Monday, January 8, 2007

ADHD and poor nutrition

I haven't blogged lately about Ted and his...issues. This is probably due to the fact that he is doing so much better! He has an appointment next Tuesday to be screened for any therapies that may help him (this appointment was made 2.5 months watching the video of 2006 outtakes, the severity of his ticks is, I don't think they are even noticeable unless you are looking for them!) He doesn't see his play therapist anymore, although we can call and get him in if we think he needs some help. He seems very secure now, rarely crying when I leave him and much happier to be left at preschool, PeeWee, soccer, what-have-you. I came across Dr. Fuhrman's website through Vegan LunchBox and was interested in the nutritional link to ADHD. I don't think Ted has ADHD, although the condition he was in a few months ago would surely have led to some teacher labeling him with it if he were in school already. He already eats very, true, but healthy. He loves all fruits and his nut butter/all fruit jam sandwiches on whole grain bread. He'll gobble a cheesestick and the occasional raw veggie. In general, he eats well because we don't have much else in the house. But, I'm interested in trying to sneak in these extra nutritional boosts. Today while watching their post-nap video, they shared a bag of popcorn with nutritional yeast sprinkled on it like cheese. It has a cheesy taste and they didn't complain. I like the idea of getting the fish oil in the orange juice-that would work. He used to eat the fish oil capsules without complaining-they have a strawberry flavor, but is off of them now. No trans fats is something that's been brewing in our community for a few years now, so we are free of those already. Processed food...hmm. Sam and Mae love Annie's Mac 'n Cheese but Ted won't touch noodles. Besides the occasional L'Eggo waffle, I don't think he eats much processed food. I'll have to take a look at that. Our meat alternatives are processed of course...but he doesn't love those either. He takes multi-vitamins and drinks a decent amount of milk, although I find the dairy and gluten links to ADHD interesting. He is in a good place now, so I'm not going to take out dairy or gluten at this point, but it's something to remember when the going gets rough. It's nice to live in a time and place when this kind of information is available.
Tomorrow night our sitter is coming at 5 so we can go out to dinner (we're going to try a new sushi place near us - ssh! don't tell Ted!) and then we will attend a 'Kingergarten Round Up' at Eldorado, our neighborhood school.

Thursday, August 10, 2006
Posted By Joel Fuhrman
Dr. Fuhrman's Anti-ADHD Plan

From Dr. Fuhrman's book Disease-Proof Your Child:

Nutritional excellence combined with classroom and behavioral modification for rewarding positive behavior is a promising approach for treating ADHD. Often family therapy is necessary as well to address behavioral, emotional, and self-esteem issues. Combined with a vegetable-based, high nutrient diet, great results are the norm, not the exception. The essential features of my dietary approach for ADHD are as follows:

* A high-nutrient, vegetable-nut-fruit-based diet
* One tablespoon of ground flax seeds daily, easily added to oatmeal, shakes, and desserts
* At least one ounce of raw walnuts daily, with the addition of other raw nuts
* DHA supplement of 100-600 mg daily
* No processed foods, no dairy fat, no trans fat
* Little or no oils; essential fats are supplied from raw nuts and seeds and DHA supplementation
* Some children also must avoid gluten (from wheat products) and/or casein (from dairy products), as they appear to be bothered by these frequently difficult-to-handle dietary proteins

Flax seeds and walnuts are rich sources of beneficial but hard-to-find short-chain omega-3 fats, plus they are rich in lignans, minerals, and vitamins.

Until recently, the primary source of DHA dietary supplements was fish oil. However, new products are available that contain DHA from algae, the fish’s original source. Unlike fish oils, the algae-derived DHA, grown in the laboratory, is free of chemical pollutants and toxins that may be present in some fish oil-based brands. I recommended favorable DHA products that are designed for purity and are suitable for children. Neuromins is a common (non-fish-derived) brand of DHA sold in most health food stores.

To feed DHA-rich oil to a child is not difficult; just slice open the capsule with a serrated knife and mash it into a banana or mix it in orange juice or in morning oatmeal to disguise the taste. The dose may vary from 100 to 600 mg daily depending on the age and condition of the child.

--and I just want to add: I am in NO WAY suggesting that poor nutrition causes ADHD, or that ADHD is a 'made up' condition. I have taught kids with ADHD and it is fabulous that there is help for these kids (who are often the most brilliant in the class). But I do think poor nutrition and possible other influences are leading to a diagnosis of ADHD for many kids who are NOT really ADHD at all. Ted's play therapist has said that we will undoubtably be asked to screen him for ADHD when he is in elementary school. So, doing all I can to eliminate unnecessary factors that cause this behavior can help. I think the SID diagnosis has been so helpful. While I thank my lucky stars that his 'condition' is so very, very mild, I am still glad for it, because it's given us the tools we need to attack it head-on and help him NOW. And it's working.

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