5 simple food substitutions for ADHD

We all know we should eat healthy, exercise, and get enough sleep. However, life can make those healthy choices difficult. If you’re interested in natural methods to improving ADHD symptoms, here are 5 easy food substitutions for ADHD. These diet substitutions can help get started towards correcting potential ADHD nutritional imbalances. Our focus has been reducing sugar and empty carbohydrates. Small changes make a difference. Start small rather than get overwhelmed in trying to achieve perfection.

For extra motivation to get started, check out the link between ADHD and type II diabetes. My husbands diagnosis of uncontrolled type II diabetes tipped the scale in our household. We had to change our diets. Healthier choices for the entire family made sense. We reduced the struggle with impulse control by only stocking healthy food. Teaching healthier food choices now will decrease the girls risk of being affected by what appears to be a strong genetic tendency towards type II diabetes.

Pasta substitutions

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Kids love pasta! Many of the kid friendly recipes I make contain some form of pasta. When my husband was diagnosed diabetic, I needed to drastically cut carbs. Pasta is loaded with carbs. I needed to keep the kids happy, and eat healthier. Bird’s eye makes a variety of veggie pastas. I substitute the veggie pasta in my normal recipes and everyone is happy.

Pasta made from vegetables

Check out my post on freezer meal prep here. I adapt this recipe slightly to make a simple beefy Mac and cheese with the birds eye veggie pasta. I throw all the ingredients into a freezer bag (I sub cream cheese for the sour cream). Dinner is ready to put in the crockpot when we need an easy dinner. The kids love it, and they get veggies without even trying. The bird’s eye pasta comes in steamer bags, so it also makes a fast, easy, and healthier side dish that the kids love.

Flour substitutions

Baked goods taste so good! However, most traditional baked goods are loaded with sugar and carbs. With the popularity of the Keto diet, it is much easier to find substitutions to lower both. Almond flour is an easy substitute to bake with. Ground oats are not quite as low carb, but can be a healthier alternative as well. Check out one of my favorite muffin recipes here with oats.

Almond flour is an easier substitution to bake with than another low carb alternative, coconut flour. Almond flour behaves similarly to standard all purpose flour. Check out a favorite banana muffin recipe here.

Sugar substitutions

We all know sugar isn’t good for us. But most of us have a well developed sweet tooth. Sugar is also hidden in countless foods. Depriving yourself of favorite foods isn’t a great path to success. Thankfully, there are lots of good substitutions. The best sugar alternatives are plant based monk fruit or stevia. Once again, the popularity of the Keto diet brought lots of great recipes with it. Use caution to stick with the plant based substitutes.


My husband hates cauliflower. Sadly, it is one of the easiest substitutions for common foods high in carbs. However, lots of options are now available, and I have been able to sneak it in in some forms without him minding. Bird eye has a Fried Rice style riced cauliflower in a steam fresh bag. My husband likes this one as a substitute to a favorite side as long as it is paired with an appropriate meat dish. The produce department carries chopped cauliflower that can make it easy to add in place of potatoes or rice.

Keto Bread

Family favorite low carb bread option

My entire family loves bread. While we aren’t quite aiming for Keto, there are several Keto friendly bread options that make a big difference in total carb count while still enjoying bread. My girls love Sara Lee Delightful White. To replace the rolls we ate with soups, we use these Brazi Bites. All the little changes really do add up. It makes it easier to succeed with dietary changes to find ways to continue to enjoy familiar foods.

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The content in this post is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  It is merely opinion based on personal research and experience.

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