Diet is huge in this issue. White sugar is bad!!! Artificial sugar even worse. Do you notice his behavior is worse with certain foods? The Artificial colorants are cuprits as well. Write down his diet for 3 days and email it to me.
This may just be part of being a boy, but my 2 1/2 year old is extremely hyper. Does anyone know if TV or what contributes to ADHD/ hyperactive behavior.
I want to try to make some changes so maybe he will calm down a bit. Not sure if maybe he is watching too much TV or if it is what I feed him or what. I try not to give him too much sugar, but sometimes I do. Also what snacks should I give him (besides fruit & yogurt). He loves candy and I have tried to give him the sugarless kind- but I think he still acts hyper with that. [My mom mentioned that sometimes the artificial colors can make kids hyper like yellow & red #5]
Diet is huge in this issue. White sugar is bad!!! Artificial sugar even worse. Do you notice his behavior is worse with certain foods? The Artificial colorants are cuprits as well. Write down his diet for 3 days and email it to me.
For my kids...only one has a clincal diagnosis of add; the problems I have found so far are high fructose corn syrup, yellow, red, & blue dyes, nutrasweet (grandma actually gave one of them a diet soda and WHOA!) and foods that they are individually senstive to. I liked that detox page that one of the other mom's recommended.
I actually have to tell you that the video games and the televsion is one of the only things that has slowed my boy down. I do recommend that you see about possibly getting an Occupational Therapy evaluation or read this book "The Out of Sync Child" by Carol Stock Kranowitz. See if that gives you any help.
ADHD can technically be diagnosed to a child over the age of 8 or 9 because the symptoms so closely mirror toddlerhood. Good Luck!
Boys will be boys! My son was/and is the same way. He is 6 now. I have talked to my pediatrician about it and he has been in a study w/ Children's Memorial for the last three years and they look for ADHD and other related disorders. No ADHD and my pediatrician has told me there is nothing to worry about with him as well. She has never told me to limit TV (he doesn't watch a lot anyway, too busy! and even if he has it on, he is usually doing something else as well) and he doesn't get a ton of sugar either. I have heard that sugar really has little impact on kids hyperness, it is caffeine that has an impact and there is caffeine in things like chocolate. I have heard that dyes can have an impact and although I have not tried to take it out of his diet, I know someone who has w/ some success, but I don't know if research has proved or disproved this yet.
I think the best thing you can do is try to keep him as active as possible and come to the realization that some boys are just a bit more 'excitable' than others. I know plenty of them!
There are several factors that can contribute to a hyper child. Is it normal high energy for a boy that age, or is there an underlying factor? You need to observe and record what you see in your child in different places and situations. Can the child focus, is he unfocused and hyper in all situations? My son was mis-diagnosed with ADHD. People are quick to label ADHD... I am not one to jump and put my child on medication as most doctors suggest. Food dyes and allergies can contribute to hyperactivity. Sugar, on the other hand, is not a contributor in being hyper like we have assumed in the past. Check out the following article. http://www.cnn.com/HEALTH/children/9911/22/diet.sugar.myt... Chemical imbalances in the body are another contributing factor. I have looked into and have gotten great results from the HRI (Health and Research Institute) Pfeiffer Treatment Center. People come from all over the world to get treatment, including famous athletes. They are located in Warrenville, Illinois and their website is http://www.hriptc.org. It could be a biochemical imbalance that your child has. They will do a blood test, hair strand test and urine test to test for metals, etc... in your system and their levels. Certain metals can contribute to hyper-activity and behavior issues. Then if it is needed, as it was in my son, your child will be put on a vitamin program. They are vitamins in their purest forms that will help balance out their system. We got great results with our son...but every child is different. My insurance covered the majority of the visits, tests, and vitamins. Look into the website - if it interests you it is worth a shot!
Yes, absolutely TV and sugar and/or artificial colors make a HUGE difference. Studies have shown that attention spans aren't as good when children watch TV. No more than 1/2 hour a day I think. Basically enough to take a shower is how I look at it. He also might have a lot of energy and needs to get outside more and be a little more active.
TURN OFF THE TV!!! IT'S SUMMER. GO OUTSIDE!!!
My boys were the same way. I have three and when they were that age, the tv and the video games added to the hyperness. My stepson who is 14 has adhd was tame though. The tv and vidio games did not effect him...but the food did. There is a book out about food and special kids. I have it, I just don't know the name off hand. I will write to you when I find it. But, no sugar. Feed him good stuff. Veggies are best. Fruit has natural sugar in it and can contribute to hyperactivity. So, give him a carrott or something that will be less filled with sugars.
