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Family and Consumer Sciences

Ohio State University Extension


The Benefits of a Healthy Diet for Children with ADHD

June 18, 2022

A healthy diet is an important lifestyle component that protects against long term health problems such as heart disease and diabetes. But did you know that eating a healthy diet may also improve attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms?

ADHD is a common brain-based disorder that affects nearly one in 10 children in the United States. It can affect the child’s ability to organize, plan, and manage their thoughts and actions. Although an unhealthy diet does not cause ADHD, there are several reasons why a healthy diet may reduce ADHD symptoms:

  1. The brain requires energy and many nutrients to function optimally, and a healthy diet supplies a higher amount of the most beneficial nutrients.
  2. Research shows that many children with ADHD may have low levels of nutrients such as magnesium, zinc, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids, which are vital for brain function. These nutrients are reviewed later in this fact sheet.
  3. Children diagnosed with ADHD have an increased chance of developing poor dietary habits in the future. Teaching children with ADHD healthy eating habits early in life may help change this. <Read the complete article on Ohioline...>
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Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is common among children but may continue into adulthood. Features of ADHD typically include low attention span, impulsiveness, and over-activity. Children with ADHD can have behavioral problems, leading to difficulties in school. <Read the complete article on Ohioline...>

Diet Plays Key Role in ADHD Symptoms in Children

Here’s a good reason for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to eat their fruits and vegetables: It may help reduce inattention issues, a new study suggests. As part of a larger study, researchers asked parents of 134 kids with ADHD symptoms to complete a detailed questionnaire about the typical foods the children ate, including portion sizes, over a 90-day period. <Read the complete article on Ohio State News...>