Many children with ADHD and/or autism behave better with a diet very low in sugar and corn syrup although studies challenging sugar in children with ADHD have had mixed results causing most professionals to conclude, “Sugar has nothing to do with ADHD!” Many parents would disagree! However, none of the studies have tested the effects of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) which could be more revealing. If you want to see if your child reacts to sugar, you will find directions for this test in my book, Solving the Puzzle of Your ADD/ADHD Child: Natural Solutions for Hard-to-Raise Children.
You may be saying, “There is no way to get my child off sugar! He craves it! He even licks his fingers then dips them in the sugar canister. Then licks off the sugar. He has even stolen sugary treats in stores! It was so embarrassing!”
Here’s something you can try to replace the sugar in his/her diet. Start substituting xylitol, a safe, even beneficial sweetener for the regular sugar (sucrose) in his diet. You may be able to purchase it in your grocery store or you can buy it online. I’ve been using Ideal for well over a year. I think there are other brands too. I like the taste–I sprinkle it on fresh berries, and it helps me eat blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries that are often a little sour. Of course, those berries are nutritional winners for everyone so I eat them every day. I even have baked with xylitol. I just made a delicious Cherry Crisp with natural dark sweet cherries, white whole wheat flour, butter, and xylitol for a friend in a nursing home (and for me!).
Xylitol is even thought to be good for you helping to grow beneficial bacteria in the gut. It also may help to prevent ear infections!!! The research seems to be mixed on that but if you’re looking for a sugar and HFCS replacement, xylitol is the way to go!! No, I don’t own any stock in xylitol companies, I just like to use it and want you to know about it! Let me know how you get along and what your family thinks!