Supporting Your Child’s Attention Span

By Claire Bacon, ACN, CNC

It’s normal for children not to listen sometimes, act without thinking, or be fidgety at times. A poor attention span can be a sign of ADD and hyperactive disorders. Children with ADD and hyperactive disorders may also struggle with low self-esteem, poor performance in school, and troubled relationships.

ADD and hyperactive disorders are typically diagnosed in young children and are estimated to affect millions of children worldwide. These disorders typically appear before the age of seven.

Recent studies indicate a 330% increase in psychotropic drug use in people under twenty over the past 10 years. Meanwhile, holistic therapies are effective for children with hyperactive disorders in most cases. It is vital to try the more conservative measures before medicating a young child in their developmental years. This helps prevent interrupting the subtle mental, emotional, and social evolution occurring within your child. 

Children want to pay attention – but it’s not so easy when blood sugar is off

Symptoms Of Inattention:

It’s not always that a child with a hyperactive disorder doesn’t want to pay attention. Children that suffer from inattention will tune out or skip steps when they are not thrilled about a topic or task. Usually, children with hyperactive disorders show six or more signs listed below for six months or more. The symptoms of inattention include:

  • Issues with giving close attention to detail
  • Difficultly with sustaining attention to tasks or play
  • Trouble with organizing tasks and activities
  • Not listening when spoken to
  • Not following through on instructions and failure to finish tasks
  • Losing things necessary for a task
  • Avoiding or reluctant to engage in tasks requiring sustained mental effort
  • Easily distracted
  • Forgetful in everyday activities

Signs Of Hyperactivity And Impulsivity:

While children are normally extremely active, children with hyperactive symptoms are always moving. They may try to do several things at once and bounce from one activity to the next. On the other hand, impulsivity can cause problems with self-control. Signs of hyperactivity and impulsivity include:

  • Constant fidgeting or squirming
  • Difficulty standing still, playing quietly, or relaxing
  • Moving constantly
  • Talking excessively
  • Having a quick temper
  • Acting without thinking
  • Interrupting others
  • Intruding in other people’s conversations or tasks

Good Nutrition

Good nutrition works! Nutrition can improve brain function and perhaps can make drug intervention unnecessary. Eating a healthy, balanced diet is important for children, especially those with ADD or hyperactive disorders.

Years of research show a connection between the American high glycemic diet and ADD and hyperactive disorders. This diet mainly includes sugary foods and drinks, white bread, potatoes, and white rice. Simple and appealing diet modifications directed by nutritional understanding may significantly enhance cognition and attention span in your child. Primarily, you want to make sure your child gets lots of protein and healthy fats:

  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Raw or sprouted nuts and seeds
  • Organic cheese (if tolerated)
  • High quality deli meat
  • Homemade chicken nuggets
  • Chicken-apple sausage
  • Homemade oat bran & yogurt pancakes
  • Oatmeal doctored up with butter, coconut oil, nuts and seeds
  • Dehydrated fruits and vegetables
Dehydrated fruits and vegetables are simple and convenient

Food allergies can also be a culprit as they rob the body of its vitality and over-stimulate the adrenals, which creates a cascade of behavioral disturbances. If food allergies are unknown, keeping a food diary is helpful. Then be sure to document what behavior occurs a few hours later – whether good or bad. The top potential sensitivities to avoid are:

  • Wheat and other gluten grains, like Barley, Spelt, Triticale, Kamut, and Rye
  • Dairy, especially cow’s milk more than goat or sheep, Cheese
  • Nuts and Peanuts
  • Corn, Popcorn, Corn meal, Corn oil
  • Soy, Soybean oil, and Soy protein isolate
  • Artificial Colors
  • Artificial and Natural Flavors
  • Sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup
The artificial colors in kids’ food are to blame for many behavioral problems!

Supplements To Support Your Child’s Attention Span:

Calamari Oil, Bacopa Complex, and OPC Synergy.

Three supplements we recommend to support attention span are Calamari Oil, Bacopa Complex, and OPC Synergy.

  1. Calamari Oil helps to bridge the gap in dietary omega-3 intake. These healthy fats promote cognition and emotional balance.
  2. Bacopa Complex supports healthy cognitive function and mental clarity by easing the stress response.
  3. OPC Synergy provides antioxidants to maintain normal cognitive function, extend brain stamina, and reduce inflammation in the brain and cardiovascular system.

Is your child not paying attention because he’s always coming down with something? Always on the edge of fighting a cold? Then you might like to try the new Children’s Immune chewable wafers as a daily treat. They’re made with Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Zinc, prebiotics, and Elderberry. Lots of great things in an all-in-one to stay well! And best of all, they taste like cotton candy!

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