts), coconut, olive and avocado. The specific fatty Acid, DHA, is found in fish, algae and certain supplements such as Tuna Oil Omega 3 and Cod Liver Oil.

Whole Food B Vitamins – B vitamins are real powerhouses in the body and have a variety of beneficial effects at the genetic level, cellular level and systems level. Specifically for children with ADHD, beneficial effects of B vitamins would include reducing stress, relation, improving neuronal function and balancing blood sugar levels.

Also, B vitamins catalyze the conversion of food into ATP, the body’s main energy currency. Because the brain utilizes 25% of the body’s energy at rest, there is a direct relationship between B vitamins and brain health.

Food Sources – Nutritional yeast, liver, nuts, eggs, avocados, and green leafy vegetables. Supplements include Cataplex G and Cataplex B.

High Quality Protein – While carbohydrates and sugar give the body energy for 15 minutes – 2 hours at a time, protein gives the body a longer lasting fuel source, lasting up to 4 hours. This helps balance energy levels and sugar cravings during the day, while giving the body the building blocks it needs for healing and repair.

Food Sources – Organic free range meats such as chicken, beef and especially wild game meats like venison and bison. Eggs from pasture raised chickens, whey (dairy) protein preferably from grass fed animals, along with vegetarian sources such as lentils, beans, chia and uts.

Alkaline Ash Minerals – The alkaline ash minerals, namely Magnesium, Calcium and Potassium, are crucial for balancing the brain, calming the nervous system and the healthy transmission of brain messages. Also, both Calcium and Magnesium have a relaxing effect on the brain and nervous system which can improve a child’s behavior.

Food Sources – Leafy green vegetables, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, artichokes, spinach and pumpkin.

Chiropractic can help

In addition to diet, chiropractic care can also benefit children with ADHD.

The chiropractic adjustment is given to align the spine and stimulate the brain and central nervous system in a specific way.

Simply put, more optimal spinal alignment results in better nervous system and brain function. Research is beginning to catch on to this trend. More here.

Later this week, I will share you which foods NOT to feed your child with ADHD as they can exacerbate the symptoms and impair attention and brain function.


To help children maximize their health, we are offering two specials in August:

1. New Patients – All new children are eligible for a discounted new patient visit for forty dollars during August.

2. Current Patients - With a parent’s office visit, your child’s office visit will be discounted to only forty dollars as well.*

Can our natural approach benefit your child? Click here to schedule an initial consultation with Dr. Jeff.

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