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i've heard of the connection between adhd and the things my child eats, but i've been researching and there is no set answer. has anyone tried the diets and have they worked?

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Asked by pennylane84 at 1:37 PM on Jun. 5, 2009 in Kids' Health

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Answers (9)
  • It's the Fengold diet they are talking about. It helps some kids.

    My child cannot have artificial food dye(red #40 lake) He turns into a demon. ADHD ODD, you name it...he looks like he has it all.

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 1:40 PM on Jun. 5, 2009

  • My son has Asperger's Syndrome (form of Autism) and we tried a dye free diet last summer. We saw very few results although we DID pinpoint certain foods that made him more agitated. Give it a trial run, each child is different...use the summer when it is easier to monitor the food and keep a journal of food eaten and behaviors seen. Hope this helps!

    Answer by KaylasMiracle at 1:43 PM on Jun. 5, 2009

  • I did not use a specific diet, but I did make changes in my kids' diets when we figured out they have ADHD. Diet changes alone were not enough for my kids, but they did help. We have cut out pretty much all processed foods, no lunch meats, no chips, no storebought cookies/cakes/brownies, no hamburger helper/tv dinner type stuff, no boxed potatoes/mac & cheese type stuff. I make homemade cakes/cookies/brownies, make potatoes or mac & cheese from scratch. Instead of chips, they have cereal in lunches, we will *occasionally* have chips with, say cheeseburgers or hot dogs. They drink milk, OJ and water. Occasionally, they have kool aid, but only when we will be home and I am prepared to deal with the behavior that results. I also make homemade lemonade. If we have ice cream, we have Breyer's b/c it is natural ingredients, not a lot of additives. I bake my own bread, again, no preservatives. Hope that helps some!

    Answer by tropicalmama at 1:51 PM on Jun. 5, 2009

  • We are simply cutting back drastically on added sugars, not natural sugars, caffeine, and certain additives. Like artificial colors. That was recommended by our doctor, but we aren't really seeing any results. He has had bad reactions to sugars for a long time, we thought he had a blood sugar disorder in fact. So we already limited him sugar intake. It may have different if he hadn't been monitored so much before.

    Answer by Mom1Stepmom1 at 1:55 PM on Jun. 5, 2009

  • there is minimal proof about the fengold diet. but i would remove all red dye 40 and see if that helps.

    Answer by trepsica at 4:44 PM on Jun. 5, 2009

  • My daughter is impossible after she eats something with artificial dyes or preservatives in it. She doesn't sleep, she cries, she throws fits, she breaks out in rashes.... she's sensitive to it, and it makes a huge difference for her. For some kids, diet doesn't make a huge difference, but for others, like mine, it most certainly does!

    Answer by AudMama at 6:28 PM on Jun. 5, 2009

  • There are many therapists who work with people who have ADD/ADHD; they teach them not just coping skills, but how to use ADD/ADHD as an advantage in their lives. Thom Hartmann has written extensively on this topic; you should be able to find his books art your local library, there is lots of information at his website:
    Many kids with attention issues are helped by either ther Feingold diet ( has a lot of information on foods and kids) or simply by eating a clean diet. We don't eat any processed foods; we eat lots of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, beans, lentils, tofu.
    My daughter's attention issues have been helped dramatically with fish oil supplements (she now takes hemp oil, with excellent results).

    Answer by rkoloms at 8:23 AM on Jun. 6, 2009

  • My 7 year old looked like she had ADHD or high functioning autism when she was 4. We removed gluten and casein first, then limited soy, removed artificial colors/additives/sugars, and finally yeast/eggs/nuts. At 6 she was diagnosed with PDD NOS and had symptoms of ADD, but not ADHD. Recently she went back to a regular diet and remains stable through the day. We added foods back slowly and she has not changed. She is still on the spectrum, but has made a lot of progress in the classroom.

    Answer by jthor at 10:12 PM on Jun. 19, 2009

  • trepsica is wrong about the Feingold diet. The studies out there will show that (not to mention the families using it. Be sure to check out the Feingold website and see the studies there and read what other parents say.

    Answer by MarciaD at 2:35 AM on Jul. 11, 2009

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