Building the best ADHD breakfast takes some preplanning and forethought. Without intentional planning, breakfast often ends up being whatever food is close at hand. We all know what that tends to look like. If we always just settled for what we found close at hand, our kids would eat nothing but sugary cereal, pop tarts, or sweet cinnamon rolls.
As parents, we really need to do better. They don’t call breakfast the most important meal for just any reason. We know breakfast as the most important meal because it sets the stage for everything else to follow. For our kids, this means that we need to provide a quality breakfast to help them focus better at school.
As we have covered time and time again, many things go into an effective comprehensive ADHD treatment plan. One of the most important aspects, though, is diet and what our kids eat. No matter who you are, you want the absolute best for your kids. When that comes to diet, setting your kids up well to succeed starts with a well balanced nutritious breakfast.
We know that for many families mornings can be a particularly hectic time. To help make mornings more productive, we want to break down the ingredients for the best ADHD breakfast. In this article, we want to go over why breakfast matters, what foods to avoid, and what foods to include to make the most out of your breakfast each day.
Why Breakfast Matters
Before getting to actual options, we should start with why breakfast matters in the first place. With understanding the importance of breakfast, this then helps us better plan for the best ADHD breakfast. Breakfast, especially for your kids, matters for a number of different reasons, let’s look at some of the most important.
Breakfast provides needed energy
What you eat for breakfast plays an important role in kick starting the day because it provides the energy boost we need to get things started. With sleep, our bodies have been resting for around eight hours through the night. During this time, we don’t take in any new energy sources.
In the morning then when we wake up, our body systems including our brain look for fuel sources to help us get moving. Our dinner from the night before most likely won’t suffice. For our kids particularly, they need a nutritional boost right at the start to get their minds working properly.
As a parent, you need to provide the best ADHD breakfast you can so that your kids get the energy to start the day. Without breakfast to provide this energy, your kids will quickly look for it somewhere else. More than likely they will settle for low quality junk and snack foods.
Breakfast helps increase focus
To be our best selves, we all need to be able to focus well. This applies for work situations as well as for the classroom. We have a lot of things that we need to follow and get done so we have to focus and organize information well.
As we just mentioned, our bodies need energy to function well in the morning and throughout the day. Our brains operate the same way. The more energy we provide our brains, the better our brains can organize information and focus on the important things.
We know that for kids, a healthy breakfast helps increase brain function and execution. As a result, you should do everything you can not to skip it.
To best help your kids with their school day, make sure to provide them the best ADHD breakfast to improve their focus. Providing a healthy breakfast can help to boost focus at the start of the day. Following this with a nutritious lunch can make sure that focus stays up throughout the day.
Breakfast helps maintain a healthy rhythm and routine
Finally, breakfast matters because breakfast helps build and solidify an ADHD daily routine. As part of an effective ADHD management strategy, you need to have healthy daily rhythms. For your kids especially and for your own sanity, you need to make sure that you have a clear morning routine.
Part of building these rhythms involves making sure you have anchor points. Anchor points provide a basis for activities. One large anchor should be your breakfast.
With having a regular breakfast time, routine, and structure, your kids have a reliable guide for how their morning should function. They understand they need to wake up, get ready, and have a healthy breakfast. Understanding these key elements helps keep their ADHD mind on track and limits distraction. Making sure your kids have the best ADHD breakfast available just aids in providing clear structure to start their day.
Worst ADHD Breakfast Choices
Now that we have some basic understanding of some of the reasons why breakfast matters, we are one step closer to the best ADHD breakfast choices. Before we dive too quickly into the good options, though, let’s consider the bad food choices. To know what to choose, you need to know what to avoid.
Breakfast food options to avoid
While some food helps to increase focus, energy, and concentration, other food just serves to make us feel terrible. For kids with ADHD, many food options just won’t provide any benefit. For instance, sugar and ADHD do not go well together. Sugary foods and drinks give your kids too much empty fuel all at once, which quickly burns away and leads to a crash. For mornings, you should avoid sugary foods such as sweet cereals or donuts.
Additionally, you need to avoid colored dyes and processed foods. Many kids have trouble with processing colored dyes and this can be particularly problematic with ADHD. Studies show us that colored dyes and disruptive behaviors might have a link. To best serve your kids, you should steer clear of them as much as possible.
Similarly, processed foods, like sugar, provide empty energy. More often processed foods provide bad carb options with all the good nutrients removed. As a result, you should avoid processed foods along with sugar options.
