Feingold Diet

The Feigold Diet for ADHD kids.  This diet is specifically created to reduce the symptoms of ADHD on kids.

Many people have a misconception that diets only aim to lose weight.  In reality, there are several diets that are "prescriptive" in nature, meaning that an eating plan is customized for people with a particular disease. 

This is why there are such diets as "Glycemic Index Diet" for people with diabetes or the "Lactose Intolerant Diet" for those who cannot properly digest certain milk sugars.  Another such eating program is the Feingold Diet, aimed for children afflicted with ADHD.

The gist

More and more children are being diagnosed with learning disabilities such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder every year.  This disorder-often abbreviated as ADHD-is a neurobehavioral and developmental in nature, affecting about 3-% of the world’s population.  It is characterized by a persistent pattern of impulsiveness and inattention.

The causes of ADHD, although generally inherited, are often complex, including difficulties with pregnancy, birth, early childhood illnesses, environmental toxins, and even diet.  In the 1970s, pediatrician and allergist Dr. Benjamin Feingold developed The Feingold Diet, which aims to reduce the symptoms of ADHD by eliminating the foods with manmade additives.

The program discourages children with ADHD from eating foods with the following ingredients:  artificial coloring, artificial flavoring, aspartame (an artificial sweetener), and artificial preservatives like BHA, BHT, and TBHQ.  Parents should read the food labels carefully before serving them to their children with ADHD.

Dr. Feingold also released The Feingold Cookbook for Hyperactive Children to give parents recipes that ADHD patients can eat.  It educates the reader on the foods to avoid, as well as meals that the entire family can enjoy.

Advantages

The Feingold Diet has documented scientific studies to support its stances that it can reduce the symptoms of ADHD, although its effect size is small.  To further alleviate the symptoms, parents can also add foods that are rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids.

Disadvantages

However, parents would have a hard time buying foods on the grocery store that are completely food additives free, unless they would only buy crops and meat.  The diet’s restrictive nature can frustrate children with ADHD, as they may want to eat foods that the eating plan restricts.