A ton of foods are obviously bad for AD/HD, but do you know some of the best foods for ADHD?
“A cut coconut shell” by Aravind Sivaraj – Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
Coconut is a delicious tropical fruit that happens to be high in medium triglycerides, which are important for healthy brain function. Not only that, but coconut water (or the juice that’s in the coconut when you first crack it) is great for hydration and has in fact been used, in extreme cases for blood transfusion because of it’s chemical similarity. When you buy a whole coconut, or thai coconut, you can use the coconut water and the meat, perhaps some banana and make a great smoothie. A recipe, and more information about coconut can be found here: http://www.prevention.com/health/brain-games/11-brain-boosting-smoothies?s=2
Nutmeg has been known since at least the seventh century as a focus booster by it’s ability to increase blood flow to the brain. A regular dose of nutmeg can help increase focus and relieve mental stress. Can be great in coconut banana smoothies with a little bit of cinnamon! But be careful, don’t go overboard on the nutmeg, as in excessively. It is known to have adverse temporary psychological effects if consumed in large amounts.
Salmon is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for brain health. There are 3 other kinds of omega fatty acids (6, 9 and 12), but we generally get most of these in good amounts in our regular diet. Omega-3 can end up being the odd one out and stop us from having a balanced mind. Salmon is great with dill and lemon, on the grill of course! Other foods that are high in Omega-3 fatty acids are sardines, flax seed, chai seed and walnuts.
Egg yolks contain a great amount of choline, which is used by your body to create a neurotransmitter that can help your short term memory. Eating eggs for breakfast is a good way to gain stamina for the day as well as boost brain performance for an upcoming test or recital.
Nuts and Seeds
As mentioned before, flax seed, chia seed, walnuts, almonds and other nuts have high amounts of omega acids, as well as being a great source of protein. There are a number of ways to prepare flax seed that you might not know about! Sure, it’s great to know that flax is good for you, but what do you do with it? One great idea is to grind up flax seed using a spice or coffee grinder. Add some wanter to make it mushy, and then flatten it out on a cookie sheet and bake it for a while to create your own flax flat bread! Here’s the recipe:
Have fun making your brain healthy! Let us know what kinds of things you did!
ADHD in Public
Having teens and children with learning disabilities, ADD and ADHD in public can be a tricky situation to maneuver. Especially when you have more than one of them!
Here are some tips to help parents keep track of their kids and help them focus when at a puppet show, the park, the mall or even the grocery store.
Make it an Adventure
Turn the experience into a fun one by creating imaginary goals and objectives, like “We have to get some food to feed mom-dragon at the castle!” Invoking the imagination gives kids something to focus on. Don’t be afraid to look silly in the grocery store, it’s a sign of good parenting! Pick something that your kid is interested in and start a conversation. That’s all it takes to get going!
Redirect in Positive Ways
This tool helps the previous tool tremendously. Redirecting the focus from cupcakes to the game/adventure at hand helps keep all of us (parents included!) on task. If you’re at a puppet show and your child is fidgeting, redirect them to what’s happening in the show. Kids with AD/HD need to be engaged all the time, so direct them into things that are engaging.
Give Them Some Say/Responsibility
Especially when kids get older, it becomes a good idea to give them some responsibility or say in the matter. Even with younger kids, letting them hold things or keep track of the grocery list gives them a confidence boost and ownership over the adventure. This ownership translates into wanting things to turn out well.
These are some simple tools that will help everything run more smoothly as a parent in the future! Give us some feedback or let us know what other types of tools you might use when in public!
Video games are a hot subject for kids with ADHD and the arguments can go either way. The only thing you can really do is to educate yourself on what types of games are popular, and if they will be beneficial or harmful to your kids.
There’s a ton of games out there, and how can you know which ones are going to be good and bad? They’re always change! Not to mention all the free games online! I’m sure we all know about the ESRB ratings, you know, the ones on the little box that says what ages the game is for? But what does that really tell us?
The ESRB system, as many of you may know goes from eC (early childhood) to Ao (adults only). Generally speaking, most games rated M and above should not be played by children under the age of 17, and oftentimes for good reason. For example, games like Grand Theft Auto can be extremely violent, use extremely foul language and have you doing things that are highly illegal in the game. We encourage parents to NOT allow their kids to play this game.
Many games can get away without being rated because they’re online. Why you ask? Well because the companies can’t control what other players do and say. Therefore, online interactions cannot be rated. This is something to watch out for. Are the other kids playing this game going to be positive or negative influences?
On a brighter note, some games can promote concentration, focus and hand eye coordination. Games that are made for the Wii are especially good for this, though there are a number for other game systems and computers. Interestingly enough, some games that are rated M for mature gamers can be softer than others. For example, like the game Grand Theft Auto (GTA) we mentioned, in contrast, a popular game called Assassin’s Creed can promote some more positive traits in kids, provided they’re mature enough to handle the content, which is mostly violence and blood, but also strong language, alcohol use and sexual themes. Though this is the precise rating that GTA gets, the games are much different. Assassin’s Creed has more story line, as opposed to the more “sand-box” style approach of GTA (which can be difficult for kids with AD/HD). The story line helps keep players engaged and focused on specific tasks. So know that there can be some variation to the ESRB rating scale. If you have older kids, it’s a good idea to be accommodating to a certain extent, but know when to cut it off.
For younger kids, games that encourage learning and growth can be really beneficial, especially for kids with AD/HD. They can help keep focus, draw attention to important goals and reinforce those pathways for school.
Above all, as a concerned parent, your job is to stay on top of it and educate yourself about the new games that are coming out, and which ones to stay away from, which ones are okay, and which ones are great for your children. Happy gaming!