May 23rd, 2021
These days, parents of children with ADHD/ADD have something that is both a blessing and a curse: options.
Why is it important to know the 3 things to consider before trying a new ADHD diet? Because, these days, we have way too many choices. Having a lot of options can definitely be a blessing (if Plan A doesn’t work, we can try B through Z). But, having a lot of options can also be a curse, because, with so many options, we don’t know where to start! In fact, with too many options, we might get overwhelmed and not act at all.
It’s tempting to try a new strategy because you heard that it worked for someone else’s kid, so maybe that will work for your kid too. Maybe it will, maybe it won’t. I do not know of any strategy for ADHD/ADD that worked for every single kid who tried it. If so, everyone would be using it, and no one would be struggling with symptoms.
So, I like to keep things as simple as possible with parents. Whenever I’m working with parents who are willing to try a new strategy for their kid’s ADHD/ADD, I always ask them to consider “The Big 3”.
3 Things To Consider Before Trying a New Diet For ADD/ADHD:
1. Is This Realistic For Your Family?
Some people have a lot of free time and some are so strapped for time they forget to brush their teeth. Your family is unique – your amount of leisure time, your budget, your energy levels, your organization skills, all of these things will determine what type of changes you can handle.
2. Is This Sustainable?
Think about how you’ve handled past situations where you’ve made a big change (followed a strict diet; went from 0 exercise to a daily 1-hour workout) – were you able to sustain those changes? Do you do better with a slow and steady approach (one change every 2 weeks or so and build up on that)? Your ability to sustain a new habit/strategy is the biggest factor in its success, so be sure you take that into account
3. Do You Think This Will Help?
Do you think this will help? Of the 3 things to consider before trying a new ADHD diet, this one is the one that is most often overlooked. Where did you get this idea? From the internet, a health professional, a friend, a book, a neighbour? Those can all be great sources of information and support but you have a better clue as to whether or not something will work: your child. You know them better than anyone. If you have an inkling that they need more exercise, they probably need more exercise. If you’ve noticed that whenever they eat a lot of chocolate, they have a really bad day, it’s pretty understandable that chocolate is something you might want to avoid for a while.
Studies and experts are useful but nothing beats the tool of careful observation. If you track your child’s individual responses to foods, activities, people, and things, you will get more insight into which strategies will work than listening to other people’s experiences. Try a simple symptom tracker like this to get started.
If you are trying to figure out whether or not a new diet is the right fit for your child, consider speaking to a nutritionist who can help walk you through some options. Click here to book a call with me. I would love to do a little detective work for you 😉