Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Kids, ADHD and Frozen Food

Feeding ADHD Kids

The first place my kids have always gone to for quick snacks and DIY meals is the freezer. If it was prepared frozen food bought in the store, they thought it was junk food. Little did they know that everything in that freezer was anything but junk and I never told them otherwise. I like frozen foods. The berries, seafood, vegetables and snacks were all fresh frozen – no additives, just freezing cold. Actually, I raised my kids on an organic/all natural diet with half of our foods coming from the frozen food isle.

You see… Behind the island on the left is the refrigerator and yes, on the right, that entire unit is one big freezer. It is ALWAYS full.

We have a houseful of ADHD people -we are all on hyper-drive. At the dinner table we have five different conversations going on – simultaneously. My kids were bored stiff when they went to other people’s houses for dinner and there was only one topic being discussed at a time.

Having ADHD can be a blessing- but in order to harness it’s powers, you have to learn how to live with it. Because we are all wired differently, we had to decide how to raise three kids who were rather… active, in a conventional world. Behavior modification, medication, limited screen time, schedules, exercise and organization were all options and most were taken. But, I had a really hard time believing the pediatric neurologists when they said that diet would not make a difference. I figured an organic and nutritious diet couldn’t hurt – right?

Arming myself with every children’s nutrition and ADHD book ever written, I sat down to figure out how I was going to work, run a household, do all those volunteer activities you do when you’re a young mother, manage three ADHD kids who were born within five years of each other and monitor their diets – including packing their lunches.

My ADHD Nutrition Guideline

Here is the diet path I thought was best for them. Mind you, if we stuck to this 80% of the time- I was good with that. This is obviously not for everyone but it was part of our formula for living with ADHD.
  • Lactose free (for the most part) Sheep, Goat cheese, soy, almond and coconut products are okay
  • Organic or as close to all natural as possible
  • Whole grains and unbleached flour
  • Food coloring free
  • As few additives as possible.
The biggest inconvenience this presented was reading the labels. No problem. The item didn’t make it into the shopping cart if there were too many ingredients on the label or if they contained additives I couldn’t pronounced.

The result was a packed freezer that is/was/will always be packed with organic or all natural products such as Amy’s burrito’s, Mac n’ Cheese or lasagnas; So Delicious Dairy Free Products which has yummy ice creams (the mini ice cream sandwiches disappear quickly) and Harvest Foods which offers a great variety of fresh frozen veggies and fruits. If I can’t get fresh organic, I prefer frozen organic. It makes my life easier knowing I have everything I need at hand to whip up a good healthy and delicious meal on those crazy busy nights.


Did It Work?

The kids are older now and here is what I observed over the years:
  • Additive laden foods would (and I mean more than one Ring Ding and a bag of M&M’s over a few days) cause them to be unusually active, irritated and they’d have trouble going to sleep at night
  • Their ability to focus and their emotional balance in general was good when they ate well, had exercise and plenty of sleep. That is a good formula for any child.
  • We were able to keep their medication at a minimum
  • Coming from a family that has battled with weight problems, my kids did not have any
  • For the most part as young adults, their food choices on their own are pretty healthy and organic – not as strict as when they were kids, but not bad.

Did it make a difference with their ADHD? I think so. ADHD is a chemical imbalance. Not one single thing contributes to balancing it- many things do.

Learning to live with ADHD hasn’t been easy for any of them. However, they’ve all learned how to work hard and are happy, creative, inquisitive, packed with personality plus and are on the road to achieving their goals and dreams. I wish they didn’t call ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) a Disorder. In our house, we just learn and live differently… but with a lot of energy and a lot of laughter..

Here is an example of how easy it is to live on an organic, delicious diet – even desserts – with the help of frozen foods.

  • Get out the frozen pie shells and frozen berries!
  • Mix all the ingredients together (this is majorly simple)
  • Pour the mixture into the pie pan, cut the spare pie crust into strips and cross-cross on top of the pie
  • Bake at 375° for about 50 minutes. Eat while warm

Cynthia’s Stupid-Proof Berry Pie
Pre-heat the oven to 375°


  • 2 pie shells – I use Wholly Wholesome Organic Traditional 9″ Pie
  • *5 cups of frozen berries – mixed or blueberries, raspberries, strawberries… whatever you like
  • 1/2 – 2/3 cup of sugar
  • 1/3 cup of flour
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon zest



  • Mix the berries, the sugar and flour and the 2 tablespoons of lemon zest
  • Pour into the pie shell
  • Place the other shell over it and pinch the edges together or lay the other shell out, cut strips and lay a basket weave pattern over the pie
  • Cover the edges of the exposed pie crust with tin foil for the first 25 minutes or it will brown a bit too much
  • Bake about 50 minutes or until the berries are nice, thick and bubbly.
  • Serve with ice cream or whipped cream or… nothing

For home made pie crust, view this video made by Food. Curated on First Prize Pie company in Brooklyn, New York

* Please don’t use Canned blueberries. Here are their ingredients: Wild Blueberries, Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Sugar, Blueberry Juice Concentrate.
Here are the ingredients in frozen blueberries: Organic blueberries.

I would like to thank the The National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association for sponsoring this post and for promoting an industry that has helped make my job as a Mom so manageable for so many years!

SOURCE: http://thedailybasics.com/2013/05/why-i-love-my-freezer


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