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Tips on Starting Your Child's ADHD Diet

Removing certain foods from your child's diet can go a long way to preventing hyperactive and inattentive symptoms.  The only problem is that it's easier said than done.  Most of the foods you will have to eliminate are foods that your child loves eating.  From birthday cakes to slices of pizza, it will be difficult to keep your child away from his or her favorite foods.  Here are some tips on how to start your child's ADHD diet.

Look for substitute ingredients

Going on the gluten-free casein-free diet does not necessarily mean that your child can't eat baked goods or pasta forever.  There are a number of gluten-free bake mixes available in specialty stores, as well as cookbooks that can show you how to use coconut flour and other gluten-free ingredients in place of wheat flour.  And yes, there are such things as gluten-free pasta and pizza these days.

Introduce new foods slowly

Some children are resistant to the idea of eating new foods, but with a little patience and creativity you can get your child to eat healthier alternatives. One way you can go about it is to constantly place the new foods on the dinner table.  Your child might not want to try them at first, but he or she will eventually get curious. Studies show that children will try unfamiliar foods if they are exposed to them ten times. 

Set a good example

Your child will have a hard time getting used to the ADHD diet if his or her siblings keep eating forbidden foods.  Prevent this from happening by putting the whole family on the diet. It will definitely be difficult at first, but having the whole family participate in the diet will encourage your child to try new foods and make him or her less likely to stray.  An ADHD diet may even improve the concentration and mood of other members of the household; after all, the disorder is genetically inherited. 

Involve your child

Since starting an ADHD diet will mean having to give up tasty favorites, get your child interested in the diet by asking what he or she would like to eat.  Showing a cookbook with ADHD-friendly recipes is a good start; the appetizing photos are bound to pique your child's curiosity. Involve your child in the grocery shopping and cooking, and provide the feeling that the diet is just another fun activity you are doing together with your child.