Meal planning for the ADHD family.

Updated: Jan 5



My experience as a mother and wife of ADHD is that hormones, essential fatty acids, and gut health are all key factors in managing the symptoms that each person experiences.


To help DH and Master 9 get through the day, I try to provide foods that are enjoyable but still focus on the key principles outlined below.


They are both definitely happier and more enjoyable to be around when I limit the number of fillers in our family’s food.


Treats are still allowed, but everything is in moderation with the focus on unprocessed foods where possible.


Key factors to include when planning include:


  1. Whole Foods

  2. Focus on Omega 3's, Tryptophans, and B Vitamins for hormone balance

  3. Breakfast is important!

  4. Alternative calcium sources

  5. Gut health is key


1. Whole Foods


Processed foods containing sugar, gluten, conventional dairy, food colors, nitrates, dyes, and additives can play havoc on an ADHD person. Avoiding concentrated sugars, gluten, and foods with long lists of indecipherable names and numbers helps the hormones in the brain to maintain balance and cognitive function.


2. Focus on Omega 3’s Tryptophan and B Vitamins


Hormones are key when managing ADHD, as chemical imbalances in the brain are major contributors to ADHD.

By ensuring that you include quality sources of Omega 3’s, Tryptophan, and B Vitamins, you can help to balance the chemicals in the brain. These vitamins, amino, and fatty acids all contribute to the production of serotonin, the feel-good hormone. If you can’t get enough of these essential fatty & amino acids or vitamins, consider a good supplement to help.


3. Eat Breakfast


For some people, and especially those with ADHD, breakfast helps the body properly regulate blood sugar and stabilize hormone fluctuations. Eating a breakfast that contains at least 20 grams of protein, with sustained energy release can really help the start of the day. If there are too many carbohydrates in breakfast, the resulting sugar spike and crash can cause major disruptions to the mood and the rest of the day.


4. Alternative Calcium Sources


Traditional cow milk dairy contains A1 Casein which can cause an allergy-like reaction in the brain (similar to gluten), so is best eliminated if you experience reactions.

There are good alternative options out there to support your calcium levels. Options include Goat’s milk, Plant Milks and even A2 milk.


A2 milk is a reasonably new, but popular addition to the New Zealand market. Because of this, you are not able to get a lot of cheese and yogurts made out of it. If you look carefully enough, you can however source A2 milk powder, which you can use to make your own dairy products.


The gut is known as the second brain, with inflammation of the gut causing major imbalances in how you feel in general (even if you don’t have ADHD).

Focus on pre and probiotic, anti-inflammatory food with easily digestible proteins, fiber, and high antioxidant count make for a much happier life.


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