Yogart has a lot of sugar in it. I would really focus on natural and organic snacks. Protein is a perfect match for sugar. You want to stay away from food chemicals, preservatives and colors. I would also limit the tv a lot. Get outside as much as possible. Also try playdough, puzzles, coloring/painting, trains, and cars. Head to the thrift stores and let him pick out cheap toys to keep him interested and route them so he doesn't get bored. My girls love side walk chalk and bubbles in the summer. We also have a trampoline, which takes a lot of energy. We got a small to put in the house for the winter. You may also want to look into supplementing his diet. We use a wonderful product that has changed our lives. If you want more info, drop me a line at, ____@____.com luck, G. Chambers
A great resource is the book Getting Rid of Ritalin. Even if your child doesn't have ADHD, but has some symptoms, it gives some great ideas. I noticed that some have suggested fruits and raisins. If your son is having a reaction to sugar, he could react to those the same way. If you're looking for a quick on the go treat or meal, Organic Food Bars (at Whole Foods and Trader Joes) are great. They're sweet, high in protein, but no sugar. (They do have dates and dates are also processed in the body in a similar way to sugar though, but my son seems to do well with them.)
Yes, try to get rid of the food dyes. And limit tv, it slows down brain activity, which in turn makes one more hyper to increase the brain's stimulation.
2 1/2 year olds really shouldn't be watching much t.v. at all IMO. They need to be playing and actively learning which t.v. doesn't allow them to do - no matter how "educational" the shows are. As far as candy, get it out of the house! It provides no nutritional value which is what they need a lot of at this young age. They're growing and developing at lightning speed so all those empty calories (void of nutritional value) are doing him a disservice. If his only choice is fruit, he will eat the fruit - eventually. You've conditioned him to eat the candy so it won't happen overnight but all kids love fruit of some kind or another. As far as "sugarless" kinds, keep those away from him! Nothing artificial is beneficial to a 2 1/2 year old!!!!!! It can even do harm. Please just stick to natural, whole foods, in their natural state. Read all labels and make sure not to give him anything with "high fructose corn syrup" in it (that has also been linked to hyperactivity). You definitely should go to an allergist to get him tested for food allergies. Many ADHD kids simply have an undiagnosed food allergy and end up drugged up on multiple medications, one for symptoms caused by another, for nothing.
Ditch the candy early.... keep up with the fruits, yogurts, try also puddings, jello and jello with fruit, rasins, and maybe 2x's a week a treat of old fashion cookies - oatmeal, peanut butter. Make sure he's drinking his water. Maybe getting out during the day to the park and interacting with mom more in conversation will help ... not so much "TV" time
Dr. says an hour of t.v. a day. If he's watchin hyper he could tend to act the same way. Take him outside and get fresh air. Play catch and kick ball and things to develope his muscular system and take his interest off the tube.
Hello D., Yes tv can have a hyper affect on a child(ren). The brain of a child is so sponge like that any and every thing is taken in. If you are worried of the tv effecting your son when he is in front of the tv, watch his face, look at his eyes....if his eyes are going twoforty watching the screen, then yes tv is not a good idea for your son now. I was in the boat as you are with my daughter and I did just what I suggested. I would watch her as she was in front of the tv and you know what,, she wasso busy trying to absorb as much of it as she could she would not pay attention to anything else. So I immediately cut it out. She gets up to one hour in the morning and about 45 min. in the later of the afternoon. All other times of the day I make sure I have on the radio and we dance, sing, she enjoys it much better and I have noticed a remarkable improvment in her and her sleep and her quality of the day. I do believe that tv gets ther brain moving too much and they are just children and do not know how to settle themselves or how to handle the "rush" that they are going through.
Oh yeah on the candy subject.....a child only knows what it is taught to them. My daughter is 3 and she has not had candy at all. If you as her she will tell you it is junk and she does not need that. Their is no purpose to put suger in a child for nothing.
Your mother is right!! Recent studies show that artificail colors can have interference with brain activity. Long term effects could be even worse. He is a boy, and most young boys are active. Also, snacking on the wrong foods can cause health problems in the long run. There are so many wonderful, tasty organic snacks now, try some. There are also many cook books for healthy snack solutions. Also, a great book to read together is "Eat Healthy Feel Great" by Dr. William Sears, MD. Don't give in. You are the parent. You can help change his behavior for the better, start young!!
