It is safe to say that poor nutrition negatively impacts everyone's health. However, the specific relationship between nutrition and hyperactivity is still unclear in terms of the scientific literature. While each child is unique in their health and symptoms, what can’t be argued with though is the benefits that a nutritious, healthy diet what have on your child’s life. Here’s what you need to know about supporting your child’s hyperactivity through dietary interventions. 

Foods to Avoid 

The research has demonstrated that nutrition and eating habits alone do not cause hyperactivity. However, that being said, there is evidence to show that children with a tendency for hyperactivity may benefit from more targeted dietary approaches that exclude certain foods.

The items most commonly discussed in regards to worsened hyperactivity are sugar, additives, preservatives, food colourings and flavour enhancer, which are all prominent factors in the typical western diet. These items have all been highlighted due to their excitatory effects in the brain, which may contribute to heightened behaviours in children such as overactivity and restlessness. 

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…. Basically, if it comes in a packet and contains a long list of ingredients, an ingredient you find difficult to pronounce, a number or added sugar it is probably best you avoid it. 

Foods to Include

When you remove added sugars, preservatives and additives what are you left with? Whole foods. And that is exactly want you want your child to be eating, especially if they are hyperactive or restless. You should be focusing on making sure your child diet is made up of the following foods. 

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The great thing about transitioning to a healthier way of eating is that when you start focusing on filling the diet with nutritious, delicious food, there is less room for other things to sneak in that may aggravate their symptoms. This is important as children on heavily processed and refined diets are missing out on essential nutrients needed for healthy growth and development. Additionally, children who are hyperactive and restless may be more likely to have certain nutritional deficiencies and may require greater amounts of certain nutrients such as zinc, iron, B6 and omega-3 fatty acids.

In conclusion, a diet full of too much sugar, too many refined foods, artificial foods and food substances, too few fruits and vegetables and a lack of omega-3 fatty acids, have all been suggested as potential factors that can aggravate hyperactivity. While it won't be possible to ensure your child eats perfectly all the time, the basis of their diet should always be whole-food-based, and specific attention may need to be paid to certain nutrients and food groups in some cases. 


Written By Brittany Darling



Brittany Darling