Children with attention deficit disorder (ADD) may be able to benefit from a hypoglycemic diet. When people eat foods that raise their blood sugar suddenly, the subsequent drop in blood sugar can cause them to lose focus and become easily frustrated. Some believe that children with ADD experience this drop within a couple of hours after eating meals heavy in simple carbohydrates. Therefore, some of these children can benefit from a hypoglycemic diet, or a diet that avoids these foods.
Foods to Avoid
Make sure that your child avoids white flour and sugar as much as possible while on the hypoglycemia diet. These foods cause your child's blood sugar to skyrocket and then eventually drop. Caffeine can also have these effects. Eliminating these foods from your child's diet will help to keep his blood sugar level consistent throughout the day.
Eliminate sugary cereals and snacks, as well as bread, pasta and crackers made from refined flour. Replace these foods with their whole grain and nonsugary counterparts as much as possible. Check the labels on processed foods that your child eats to make sure that they don't contain sugary additives, such as ingredients that end in "ose."
Instead of sugar and white flour, encourage your child to eat lean meats and poultry, vegetables, whole grains and fruits that have low glycemic values. If your child doesn't like whole grain pasta, use spaghetti sauce instead of pasta in some of her favorite recipes. If your child begs for sugary treats, encourage her to eat allowable fruits for her sugar fix. Do not allow caffeinated drinks into your home; instead, replace them with their noncaffeinated counterparts.
Tips on Making the Transition
Helping your child move from his regular food menu to the hypoglycemic diet can be difficult. To make the transition easier, weed out the most problematic foods first, those foods that contain the most sugar or white flour. Then make a list of some foods that are on the diet that your child enjoys, and show it to him as a preview of what he will be able to eat. He may be surprised by the number and variation of foods that will be allowed on the diet.