N. - Nutrition Naturally
first - stop giving him anything with artificial sweetners.
watch what he eats and what his response is to try and determine what his triggers may be.
second - get him evaluated - you may have to fight but do it - the sooner he gets help the better he will do,
My grandson started out as ADHD but that has been eliminated. He is Bipolar, autitsic (apsberger's) & Sensory Integration dysfunction (SID) all are pieces that made him seem ADHD even when he truely isn't.
Hang in ther and praying for you both
I wouldn't jump the gun on labeling your child with ADHD. My brother was extremely high energy and hyperactive as a toddler and child and it was just part of his personality - he still is high energy and hyper! :) And he's a successful husband and father of two and has a great life! Many docs and teachers told my mom to put him on Ritalin, but she refused and I think it's good she did. Some kids are just active and energetic (especially boys - my 15 month old is constantly on the move). There's nothing inherently wrong with it. And there are ways to channel that energy effectively with activities and structured playtime. I think part of the problem with TV is that it can make active kids itchy to move around. Kids with that much energy don't like to sit - it doesn't use their energy to sit and watch television - take him outside, let him run around, play games! If anything, it is looking like television and the internet are being more and more linked to kids inability to concentrate as they get older and get into school (and it doesn't get better with age - tons of high schoolers now have this problem). Let your active child be active, imaginative and playful. It can be really hard on you at times - he has much more energy than you do! - but stick with it and see if it makes a difference. Good luck!!
Yes, studies do show (and I've noticed differences between kids I work with as well) that tv actually does change the brain in toddlers and preschoolers causing for a lowered attention span, more impulsivity, etc. etc. Google toddler attention span or preschool tv attention span...stuff like that. Even educational tv that people are taught is "good" teaches them for the short term, but if brain development is being hampered in terms of attention span, it's going to make it more difficult for them in school later. These basics taught on tv can be learned in books and games rather. One of the studies I remember seeing said that for each hour of tv daily at age 3, ADHD was 10% more likely to be diagnosed at age 7. At our house, we try to keep it out of routine so they still watch occassionally, but days will often pass without turning it on at all and they don't miss it. Especially in the summer it's easier to stay occupied with outside things and then they are eager to play with inside toys to cool down from outside. Any screen actually should be limited so computer as well. We don't do computer with the kids at home (ages 4 & 2) though they play computer games elsewhere sometimes like at the gym and friend's houses sometimes. Hope that helps.
Also, food chemicals/artificials are more of a danger than sugar for hyperactivity. So sugar-free things could be backfiring against you. The body was not originally designed to be fed these chemicals and artificials, so our bodies sometimes react to them and it's especially apparent in kids it seems.
Like Jennifer's son, my 3 y/o boy is very very active. He doesn't walk ANYWHERE. He jumps or runs to get where he needs to go. He is non-stop from when he wakes up until when he goes to bed. I find it fun, personally.
As for candy, sweets, etc. We try to limit what we let him eat. He only gets candy when he goes on the potty (we are starting potty training). He doesn't get much juice, just milk and water. I'm not saying that we are over strict with the food, I know we could do better. I've been waivering on and off about going organic and such but haven't made the leap just yet. Snacks in our house consist of whole wheat crackers, 100% fruit chews, Cherrios (no sugar), and one or two cookies a day. We also let him have graham crackers because our younger son is eating them now.
TV, this is a tough topic and I'm more in the camp that controlled TV isn't the worst thing you can do for your kids. That being said, we haven't had the TV on in days. It's summer and we're always out doing something and letting Jacob run around and burn off some energy. We do let Jacob watch some TV on the weekends but to be honest, we've found that it's the only way to get him to sit still for even a short period of time. We'll put in a movie and he will sit for about 10 minutes and then he's up and running around. We'll just leave it on in the back ground and he'll return for his favorite parts of the movie. I wouldn't be comfortable if he was always wanting to watch it. If he started asking for it, I'd be redirecting to other activities.
Another thing that will get him to settle down is reading. He LOVES books and we read to him all the time. He's now starting to "read" to his younger brother (10 months). We've found that the pop-up books keep him interested and anything to do with counting or letters.
Finally, I will say that I have a friend that found out her VERY VERY active son had food allergies. If you find that the changes you make aren't working, that is something I would consider. She showed be video of before taking away his triggers and after. OMG, I was shocked. A whole different kid. I wouldn't have ever believed it if I didn't see it myself.
You could have him evaluated by an occupational therapist through the Early Intervention program. Sensory Integration issues can often look like ADHD. It's free and they can come to your home for the evaluation.
