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Has anyone made the transition from ADHD meds to eliminating certain foods with success?

I dont like my child being on meds and would like to see off of them. Has anyone else made this transition? He is 8. This weekend we are going to try a day without the meds and see if eliminating glutin, sugar, and artifical coloring makes any impact or changes. I went shopping yesterday for food for him and OMG was it hard. Suggestions anyone?

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Asked by busymom1107 at 9:55 AM on Dec. 18, 2009 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

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Answers (4)
  • Don't expect the diet changes to make a difference right away! It can take upwards of 6 months for gluten to completely exit the body, so if that one is your culprit, you might not see any significant difference in behaviors for some time (but you may see small changes). With ADHD kids, it is usually the artificial stuff that is the main culprit, so totally eliminating the food dyes, artificial flavorings & fillers should help and you should see good results within a relatively short period of time after totally eliminating all sources. Stay away from fake and/or adulterated sugars, too, like HFCS, Splenda, Equal, and saccharine, as they come with their own box of troubles. Dairy can sometimes be a harbinger of behaviors, so that is something else you may want to look into, or switch to totally organic dairy foods to avoid the hormones & that may help. Stick to fresh & basic foods, w/meals all made from scratch so that, cont..

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:01 AM on Dec. 18, 2009

  • so that you know exactly what is going into his body. If everybody goes on the new "diet", it will be less stressful for your child, too, b/c he won't be singled out or subjected at home to things he can't have. Check out for more information & resources on ADHD & diet. There are also several groups right here on CM that can give you recipes & ideas for being gluten-free and for allergy-free cooking in general. Oh, and expect a withdrawal period when you first start making changes because his body may be craving the things he can't have, so his behaviors may get much worse before they get better. And don't change everything at once, start by eliminating one type of food at a time so that he can gradually get used to his new restrictions. Give him time to adapt to the new tastes & textures that you will be offerring.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:05 AM on Dec. 18, 2009

  • If you can find it, Tinkyada brand rice pasta is excellent & tastes just like pasta made from wheat. Enjoy Life Foods makes excellent cookies & snack bars, as do Kinnikinnick (sp.) and Glutino. For bread, try Sami's Millet & Flax bread (, which is wonderful toasted. Although technically not considered totally GF b/c it is not baked in a GF certified bakery, it should be fine for your purposes. Sami's makes some tasty buns, crackers & cookies, too. If you want mixes to make at home, you should try those put out by the Gluten-Free Pantry (sort of like hamburger helper type meals) and for ready-to-eat, there is Allergaroo spaghetti or chili mac pouches (

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:14 AM on Dec. 18, 2009

  • We never went the medication route. 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: You may also want to explore how foods affect behavior, either from the Feingold Organization ( or another source. We eat a "clean" diet; no processed foods, no chemical additives, no meat, very little dairy
    My daughter's attention issues were helped dramatically by fish oil supplements (though we have since switched her to hemp oil). It is important to use a good brand, like Nordic Naturals; it takes about 8 weeks to become effective.

    Answer by rkoloms at 10:03 PM on Dec. 19, 2009

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