Many families are struggling to find non-pharmaceutical approaches to support their children with ADD/ADHD-like behaviors. While you should always consult with medical professionals, there are many ways to help children grow and learn amid recent school closures and life disruptions. The following strategies provide simple tools to build a home environment that supports a child who struggles with attention, overfocus, impulsive, erratic, and hyperactive behaviors.
1. Diet- The typical American diet is not friendly to the developing brain. Studies show that increased sugar in your diet can contribute to behaviors found in ADD/ADHD. However, sugar is not the only culprit. Food sensitivities and allergies can promote inflammatory responses that trigger the same behavioral response. Parents should encourage healthy, balanced, diets that avoid child specific sensitivities to promote healthy development and behaviors.
2. Exercise- Children need at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise every day. Children who exercise less than recommended increase their risk for over 30 different diseases and disorders later in life, including obesity, heart disease, diabetes, depression, ADD, anxiety, and more. There are seemingly infinite ways to promote healthy and fun exercise for children. Run and play with your children every chance you get to build healthy habits and strong relationships.
3. Less Screen Time- According to Childwise, the average child spends over 6 hours a day in front of a screen. The increases in screen time have shown to increase behavioral problems and decrease cognitive, memory, and attention skills. To promote healthy habits and development, limit or eliminate screen time for young children. Model good behaviors by limiting screen time yourself!
4. Nutrient Deficiencies – studies have shown nutrient deficiencies may play a role in ADD/ADHD. Some common nutrient deficiencies in children with ADHD include: zinc, magnesium, vitamin D, and iron. Please note: We do not recommend supplementing without confirmation of deficiency.
5. Neurofeedback- Neurofeedback is a non-pharmaceutical approach to helping children and families. This approach helps retrain the brain to promote healthy cognitive, emotional, and behavioral functions. Neurofeedback has shown to optimize school performance and proper development in children with ADD/ADHD and other similar conditions/behaviors.
We offer functional medicine with our nurse practitioner and microcurrent neurofeedback at Mend Integrative Wellness Center. We can help you explore potential food sensitivities, nutrient deficiencies, and help you establish a plan for your child’s success. Let us help you get to the root cause – and get you and your family on the mend.