Do diet changes help ADHD children?

I almost fell off my chair reading this title on Sunday’s Chicago Tribune.  I put for a cup of coffee and tried again. It says ” parents of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have been reporting marked behavioral improvements due to diets eliminating artificial food coloring and other additives for decades now, but those reports have gained traction in the past decade, with recent studies suggesting that scientists may have been too quick to dismiss dietary triggers for ADHD in the 1980s and ’90s”.

And again “…when patients followed broader elimination diets – excluding not only artificial colors and preservatives, but other suspected triggers such as eggs – the effect was larger…”

English: Symptoms of ADHD described by the lit...
English: Symptoms of ADHD described by the literature (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To read the whole article please go to

Three cheers for Nara Schoenberg! ( the author of the article).  She gives each parent an incredible and invaluable gift: trust.  This article allows parents to think of themselves as knowledgeable: they do know their children.

I have been helping the  families of children with learning  problems since 1998.  I have learned a lot through my interactions with my students and their families.  By the time parents and/or grandparents are looking for a specialized tutor, a lot of time, money and sleepless nights are spent dealing with the challenges and frustrations presented by the child and the medical community caught unaware of the many different aspects of a family dealing with daily meltdowns and few options for a better tomorrow.

Let me make this very clear: this is not a magic pill made to fix every childhood problem.  Elimination diets are best handled with the help of an experienced nutritionist.  Also, elimination diets do not work for all children.  However, Joell Nigg, a professor of psychiatry at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland,  is cited in the above article saying “I think it is possible that, for some kids, you would get a dramatic effect”.

There is only one question that remains: elimination diet or Ritalin?


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