Should parents let their children with ADHD have Halloween candy?
Halloween is approaching, and ADHD parents are frightened by the notion of having to limit their child’s sugar intake. Are you a stressed-out parent who doesn’t know what Halloween treats are best for their child or how to prevent high sugar from triggering their child’s symptoms? In this blog post, we will go through the following points in detail:
- Is sugar good for a child with ADHD?
- Foods that trigger symptoms of ADHD
- What effect does sugar have on ADHD mood swings?
Is sugar good for ADHD?
There is insufficient evidence to support that sugar directly affects ADHD or hyperactivity. Studies on ADHD and sugar are conflicting and have limitations. However, candy is loaded with sugar and artificial colors, a bad combination for children with ADHD. Both of these common ingredients have been shown to promote ADHD symptoms
Blood sugar fluctuations can affect your child’s mood and ability to focus. Eating a balanced diet that includes protein and complex carbohydrates and limits excess sugar is an important part of a healthy lifestyle for everyone, including children and adults with ADHD.
5 foods to exclude from an ADHD diet
We have developed a list of foods that you shouldn’t offer to your child if they have ADHD to avoid triggering their ADHD symptoms. During Halloween, avoid the following foods:
- Refined and artificial sugars. Sugary foods can produce blood glucose spikes, which can impact energy levels and make your youngster hyperactive
- Simple carbohydrates: white pasta, white rice, white bread, candies, drinks, and potatoes
- Caffeine – although several researchers have found that caffeine can benefit people with ADHD, it’s still not a good idea to give caffeine to your children, especially on a candy-filled holiday
- Artificial additives – many packaged foods, such as cereals, cookies, soft drinks, candies, and fruit punches, contain preservatives that may worsen ADHD symptoms
- Allergens – evidence shows that foods that don’t contain certain potential allergens, such as gluten, wheat, and soy, can improve focus and reduce hyperactivity.
What effect does sugar have on ADHD mood swings?
Yale University study found that children with ADHD who consume high-sugar diets may report increased inattention.
Blood sugar spikes, such as those caused by eating sugary products or ultra-processed grains and carbohydrates, and the following blood sugar crashes can affect mood, ability to focus and concentrate, and cause energy levels to fluctuate.
On the other hand, a research study by Mark Wolraich, MD, showed that sugar does not cause hyperactivity, aggravates ADHD symptoms, and does not affect children’s behavior or cognitive performance.
If you believe sugar is affecting your or your child’s ADHD, limiting excess sugar won’t hurt as long as their nutritional demands are met.