ADHD Counseling and Prescription Medications: 3 Tips to Keep Medications from Affecting Your Child's Diet

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ADHD is becoming a more and more prevalent diagnosis in the medical industry. Many children have difficulties concentrating, staying on task, following instructions, paying attention to details, and more due to the fact that they struggle with ADHD. If you believe your child has ADHD, it's crucial that you take them to a psychiatrist that can provide not only counseling but also medications to manage the symptoms. Approximately 6.1% of American children are currently taking medication to treat ADHD. While working out what dosage might be best for your child, you might find that they may experience some side effects, such as loss of appetite or stomach pains. Here are three tips on how you can prevent the medications from affecting your child's diet.

Take Medications After Breakfast

If you notice a loss of appetite in your child, it's important that you feed them a balanced and healthy breakfast before they take their prescribed medications. ADHD medications have been known to cause loss of appetite among children within the first several months before allowing their appetites to return to normal. Instead of reducing the dosage of the medication immediately, it might be best to stick it through to see whether their appetite will return to normal gradually.

To ensure that your child is getting enough nutrients in the meantime, have them take their medications after breakfast. This might mean that your child will be a bit inattentive until then, so they might need some extra help getting ready in the morning. The psychiatrist might want to teach your child some behavior-modification skills to keep them on track and concentrated on their immediate tasks before breakfast.

Prevent Stomach Pains by Taking Medications Immediately After a Meal

Loss of appetite might not be the only thing that is affecting your child's diet. In fact, your child might simply not be eating as much because they experience stomach pains or discomfort upon taking their medications. You'll find that you'll be able to help alleviate these side effects significantly if you have your child take the medications prescribed either immediately after a meal or with the end of the meal. The chemical reaction of the medications prescribed will have less of a physical toll on your child's body.

If your child is to take the medication several times a day, pack a small snack for them to eat before taking the medication. It's generally wise to choose a more filling snack, like a granola bar or a biscuit.

Determine How Long It Takes for the Dosage to Wear Off Before Serving Dinner

Your child's psychiatrist will want to monitor the type of effect that the prescribed medications have on your child's body. This includes how effective certain medications are as well as how long they last in your child's system. It's important that you make a record of when you believe the medication starts to kick in. Your child might be more attentive or concentrated on tasks when the medication kicks in. It's also important to take note of when the medication starts to wear off. This is when your child might be a bit more bothered, inattentive, and distracted.

If your child has problems eating when they're on the medication, wait for the medication to wear off before serving dinner. You can have the psychiatrist prescribe a smaller dosage for the last medication that needs to be taken. This way, the prescribed medication will have a minimal psychological and physical effect on your child's body before they prepare for bed or eat dinner.


A psychiatrist can prescribe medications for mental illnesses, which makes them a better health expert for treating ADHD. While it's possible to manage the symptoms through counseling and behavioral-modification skills, you'll find that the right type and dosage of medication can make a world of a difference. It might take some time for the psychiatrist and your child to figure out what works best. Make an appointment with an office such as Comprehensive Behavioral Health Associates Inc to get started.