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Help for Eating Problems in Children with ADHD

7. Fussy children are very hard to cook for! Again, it isn't worth starting a battle. Arguing over the size of a piece of meat or counting peas is no fun (for you, anyway). Some people insist on their children eating everything. Others happily cook different meals for each member of the family. The best answer is probably somewhere between. Some children are fussy about the feel or texture of a food, rather than the taste. Problems with slimy things like onions and mushrooms are particularly common. Sometimes homemade meals, like stews and casseroles taste awful without the "hated" food, in which case liquidising the onions or mushroom before you cook them makes the finished dish taste OK, but without the little bits for your child to fuss over.

8. Children, like cars, don't run well when they are empty! Regular meals can make a big difference to behaviour. You may find that a mid-morning and mid-afternoon (or after-school) snack improves your child's behaviour. Try not to skip meals yourself, as it is easy for your child to copy you - especially if he/she isn't feeling hungry. It is important to eat meals - however small - at reasonably regular intervals.

9. It is often possible to get most of the day's food eaten before the first dose of the day starts to work, or after the last dose has worn off. You could try some of the following:

a. If your child is taking the short acting (10mg) tablets of Ritalin, it is sometimes possible to time a meal for the "dip" before the next dose is due, when the child will be hungrier.

b. A big cooked breakfast, before the morning dose has taken effect, is excellent. If sausage, bacon, potato waffles, eggs, beans and fruit juice sounds too much for you to cook, why not try a bacon sandwich with a milkshake - or even a bowl of Angel Delight, or fruit pie and custard? Some supermarkets now sell Muller Sponge and Custard, Chocolate Sponge etc. in yoghurt-pot sized microwave-able portions.

c. Add a good supper before bed. Try a thick milkshake, a cheese or bacon sandwich, some yoghurt, a bowl of cereal with whole milk, rice-pudding or something similar, along with some fruit.

d. Little ones sometimes eat quite well if fed in the bath! A few bath toys, a plastic jug, and the cold tap set to a trickle will keep the child facing in one direction to give you the opportunity to spoon in all sorts of goodies - with no worry about the mess! Try baked beans, spaghetti hoops, hot dog sausages, sponge or pie and custard, boiled egg with toast soldiers, rice pudding, yoghurt, ice-cream...the possibilities are endless!

Milk Shakes:The easiest way to make a good THICK milk shake is with a packet of Angel Delight - or your supermarket's "own brand" version which will be cheaper. Instead of using the amount of milk it says on the packet, use 1 PINT of whole milk (or ½ a pint for half a packet). If you whisk it up well you will end up with a wonderfully frothy drink. You could even sprinkle chocolate or those little coloured sprinkling things (100s of 1000s, I think) on top for added effect, and serve with a straw!

You can also make gorgeous home made milk shakes in a liquidiser.

To serve 2:

8-10 Strawberries or 1-2 Bananas
½ pint of whole milk
3 scoops of vanilla ice cream
A small dollop of single cream. (Don't worry if you don't have any - add an extra scoop of ice cream instead)
Some people like to add a teaspoon of sugar, too.

About the author: Clare is the mother of 2 children with ADHD and is a doctor working in Child Psychiatry.


 

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next: How Do I Know If I have ADD/ADHD? (Children)
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Last Updated: 12 February 2016
Reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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