Finally, you need to avoid eating on the go in the morning. This primarily means you need to stay away from fast food options. Eating quickly and on the go usually means eating poorly. The drive thru should be viewed as a no-go in the mornings. You might mean well, but you always will end up picking the greasy processed options that just won’t provide any positive benefits.
To better understand what foods to avoid you should read our post on the worst foods for ADHD. A healthy eating pattern doesn’t just end with breakfast. Know the foods to avoid to help your kids throughout their day.
Best ADHD Breakfast Choices
Now we have reached the good stuff. Since we now have a better understanding of what to avoid, let’s review what we should choose in the morning. Let’s look at some of the best ADHD breakfast options to chose from.
High protein breakfasts
When you think of protein, you should think of power. More than likely, when someone says protein, you might even think of working out and protein supplements. Proteins provide a great benefit to our bodies because they provide the power boost for our body systems to function well.
Not only does protein provide power it also helps to stabilize our blood sugar levels. As opposed to the empty sugary food sources we talked about above which lead to crashes in blood sugar levels, protein helps to keep these levels consistent. Additionally, protein helps our body build more tissue, which is pivotal for healthy growing children.
Since our bodies need power in the morning, the best ADHD breakfasts should be high in protein. Adding in protein shouldn’t mean that you have to create anything extravagant. In fact, many ordinary everyday foods can provide the right amounts of protein that you need. For instance, eggs, nuts, and oatmeal all can provide a quick and healthy protein fix in the morning.
Fruits and vegetables
The next thing on our list of best ADHD breakfast options includes fruits and vegetables. We should all know by now that fruits and vegetables provide healthy benefits for our bodies. They come filled with nutrients that all our body systems need to function at top capacity.
Since they are natural, they leave out added sugars and the negatives of processed foods. They provide more nutrients with lower calories. Additionally, evidence shows us that they help to protect us against many chronic diseases.
It should then follow that the best ADHD breakfast options should involve fruits and vegetables somehow. Fruits and vegetables make such good options because they don’t involve a lot of prep or planning. Just like fast food, you can easily grab a banana or apple and eat it on the go. The same goes for a box of raisins or bag of grapes. Many fruits and vegetables involve little to no prep and can be quick and easy with little fuss.
If, though, you don’t mind a little more preparation, you can go the extra mile with a fruit smoothie or garden omelet. Whatever you do, you need to consider how you can utilize fruits and vegetables more in your diet. For more breakfast ideas involving both these essential food groups check out the ideas in this article and at this link.
Finally, for the best ADHD breakfast, you need to be sure that you incorporate complex carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are foods that are made up of sugar molecules. Your body uses carbohydrates for energy.
Complex carbohydrates involve foods that have more complex molecular structures that require more effort to break down. As a result, the release of energy from these foods is slower and steadier throughout the day helping to sustain energy. Foods with complex carbohydrates typically also provide other nutrients that your body needs regularly.
Any healthy diet should incorporate as many complex carbohydrates as possible. Adding these foods to your breakfast options helps to provide energy that will sustain throughout the rest of the day. Common complex carbohydrates include nuts, beans, whole grains, granola, and yogurt.
As much as possible, you should try to incorporate some of each of these things to make the best ADHD breakfast possible. For ideas on incorporating complex carbohydrates into your breakfast check out the tips in this article.
Make the Most of the Best ADHD Breakfast
For the rest of your day to go well, you need to start your day off right with a well-rounded breakfast. Not many things in life can provide great benefit with very little preparation. Fortunately, identifying and building the best ADHD breakfast actually can be done quickly and easily.
We hope that this article has shown you how eating healthy doesn’t have to be a chore. You shouldn’t have to memorize complex recipes or wake up an extra hour early to prepare and cook a gourmet meal. Breakfast can be both nutritious and easy to put together.
You need to remember, though, why breakfast matters, what foods to stay away from, and what foods to add in. With all these elements at the forefront of your mind, you have set yourself up to make the most of your morning and prepare the best ADHD breakfast for you and your kids.
For more helpful food and diet tips, we encourage you to review some of our other helpful resources. For more on diet check out our posts on the food categories that help ADHD symptoms and our article on simple diet tips to control ADHD symptoms. Here at FastBraiin, we believe the more tools you have the better off you’ll be. Use this article and our other resources to add more tools to your arsenal today.