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Hyperkinectic syndrome eating advice for hyperactivity

This eating plan will produce results that are pleasing to both child & parent. Not only will there be positive behavioural changes, but also other responses caused by this syndrome, such as bedwetting & learning difficulties, will stop.

Hyperkinetic syndrome eating advice

Below is the advice on foods we recommend you omit from your child's diet.

There are TWO groups of foods to avoid.

Initially these must all be totally eliminated, but the foods in Group 1 can be tested and slowly re-introduced, once there has been a big improvement in your child's behaviour.

Group 1

These fruits and vegetables contain natural salicylates, which many children react to.

Initially, these foods must be omitted in ALL forms - fresh, frozen, canned, dried, as juice or as an ingredient of prepared foods.

Apples Almonds Apricots All berries Peaches
Plums Pineapple Cherries Currants Prunes
Tree tomato Kiwifruit Capsicum Tomatoes Feijoas
Nectarines All citrus Pears Passionfruit All stone fruit

Grapes and raisins and ALL grape products eg. wine vinegar, grape jellies, raisins, sultanas.

Tomatoes and ALL tomato products, eg. tomato sauce.

Cucumbers and mixed pickles.

If your child shows a favourable response after eliminating these foods, they may be slowly re-introduced. This should not be attempted for at least 2 weeks after the diet has started.

Testing Foods

Try the foods one at a time. If trying apples, give them one apple each day for four days. Note the reaction of the child, ie their behaviour after that food has been eaten. This reaction may not be evident immediately. After the four day period, put your child back on the "Basic" diet (ie omit all Group 1 & 2 foods). They must stay on this for a further four days to get this food, ie the apple, out of their system. Then the process is started again, trying another food.

Proceed this way until all the foods have been tested. Mark those, which cause a reaction and avoid them in the future.

Group 2

All foods in this group are forbidden permanently.

Anything that contains natural OR artificial additives, preservatives, colourings or flavourings. All chocolate and ALL chocolate products, eg coco, milo, bournvita, sweetened or unsweetened chocolate.

Coloured toothpaste, perfume, talcum powder, makeup, face paint, coloured &/or scented bubble bath, aerosol sprays like fly spray, deodorant, highly perfumed soaps and shampoo, dishwashing liquid with colour &/or perfume.

Prepared meats like sausage, luncheon, bacon, ham, meat pies. Check the labels of all tinned fish. Pre-stuffed poultry, margarine, processed cheeses or cheese spreads, yoghurt, except for ones stating no additives.

All breakfast cereals except Uncle Toby's Wheat Biscuits, GP Kornies.

All mint flavoured items, soy sauce, any type of vinegar, herbs and spices, commercial sauces, pickles, chutney, cloves, jellies, ice cream cones, instant stock, almond paste and icing, commercial soups, colour grading off meat and vegetables, commercial cakes, pastry, doughnuts.

Aspirin, disprin in all forms. All children's medicine. Remember there are natural alternatives available for most health problems. These work effectively, without causing side effects. If your child does need medication from your GP, you will need to ask your doctor to prescribe a colour and flavour free variety. If none is available, ask if there is an alternative to that particular medicine prescribed. I have found that getting adults forms of preparations prescribed, like antibiotic tablets, is the best solution. Get the doctor to advise regarding the appropriate dose, eg the tablet may need to be cut in half. If prescribed capsules, these will need to be opened and the contents mixed with something, such as a small drink.

Remember there is a natural alternative to most drugs. Consult our clinic for further advice.

Some basic rules

The best way to follow your child's progress is to conscientiously write down everything they eat. This encourages you to carefully think about the foods you prepare.

Do not have disallowed foods in the house! Make sure you have bought suitable foods that are permitted for your child, eg. natural style potato chips, Aztec corn chips, Rhyvita crackers or make permitted foods eg banana ice blocks, ice cream, peanut butter etc.

Be positive in your approach and explanations to your child. Instead of telling them all the things they cannot have, concentrate on emphasising suitable alternatives. Make sure the family, neighbours, friends and relatives know the importance of suitable foods being available.

A treat you could make for your child that will satisfy a sweet craving is to cook bananas in a little butter, on a low heat for 5-10 minutes. The resulting treat is very yummy!

The diet is not a punishment for the child. Your child must understand it is not their fault they are sensitive to certain food items. It must be adhered to 100%. It is important to remember that often a single bite or a single drink can cause an undesired response, which can persevere for 72 hours or more. Having a forbidden food on Sunday and then again on Wednesday can keep the child in a constant state of disrupted behaviour all week.

On average a good response will be observed within 7 to 21 days. In some children, the favourable response will be noted as early as the first week, but sometimes as late as seven weeks.

Some children react to chlorinated water. Drinking this may cause the same reaction as forbidden foods. If your child does react to this, they will probably also react to swimming pool water.

Most reactions to forbidden foods occur fairly quickly, within 4 hours, but sometimes a build-up occurs. Then the reaction may not be noticed for 3-4 days, although this would be the exception. Again, this emphasises the importance of only trying one new food at a time from Group 1.

Your child should not have anything from a packet, tin (tinned tuna or salmon in spring water is OK) or any food you would buy from a cafe, restaurant or lunch bar etc. If you go out anywhere, it will be necessary to take their own food and drink, prepacked.

You will need to start reading the label from everything you buy to make sure it does not contain any of the "forbidden foods" ie foods in Group 1 or 2.

You will need to be careful when you are cooking that you do not use the same cooking utensils for your meal and your child's. This means having one spoon, or whatever, to mix and stir your meal and one to mix or stir your child's. Little things like this make all the difference to the diet working or not working, as often, just a lick is sufficient to cause a marked change in the child's behaviour.If you are having a barbecue or frying foods, do not cook the child's food in the same pan or on the same place as yours.

You will need to be careful of your child using felt tip pens, crayons, paints etc. These all contain colouring. If the child gets these on their hands, the reaction could be the same as if they had eaten a forbidden food. Play dough is the same. You could try making some play dough without colouring.

If you have achieved some improvement in the diet but it is not consistent or as good as you like, check that:

(a) Your child is following the diet EXACTLY

(b) You have not reintroduced too many foods, too quickly

(c) Your child is not experiencing a build-up effect of one food item
eg eating 2 or 3 apples in one day, even though one is OK or he/she may tolerate the food the first few times, but after that is affected by it. In this case, stop the food you suspect, to see if there is any improvement

Remember that children's reactions to foods are all different. It may take a long period of experimentation to find out exactly what is best. Do not be tempted to go too fast, too soon, or your child will be confused by the way they feel.

If in doubt about whether to give the child a certain food, it is better to stick with foods that you know are permitted.

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The Naturopathic Team
Ideal Health

Disclaimer: The health information presented here has been written for the New Zealand health consumer. It is of a general nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subjects covered and is intended to be used for educational and general information purposes only. It is not intended as medical advice or as a means to diagnose, treat, cure or prescribe for any particular condition or disease. You assume all responsibility for the treatment which may be undertaken as a result of the information on this site, or treatment recommended by any other party. While all care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility or liability is accepted, and no person should act in reliance on any statement contained in the information provided. All health ailments should be treated by a qualified health professional.

If you need help or advice, please email our naturopathic team with your health question.  Please allow 48 hours for a response.

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