We have a 12 year old daughter diagnosed with ADHD (attention deficit with hyperactivity disorder). In ready up on it, we feel that truly the best equiped professional to diagnose any hyperactivity condition in a child is a pediatric neuropsychologist. The one we used stated that no child that is not yet in school should be labeled with a hyperactivity disorder. (He also cautioned that medication should be limited to help the child in school only, so not during the summer or when too young for school.) There are many theories about what causes hyperactivity disorder but I think most doctors agree that it is not sugar. I think most also agree that it has nothing to do with TV - - TV can influence a child that is having attention deficit disorder but that is a different condition. The doctor we used stressed that the best treatment for hyperactivity disorders is a structured environment - - set schedule for waking and sleeping, set order of events for the day, set discipline that is easy simple rules to follow and set consequences if rules are not followed. Hope that helps. PS Sounds like you have a great son who is just "all boy"!
my favorite book of all time on this topic: mary sheedy kurcinka "how to raise your spirited child".
other than that, i have seen kids act adhd because of the dyes as your mom suggested. those dyes are in MANY products, so you really have to watch for them (including bubble baths, etc). sugar is certainly a culprit, and sugar-free isn't necessarily an alternative, because children react to the aspartame and other artificial sweeteners in much the same manner as they react to sugar. dairy allergy or lactose intolerance can also lead to hyperactivity.
tv could definitely be an issue too... it takes the 2-3 year old brain twice as long as the show watched to process the information. so if he watches for 1/2 an hour, it takes an hour for his brain to stop replaying the images and for him to sort out and categorize the info. this generally leads to one of two things: children who sit very still while they try to sift through all of the info and kids who can't sit still because they're brains are overloaded. in addition to the brainwave patterns, watching tv means that he is sitting still, not up and using his energy physically to wear himself out.
it sounds like you want to try to control his hyperactivity through diet and behavior change. while it is going to take some big changes, you can do it if you stick to it! i've seen some really wonderful outcomes using these methods!
Some children's hyper activity can come from food allergies. Milk, wheat and gluten allergies can make a child as well as adults feel sick, out of sort and sometimes (especially in children) very hyper.
I don't know about TV causing Hyperactivity but it can cause aggressive tendencies. Just like video games can. They mimic what they see.
Dr. Hult is a doctor in McHenry, IL that really has helped may families with there food allergies. Here is his website:
Best of Luck,
You'll probably have to weather some serious melt downs but change the diet/remove sugar now before he's older and it's even harder/impossible. He is obviously more sensative to it as many of us are and don't realize it. If you can teach him to appreciate foods with less sugar now he'll thank you later. Also, yes, tv does make for shorter attention spans. Sugar has a big affect on the brain and is much like a drug. Many of those yogurts have A LOT of sugar in them. You need to start reading labels and comparing grams of sugar. So much of what is targeted at kids contains a lot of sugar and artificial flavors and colors which just lead to crappy food consumers down the line. Look for a good yahoo group to join on the subject for more support and resources. Good luck! K.
My son is now 3 and wow and hyper kid. It was getting pretty bad about 2 1/2 yr. old. He needed to be on the go all day (and night). Sugar can play a part and I have heard that the red dye can also. I give my son sugar free popsicles and limit things high in sugar. He is still pretty hyper, so we took him to the doctor as he was hardly sleeping. After the exam, he told us he is just hyper and that is his personality. His learning is not being affected, as he is above the norm for what he should be doing. He told us to check out a book called 1-2-3 Magic for Christian Parents. It did not seem totally religion based and they said it was for anyone. We read most and tried a few things. As far as the TV goes, I dont believe that it makes the kids hyper. You can find learning shows that are great for them and just limit how much they watch. For snacks I found that carrot stick with ranch are good, apple cut up with peanut butter, dried cranberries(thry even have yogurt covered ones). Try making things calmer around him, have some activities that are structured to where he is not all over the place, and if he does not want to sit then put it away. I have tried many of these and I have to say our son has gotten so much better. He can still be hyper at times, but that is his personality.
Oh, and the sugarless stuff sometimes makes it worse as it has the artificial sweetners, so if you are going to give sugar, let it be natural in the food. I hope this helps you.
