10 Foods Kids With ADHD Should Never Eat

10 Foods Kids With ADHD Should Never Eat

adhd foods to avoidAttention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, is a problem many children deal with every day. Although there is no cure for the disorder, there are things parents can do to mitigate some of the symptoms, including changing their diet. Kids with ADHD should never eat these 10 types of food:

Frozen Fruits and Vegetables

Frozen fruits and vegetables should be avoided whenever possible for kids with ADHD. Many people think these are just normal items frozen after harvesting. The reality is that many frozen fruits and vegetables have harmful food dyes and preservatives added to them to improve the overall appearance and extend the shelf life. These food dyes can be overly stimulating for kids with ADHD.

Soda and Energy Drinks

Every child with ADHD should avoid sodas and energy drinks. These are some of the worst foods available both for kids with ADHD and children in general. The stimulating effects of the refined sugars in the beverage can cause children to become hyperactive. This can lead to academic difficulties and behavioral problems. It is far better to give kids water or 100 percent pure fruit juices that do not contain refined sugar.

Some Fish

One thing that can make ADHD symptoms worse is mercury. Most people don’t encounter or consume mercury in any significant amount on a daily basis. However, many of the farm-raised fish today have high levels of mercury because of the diets they consume. Other harmful substances are also sometimes found in the fish that are derived from the feed used to sustain them. Children with ADHD should avoid farm-raised fish in favor of wild fish. Fish like wild salmon containing omega-3 fatty acids and protein can actually help to reduce the symptoms of ADHD.

Sugary Candy

A class of food that children with ADHD should stay away from at all costs is sugary candy. These candies are manufactured using the highest levels of refined sugars, artificial coloring and preservatives possible. Candy is terrible because it does nothing for the body while also making ADHD worse. Kids who have ADHD should eat fresh fruits with natural sugars for a treat instead of candy.

Non-Organic Celery

There is evidence that strong pesticides can make ADHD worse in children. Pesticides are often filtered out by plants, fruits and vegetables. Some very common foods cannot do this. Celery is one of those foods. Kids with ADHD should not eat non-organic celery. The structure of celery does not allow it to filter out all the pesticides. This can lead to trouble in school and other problems. The only safe form of celery available is certified organic that was grown without harsh pesticides.

High-Fat Dairy Products

Dairy products like milk and cheese can actually help kids with ADHD because they contain protein. High-fat dairy products, unfortunately, are more harmful than good. Children with ADHD should avoid full fat products like whole milk, cheese and yogurt. Better options include low-fat or non-fat versions of these same dairy products as long as they have no added sugar.

Simple Carbohydrates

Refined sugars are one of the worst substances that kids with ADHD can eat. This is why foods containing simple carbohydrates should be avoided. Simple carbohydrates are foods made from refined flour. This includes store brought white bread. These foods instantly convert into sugar when eaten. They can make children feel hyperactive for short periods followed by a long crash. It is far better to eat complex carbohydrates like whole grains.

Canned or Processed Foods

Processed foods contain harmful preservatives and food coloring. These ingredients are known to make ADHD worse in children. Kids should avoid processed or canned foods at all times. Opt for fresh foods made at home. Do not give children fast foods or products that are pre-made.


Eggs do have the protein children need, although it is thought that they make ADHD worse. Avoid giving children large amounts of eggs or products that have eggs added. The substances in eggs can potentially make ADHD worse in children with severe forms of the disorder.

Sweet Baked Goods

A final food to avoid is any sweet baked product. This includes cakes, brownies and muffins. All of these products rely on the simple carbohydrates in flour and refined sugars for flavor. Children who eat sweet baked goods will have academic difficulties over time. It is better to pack fresh organic vegetables for snacks or to switch to homemade whole-grain products without added sugar.