healthy snacks adhd
All parents already have their work cut out for them – to get their children to eat anything other than chips of choice, burgers, iced tea, sugary soda, and Fruity Loops. However, children with ADHD have a bigger problem in their hands – getting their kids to eat. Yes, the medication for ADHD can often blunt your children’s appetite and result in fickle taste buds that can cause them to turn up their noses at the previous week’s lunch box favorites. Therefore, school lunches that you create using the best steak knives and other equipment often go uneaten.
As if this was not the only problem, there are certain things that children with attention deficit disorder should reduce or eliminate, like preservatives, food dyes, and sugar. On the other hand, they need to increase the consumption of healthy snacks that contain specific vitamins and minerals (like magnesium, iron, and zinc, to improve focus). Snacks should also contain:
Complex carbohydrates (to avoid blood sugar crashes and spikes).
- Omega-3 fatty acids (to increase memory and brain function).
- Protein (to sustain alertness).
Finding the right snacks for ADHD children rich in complex carbohydrates, the right fats, and protein and tasty enough is quite daunting. Thankfully, there are some fantastic options if you are willing to look for them.
Different Types Of Healthy Snacks For ADHD Children
Getting your children to eat healthily is the main priority, especially if your child has ADHD. Here are some great types of easy healthy snacks for kids.
Smoothies And Fruit Shakes
Fresh vegetables and fruits are always on any healthy eating list today for self-explanatory reasons. They are filled with nutrition and low on calories, thereby providing a healthy dose of fiber, minerals, and vitamins. All these nutrients are needed for good health and should be included in healthy snacks for kids with ADHD.
If you struggle to get your kids to eat the vegetables and fruits, you can create your mix of smoothies and fruit shakes with fresh fruits like mangoes, peaches, and bananas. You can also add some other ingredients into the mix like flaxseeds, yogurt, and kale to increase the shake’s nutritional value.
Tuna is considered on top of the list of healthy school snacks for children with ADHD. They are the best natural sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Tuna also contains protein that is often recommended for ADHD children.
On the other hand, avocados are nutritionally complex foods that contain a wide range of minerals, vitamins, and mono-unsaturated fats like oleic acid. To get the best of both worlds, you can create a simple tuna salad or stuff the tuna in the avocado after you remove the seed and the pulp. For more flavor, you can add healthy spices and herbs like saffron and turmeric. According to research, increasing the amount of omega-3 from sources like salmon and tuna will reduce the symptoms of ADHD by 50%.
If you cannot find healthy fruit snacks for kids, you can look for energy bars. There are many different energy bars brands, including Raw Indulgence, Think Products and LaraBar. All the reputed energy bar brands use raw and organic foods to create these bars full of flavor and proteins.
None of these energy bars make use of artificial preservatives, food colorings, and hydrogenated oils. They are also free of gluten, soy, corn, and wheat. Based on studies, these ingredients can cause ADHD children to lose focus or become more hyperactive. Energy bars also make for great healthy school snacks.
If you are looking for the best make-ahead healthy snacks, then eggs are your best bet. Whether you have them – sunny-side up, scrambled or boiled – eggs are considered one of the healthiest foods for any person with ADHD. They contain high protein content that supports a healthy brain function by increasing the production of neurotransmitters, one of the many chemicals released by the brain.
The high protein content in eggs also reduces the symptoms of ADHD by reducing the risk of sudden spikes in blood sugar levels. Additionally, it also contains other nutrients like iron, copper, zinc, Vitamins B12, B6, and D. Additional research has proven that the symptoms of ADHD are reduced by relying on sources of lean protein instead of fatty foods like fries, hamburgers, and red meats.
Nuts And Dried Fruits
Dried fruits and nuts are healthy sweet snacks that are easy and convenient. While you can buy the pre-packed mix, it is suggested that you create your mix at home if you plan on serving them to ADHD children. You can easily replace sugar-rich and unhealthy ingredients like candies and chocolate chips and replace them with nuts and dried fruits. Dried fruits and nuts are the best healthy snacks kids like.
Nuts like walnuts, almonds, and cashews will provide you with healthy fats and proteins, while dried fruits like raisins offer dietary fiber. Since these products are also high in calorie content, you need to ensure your child does not eat more than the required amount. Besides, children with ADHD often have high caloric requirements because they are very hyperactive.
Whole-Wheat Pretzels Or Crackers
Of course, not all types of foods have to be super-healthy; if so, you will never be able to address childhood food cravings. However, this does not mean that you can allow your kid to snack on unhealthy options like potato chips. At this point, you need to find the right balance.
There are several healthy salty snacks like baked chips, pretzels, and whole-wheat crackers that can satisfy your child’s taste and appetite for savory and crunchy foods. Instead of regular popcorn, you opt for hot-air popcorn. These foods have high fiber content and will work wonderfully to pacify your kid’s hunger and food cravings.
The above are some of the best healthy snacks for kids that have ADHD. This condition will curb the appetite of your children, and they will return home from school hungry. If you want them to be fueled with energy, you need to look for snacks that contain the right amounts of complex carbohydrates, fat, and protein. Similar to the above, there are many other options if you are looking for healthy snacks for picky kids.
What’s your opinion on all this? Leave a comment below!