As a parent of a kid with ADHD, there are many things that overwhelm me when it comes to making choices for my child. Nutrition and supplements have been something we have worked on for years. I have tried many different supplements and can honestly say, that I have found the best proven natural ADHD supplements for my kids.
Be sure to keep reading for our updates one and two years later and how we were able to reduce my sons medication by half and then take him off completely.
ADHD is a family issue–one that really can affect everyone in the house, not just the person diagnosed. I have learned so much over the course of trying to figure how to best manage my son and have found out that what goes into his body can have a huge effect.
I am uber vigilant about what my both my boys eat and stick to an adhd diet for both my tween and teen. We stay away from gluten and corn completely. We limit processed sugar to a once a week treat. We buy organic fruits and vegetables as much as we can. We are low on grains and eat mostly grass fed meat. Dairy is limited to yogurt. Both boys drink water or unsweetened almond milk, exclusively. I have read tons of parenting books to help our struggles, as well. These steps alone have made a big impact on both of my boys.
That being said, even with excellent nutrition some kids may still take medication to help them focus at school. ( October 2019 update: My son does not take prescription meds any longer. But, I “never say never” – as the teen years stack up on us, we may have to go back to meds for High School. But, whether your kiddo takes prescription medicine for ADHD or not, these natural remedies for focus and attention are still an important and a vital part of treating the whole child. Read our update below or skip right to our ADHD STORY.)
I love to share what works with us, in the hopes that it will help others find a little relief for their family. ADHD can leave the whole family feeling emotionally and physically depleted. For us these really are the best natural supplements for focus and attention.(I take some of them, too!)
When our standby, KidsCalm Multi, was discontinued, I went on a search for a replacement multivitamin. My standards are strict and sadly, its hard to find a vitamin without added sugar or other icky things.
You can follow my search on Instagram and read other’s suggestions in the comments below, too.
I landed on Bluebonnet Animalz Multiple and my kids take it without even a reminder – a plus of our low sugar diet – these taste yummy to them! These have a lot of B Vitamins and also Inositol(B8) – which has been shown to help with brain function and the balance of serotonin and dopamine(two important mood chemicals ADHD kids seem to be deficient in).
We have been hearing about the beneficial effects of fish oil for kids with ADHD for awhile now–especially boys, who’s brains seem to be starving. Some fish oil supplements taste icky or make you burp up a fishy taste-Barleans does not. The flavors are yummy and both my boys take a healthy dose of this every morning.
Some of the flavors have added sweeteners, like xylitol, which are made from corn. While we try to avoid corn in our diet, this small amount does not seem to effect my boys. Just a word of caution if you are avoiding corn completely for an allergy.
This fish oil, has also had an overall great effect on my boys’ health. They are rarely sick and miss school one or two days a year for illness.
Gut health is another topic that has gotten so much press lately. Our gut, it seems, is like our second brain, with it’s massive amount of neural tissue capable of affecting our mood and overall well-being. A healthy gut is vital for overall health, the absorption of nutrients, protecting the body from foreign invaders, and the regulation of many hormones.
Yogurt can help to introduce good bacteria into the gut, but watch out for high sugar content and other added icky ingredients. My boys take these chewable tablets by Jarrow every day to insure they are getting a good dose of healthy gut bacteria. They love the taste, there is no complaining. In fact, they remember to take these without any reminders.,
Be careful what you purchase! Many probiotics, tested by third parties ,have zero beneficial strands left in them from sitting on the shelf. I love the Jarrow brand because they are blister packed to ensure there is no reduction in potency from humidity or moisture.
What I notice: My boys rarely get sick or have a need for antibiotics. Their day to day physical health is pretty amazing. Their overall wellness contributes greatly to all aspects of their life, including reducing the symptoms of ADHD.
Like the fish oil, these have Xylitol – a sweetener derived from corn. I have not noticed any ill effects in my kids who normally stay away from corn in general, but some people steer clear of all corn sweeteners. It’s hard to find a good chewable without it, sadly! As soon as both of my kids can swallow big pills, we’ll transition off chewables.
I can not sing the praises enough for MagMind by Jarrow for my oldest son with ADHD. (He used to take one of these in the morning to help keep him calm enough until his ADHD meds kick in for school. It takes about 20 minutes to see the effects, so I made sure he got one on rising.)
I now give him two MagMind capsules about 30 minutes before bedtime. I see a noticeable difference in his ability to settle and fall asleep much faster. The MagMind, combined with our weighted blanket makes our evenings so much easier – and he rises in a much better place!
I take MagMind myself, before bed, and it has an incredible effect on my ability to have a really good night’s sleep. Seems that most of the population is suffering from a deficiency of this very important mineral. This one is great for the whole family.
This mix contains calming magnesium and focusing B vitamins. There is an overlap with our other supplements, so we don’t double up when my kids drink this. My younger son seems to favor the Bluebonnet Multi, while my older son loves the KidsCalm Drink Mix.
We are taking these drops with a few ounces of OJ (Vitamin C helps with iron absorption) in the evening before bed (best on an empty-ish stomach) until we get another blood test.
The cost of these natural remedies for ADHD can add up quickly. This summer, we used KidsCalm Drink mix almost exclusively(with MagMind at night). If you choose just one supplement or want to start slowly, I’d recommend this one first.
Results are very noticeable, not a miracle
These supplements are meant to be used as part of an overall nutrition plan and they are not miracle pills. Both of my sons still have struggles with their emotions from time to time. BUT, I have seen a huge difference with these supplements. The calm times far outweigh the crazy ones. These supplements can be a great compliment to ADHD meds, too. I am not a doctor, but I am a mother who has learned from experience and a lot of trial and error. Every ADHD kid is different in what works for them, but these supplements stand to benefit ANY kid. Their quality is outstanding.
Parenting ADHD is not just about supplements
This parenting journey can be really difficult and I often find myself standing in front of one of my kids not knowing how to react to something they have just done or said.
My whole outlook and approach to parenting has done a 180 degree turn over the years. Gone are the time outs and sticker charts. Empathy, understanding, and working together to solve problems are what’s in.
Please let me know how these supplements work for you, if you give them a try! There are Amazon affiliate links in this post, which means that, at no extra cost to you, I may receive a small commission when you purchase these items with these links. These supplements can also be purchased at some health food stores and thru the companies individual websites. Make sure you are purchasing them from a reputable seller.
UPDATE–two years later and we are still using all of these. I have been able to take my son off all his prescription medication. Read about our ADHD Journey Part One and Part Two to see all the details of how we got off ADHD medication and switched to natural treatments for ADHD.
Want more about ADHD?
I’ve got a great GIFT GUIDE FOR ADHD BOYS HERE.
Read about my favorite breakfasts for ADHD here.
Our ADHD Story is in two parts, HERE and HERE. See how much we have learned about treating adhd without drugs.
The One Night That Changed My ADHD Parenting, is quickly becoming my most read post on how to parent an ADHD child.