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Nutrition for ADD/ADHD

What nutrition should I pay attention to for a child with ADD/ADHD?
Author: Erica Bänziger, graduate nutritionist SVDE

Hyperactive children need micronutrients and omega-3 fatty acids

Hyperactivity, behavioural problems and learning difficulties, also known as ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), are unfortunately on the rise. These are behavioural disorders characterised by the inability to concentrate on something for a long time, restlessness as well as distractibility. Usually, these impairments develop before the age of six to seven and they usually disappear by adulthood. Hyperactivity can severely interfere with learning at home, nursery and school.

A balanced, wholesome diet rich in vitamins is necessary for the physical and mental development of all children. Malnutrition promotes the symptoms of ADHD. ADHD is a multifactorial disorder and all other causes should also be reduced. The increasing overload of external stimuli such as mobile phones, television and computer games also has a disturbing influence.

Phosphates, additives and refined sugar

Remove from diet

Many hyperactive children react to added phosphates from certain foods such as sausages, processed cheese, cola drinks and dairy products. Time and again, it has been observed that omitting or reducing these phosphates and refined sugars improved conspicuous behaviour. There is also evidence that children with ADHD often have intolerances to certain food ingredients such as artificial colours and flavours, but also intolerances to wheat, cow's milk and eggs.

Ensure nutrition that meets needs

The diet of affected children must ensure a sufficient supply of all important vital substances, especially iron, the entire vitamin B complex as well as omega-3 fatty acids as DHA and EPA, and vitamin D.

  • Vitamin D can be replenished in the summer with the help of the sun. In the winter months, food alone cannot cover the requirement and must be supplemented.
  • Care should also be taken to keep blood sugar levels as constant as possible. Refined sugar should be avoided wherever possible.
  • Meals should be wholesome. For example, breakfast could consist of sustained satiating carbohydrates such as oatmeal, berries, some almonds and a natural yoghurt.
  • Frequent deficiencies are found especially in the B vitamins, but also in calcium, magnesium, zinc, chromium, manganese, the omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) and gamma linolenic acid (evening primrose oil). The best way is to measure the fatty acid profile.
  • Therefore, a hypoallergenic diet should be the basis for all affected children and it is essential to optimise the intake of vital micronutrients and essential fatty acids at the same time.
  • Furthermore, the administration of probiotics is recommended to correct a damaged intestinal flora.
  • For the daily diet, cold-pressed organic rapeseed oil or olive oil is recommended as a base oil.
  • The daily administration of a DHA-rich algae or fish oil (daily dose 2g DHA and EPA) in the children's diet is a must. Flax oil alone is not sufficient to supply omega-3 fats.
  • At least two portions of fruit and three to four portions of vegetables should also be consumed daily.
  • Fluorinated salt should be avoided.
Children love fresh strawberries


Strath restorative with Vitamin D

The untreated raw materials used for Strath restorative provide over 60 micronutrients that are present in a biological balance and can thus be optimally utilised by the body. By the way, Strath liquid tastes very good in breakfast cereals.