I am a married mom of 2 boys, ages 12 and 3
I think it he is way too young to decide if it is ADHD and I would just put that label away until you have looked at other resources. For one thing boys are more "active" then girls. I have a 27 month old and can absolutely relate. My son doesn't walk, he hops to every location. He jumps on the couches, he jumps on the bed, he spins in circles. At dinner time he stands and eats. I think this is so normal. I just try to accommodate him. Some things you can try are to allow time every day at parks and outside, let him jump on your bed supervised (a fun activity in my house), let him rough house with daddy (we make it very clear though that he can only "wrestle" with daddy), put cushions on the floor in the living room so he can hop around, or get a trampoline for your play area. Fighting the activity level will only backfire. But as you mentioned, I am also concerned, that the sugar consumption can cause some of it. That is also something I will be looking at as well. As for TV, yes it can cause ADD/ADHD but just limit the amount and make sure his day is balanced with some independent TV time and time outside. I just read that once you get to the 2 hour TV mark with kids over 2 it becomes excessive so just limit it to about an hour a day (or 2 shows-one for shower time and one for prepping dinner). I also can recommend a great book, "Raising Cain." It is all about how to raise boys and discusses in depth the "activity" or as many people call it, the hyperactivity level, of boys. It is a great read!!
But again some lifestyle changes will probably help but do know some of this is biological and we just have to go with it :) Good luck!!!!! Isn't it fun having boys!!!!!
Your child is too young really for much TV. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no TV until after age 2 and even then very very little. Children need 3-D rather than 2-D stimulation. given that it is summer, I would take him to the park/garden and let him run around and play on the swings etc. And I wouldn't let him have any candy. Snacks such as fruit are much more nutritious. He probably just needs to be more active. Do you have a local pool? Or other fun run around activities eg. My Gym for toddlers, Wonderworks etc.
Since he is only 21/2 you may be able to change to Enjoy Life brand foods for cookies and even chocolate chips for candy. These may taste a little different but they take out all of the allergens, preservatives and colors. Boy if I knew now what I did not know then. : ) I thought skittles was a treat. What was I thinking???? He would get so powered up...
Health food stores are filled with great choices of non process, non preserved, non lets make a child hyper foods and filled with the right foods to grow with. Give your son the right foods and enjoy him.
I did not read all the other posts. Having raised a child with ADHD, my opinion is that diet and t.v. really won't make much difference IF that is what he has - if that is what he has, he is going to have it regardless.
Please be careful not to put that label on him (or let other people) unless you have had a complete and thorough exam and diagnosis. A proper ADHD diagnosis involves multiple visits to a professional and many hours of observation before diagnosing. Please don't let your family doctor just put him on medication to see if he improves - get a professional diagnosis first. I would hold off until he is at least four before pursuing that if at all possible - he is still pretty young.
One thing you can try is - get him involved in some very strenuous physical activity - go to the park and play tag or get some other kids around to run and play as hard as possible, get him in a kiddie pool or bike riding. Is he tired and more calm after that - or still hyper? If he is still hyper then you want to start cutting out certain foods one by one to see if there is any change.
Certainly sugar and artificial coloring will make some kids get hyper - but it should only last a short period of time.
For my son, too much t.v. and video games caused him to be 'attention selective' - he could focus on that and ONLY that for very long periods of time if I didn't cut him off.
Even with ADHD, each of them are very different and unique.
Good luck to you - you might just have a very energetic normal 2 1/2 yr old boy who needs more outlets for his energy! :-) if only we could put it in a bottle, right?
It's amazing how much energy those 2 year olds have. Does he get any exercise? Take him to the park or kick the ball around. Mine loves jumping. My son loves jelly bellies. I don't give our kids too much candy. It's an occasional treat. No cavities so far: ). There are so many fruits to choose from-apples, oranges, grapes, apricots, peaches, plums, watermelon, strawberries... My son (2yrs) likes baby carrots too and loves cheese and popcorn too. We give our kids an occasional fruit leather bar from Trader Joe's. I think the key is exercise and to keep in mind he's a toddler and they are supposed to be active. It's completely normal.
Hi D. - I have 3 boys (ages 5, 2 and half, and a 1 yr old) My older 2 are very hyper- or "high energy" as the doctors like to say. I do believe to some extent that it is just part of being a boy- especially when they are 2- almost all 2 yr olds are hyper.... but there are a lot of things you can do to help channel their energy. I spoke with my pediatrician - my oldest is a little different in that he has something called "sensory integration disorder" which is just a fancy way of saying that he processes things a little different than other people and really is something that people kind of grow into. But, the doctor and the occupation therapists that I have talked to have all said that it takes a combination of things to work on their energy level and behavior.
It is a combo of making sure that they are getting proper sleep, do watch what they eat (sometimes even healthy things like fruits have a lot of natural sugars in them) - try to limit these sorts of things in the evenings... and really try to work off their enegery as early in the day as possible.... things like the playground, playdough, trampoline, etc... but don't be discouraged- people are so quick to label kids with ADHD - when that's usually not the case....