Behavior challenges in young boys? Is medication our only choice?
What about diet?
Personally, I believe our society is doing a huge disservice to our boys, in relation to labeling their age appropriate energy or shaming them for playing battle games.
Since my son was born, it’s rare for me to go out in public without a stranger, friend, or family member commenting how”hyper”, “busy”, or “what a handful” he is. Not only is this harmful to his sense of self, his energy level is not abnormal, he’s just allowed to display age appropriate behaviors and has freedom to act like a child.
Have you ever read some of the characteristics of ADHD? One in particular, “inability to sit still” and/or “inappropriately climbing”. Seriously? No, really. Are they serious? What little boy wants to sit in a seat all day? What little boy doesn’t want to climb every tree? My son does parkour wherever we go! Target parking lot, watch out! We are coming for that shopping cart coral!
So what do you do when your child is high energy or has an ADHD diagnosis, but you don’t believe medication should be your first step? Have you tried dietary changes?
Here are a few dietary suggestions to feed your child’s brain, for daily success:
•Increase fats and proteins in their diet. Avocado, nut butters, grass fed butter, coconut oil, meat, and fish oil are all good options. “Protein-rich foods are used by the body to make neurotransmitters, the chemicals released by brain cells to communicate with each other. Protein can prevent surges in blood sugar, which increase hyperactivity.” You can read more here: Why Sugar Is Kryptonite for ADHD Brains
•That brings me to my next suggestion, avoid sugar, artificial food coloring and preservatives! Apparently there is very little correlation between sugar and hyperactivity, but my child says otherwise. It’s immediate chaotic energy if he ingests sugar, food dyes, or HFCS.
•Try supplements. B6, zinc, magnesium, Omega 3s and 6s, are all options.
•Try essential oils, such as peppermint, which has a calming effect.
In order to calm themselves when they feel chaotic, here are some tips for self-regulation:
•Model mindfulness in your daily life. Teach them to do alternate nostril breathing, downward dog, and breathe and exhale for 3 seconds, when they feel stressed.
•Explain transitions and give your children steps to work through them.
As a mother, it’s difficult to see our children labeled. If you want to continue to show them age appropriate freedom, while giving them formulas for success, then I hope these ideas help!