What’s Cooking in the ADHD Kitchen?
By: Claire Manuel
“He’s always throwing tantrums and going crazy. He doesn't just throw tantrums at my parents, he also does it to me, and sometimes even his friends. It gets a little out of control.” It’s not easy being 10 year old Reagan Maxon, not only facing the responsibilities of growing up, but also having a younger brother with ADHD. So what’s the inside scoop on cooking in the ADHD kitchen?
What is ADHD?
As you began to read this article, you may have been wondering, “What is ADHD?” ADHD stands for attention deficit hyperactive disorder, while ADD, which is very similar to ADHD, stands for attention deficit disorder, leaving out hyperactive. “He cannot focus and he gets upset rather than a person without ADHD, which would probably take things easy and not get so stressed out all of the time,” says Reagan. Typically boys have ADHD and girls have ADD. If you have ADD, you may have difficulties doing things such as paying attention in class, being quiet when you need to be, and controlling the way you behave. If you have ADHD, you may have the same problems, but you also have trouble staying still and can’t help fiddling with the things around you. Do you ever do any of these things? If so, read on!
Causes in the Oven
There are 3 main ways you can get ADHD. The first way you can get ADHD is by premature birth. If you are born too early, you may not be fully developed, thus causing ADHD. Another way you can get ADHD is by lead poisoning. You may have inhaled the fumes from a car running on lead gasoline, or maybe swallowed a piece of lead paint that chipped off one of the walls in your home or on your windowsill. The third way you can get ADHD, is by inheriting it from your parents genes, which is called genetic transmission. This is the biggest cause of ADHD. Also, some yummies in the ADHD kitchen shouldn't be eaten. Eating lots of gluten, sugar, and caffeine is another cause of ADHD.
Traits in the kitchen! To begin, traits of ADHD are basically the characteristics you have if you have ADHD. There are 4 main traits of ADHD. The first trait is hyperactivity. If you have the hyperactive trait of ADHD, you have trouble keeping your mouth shut and your body still. “Well, he isn't hyperactive, but he runs a lot,” says Reagan. Another trait is inattentiveness. If you have the inattentive trait of ADHD, you have trouble focusing on things that are hard or boring. The third trait is indecisiveness. If you have the indecisive trait of ADHD, you will have trouble making decisions and you will worry about them if they confuse you. The last trait is impulsiveness. If you have the impulsive trait of ADHD, you make decisions too quickly, and you may have a bad plan instead of taking the time to make a good one. Anyone who has one or more of these traits may have ADHD.
Time to dig in! Into these delicious nutrients facts, that is. There are 5 nutrients that can help you manage your ADHD. The first nutrient is vitamins, which help you focus. Some foods that are high in vitamins are tofu, vegetables, vegetable juice, fruits, yogurt, and enriched breakfast cereals. Another nutrient is minerals. Your brain cells feed on minerals, and you need a new supply of minerals every day for your brain to be able to send messages properly. You can get your daily supplement of minerals from capsules of liquids. The third nutrient is protein. Proteins are good for people with ADHD because they send messages through your body that help you concentrate. Some foods that are high in protein are eggs, meat, fish, nuts, seeds, vegetables, soy, tofu, whole grain oatmeal, and puffed wheat. The last two nutrients are good fats and oils and water. Your brain is like a sponge and it needs to stay wet, and that’s exactly what they do! Foods that are high in good fats and oils are raw fruits and vegetables, sour cream, milk, eggs, grape seed oil, butter, olive oil, seeds, nuts, and fish. You should have a glass of water once every two hours.
Have you ever heard of superfoods? You probably have! These foods contain 4 or 5 those essential nutrients, perfect for people with ADHD! According to www.health.com, superfoods pump your energy, mood, and brain power. There is a long, long list of superfoods, so only a few are listed here. However, the picture below shows a wide variety of superfoods. Some superfoods include fish fresh from the ocean, milk, cashews, walnuts, eggs, kale, beans, spinach, and carrots. So come on into the ADHD kitchen, ‘cause all we serve is superfoods! To sum things up, eating superfoods and getting the 5 nutrients into your life is essential if you have ADHD.
My good friend, Reagan, has a little brother named Corbin with ADHD. Here are some of the results from when I interviewed her:
Does your brother take any medicine?
"Yes, a pill as soon as he wakes up, and one at 1:00pm."
Does your brother have a special diet?
How does your brother react to things such as people angering him?
"He screams and cries and often says “I’m going to hurt you.”
Do you know what goes on in your brother’s head?
"Yes, messages in his brain are not connecting, so he can’t focus."
Thank you Reagan, for a phenomenal interview.
There’s a special bond between Reagan and Corbin. They’re cooking partners! “Despite his ADHD, I love him. Most of the time.”
Capaccio, George. ADD and ADHD. New York: Marshall Cavendish Benchmark, 2008. Print. 2
Taylor, John F. The Survival Guide for Kids with ADD or ADHD. Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit Pub., 2006. Print. 1