Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Out with the Old and in with the New (Food & ADHD)

As you know my little man struggles with ADHD.

It has been a long and tough road trying to navigate what is best for him, what I can do to help, and what assistance the school can help him with.

I knew that I was able to help him at home. I loved finding new ways to get him to learn his spelling words (writing on dry erase boards, writing with sidewalk chalk on the driveway, or spellingcity.com), work on math problem (manipulatives, drawing pictures), and reading (books on tape, he reads a page and then I read a page).

We take a lot of breaks when we do homework as well. He needs them!

About 2 months ago ... it all honestly hit the fan.

I was watching Jacob play basketball but he couldn't keep up with the game. He was running all over the court without any understanding of where the ball was or which team had possession.

During the game my Mom turned to me and asked what was wrong with Jacob and why he was acting so funny.

That same night when we were trying to get Jacob's homework done he was all over the place. He would sit on the chair then get off the chair. He would roll on the floor. He couldn't read the directions. He was randomly writing down letters and numbers. Instead of completing his work he was doodling all over the worksheet.

I was sooooo frusterated!

** Please note this wasn't my finest moment nor am I proud of how I behaved **

I was so tired of trying to get Jacob to do what was required of him. I yelled. I screamed. And I yelled some more. He was crying and I was crying.

I sent him to bed. His work wasn't done but I was done fighting with him to do anything!

I couldn't stop crying. But I did realize that there HAD to be something I could do right now to help him!

So of course I turned to google to find an answer.

To my surprise I found a wonderful website that wasn't too overwhelming with information but had enough information for me to start really helping my son.

The website is One ADD Place.

It told me to start by eliminating dairy. That was step one!

Even I could do that! And I could start that right away. I didn't need to buy anything special but I did need to stay away from the snacks he was typically eating.

Jacob was a dairy fanatical! He would eat about 3 yogurts a day, snack on cheese slices in the evening, and drink chocolate milk all ... day ... long!

I thought I was doing the right thing.
I thought growing boys needed dairy.
I thought he was eating healthy!

While it might be good for some children it wasn't good for Jacob so we promptly elimated all yogurt, cheese, and milk.

We have now switched to Almond Milk and Rice Milk.

Also, the website provided us with a coffee recipe for Jacob.

I know what you are thinking ... coffee for a 9 year old ... and I thought it was crazy too BUT
it is working for us!!!

Now for breakfast Jacob has a large cup of iced coffee with protein and two fried eggs with a slice of toast "buttered" with a dairy free butter.

The coffee is similar to 5mg of ritalin to Jacob's system without the side effects. The protien in the coffee and eggs get his brain fueled for the day.

Want the coffee recipe?? Here it is ...

*Make a cup of coffee, using one of General Mills' International Coffees, or something like that, with a flavor that you or your child will like. (We use regular coffee and add a teaspoon of French Vanilla Instant Coffee to the mix as well)
*Pour the hot coffee into a blender with about 6 oz of ice.
*Turn on the blender for a bit.
*Add a good quality protein powder. There are many good ones available. If you can't find one that you like, ask at your local health food store. Get protein powders that are mostly protein and very little carbohydrate. Add between 15 and 20 grams of protein to the cold coffee in the blender.
*Turn on the blender again.
*Drink it up.

Lastly, we have added Omega-3 gummies and probiotics to the mix. I actually put 3 Omega-3's and 2 probiotic tables into a shot glass on the same plate as his eggs. That way he remembers to take it.

This has been working miracles!!

I would like to continue to change Jacob's diet. I would like to eliminate more junk food and artificial dyes and sugars but right now things are much better.

He has had very few behavor problems at school and it has been much easier to get his homework completed in the evening.

Jacob says that he feels like his brain isn't so fuzzy anymore. He actually asks for his coffee and vitamins. He doesn't complain that he isn't eating cheese for the most part and he hasn't brought up yogurt at all!

Thank goodness for small dairy free miracles!

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