ADD /ADHD Part 1

Hi everyone,

I had a request to do some research on ADD/ADHD and shew there is a lot out there! I think I’m going to do this in two parts as there is so much information that you’ll get terribly bored reading everything in one fowl swoop ! I have added something exciting that I found at the bottom too….but you have to read the whole article first 😉

So I started with the definition which is :

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a disorder that appears in early childhood. You may know it by the name attention deficit disorder, or ADD. ADD/ADHD makes it difficult for people to inhibit their spontaneous responses—responses that can involve everything from movement to speech and attentiveness.

Signs and symptoms of this disorder usually appear before the age of seven but it can be very difficult to distinguish between ADD and normal “kid behavior”. If you spot just a few signs but they only appear in certain situations, the chances are it’s probably not ADD but it the signs are present across all situations like at home, at school and at play most of the time, well then maybe you should take a closer look.

There is such a lot of negativity that is attached to this disorder that I wanted to start with something positive about children that suffer with this disorder :

  • Creativity – Children who have ADD/ADHD can be marvelously creative and imaginative. The child who daydreams and has ten different thoughts at once can become a master problem-solver, a fountain of ideas, or an inventive artist. Children with ADD may be easily distracted, but sometimes they notice what others don’t see.
  • Flexibility – Because children with ADD/ADHD consider a lot of options at once, they don’t become set on one alternative early on and are more open to different ideas.
  • Enthusiasm and spontaneity – Children with ADD/ADHD are rarely boring! They’re interested in a lot of different things and have lively personalities. In short, if they’re not exasperating you (and sometimes even when they are), they’re a lot of fun to be with.
  • Energy and drive – When kids with ADD/ADHD are motivated, they work or play hard and strive to succeed. It actually may be difficult to distract them from a task that interests them, especially if the activity is interactive or hands-on.

Keep in mind, too, that ADD/ADHD has nothing to do with intelligence or talent. Many children with ADD/ADHD are intellectually or artistically gifted.

ADD Children are often just thought to be naughty and parents feel guilty because they think it’s due to bad parenting which is entirely not the case but good parenting strategies can go a long way in helping them deal with their behavior issues like structure, consistency, clear communication, and rewards and consequences for their behavior. They also need lots of love, support, and encouragement. Children with the disorder often receive a lot of criticism and negative attention, so as hard as it may be, try and focus on the good that the child does and praise them for those achievements, no matter how small they are.


Exercising is one of the easiest and most effective ways to reduce the symptoms of ADD/ADHD. We all know how good we feel after we’ve done some exercise (yes I know you are saying WHAT IS THAT ?) So I’ll explain, it’s when you actually do something physical (no you can’t do it on your couch) whereby your heart beats faster, sometimes till you feel  like it’s about to jump out of your chest and you breath deeper and faster until sometimes you feel you are about to pass out…ha ha ha !!! Now that we have that clear, it obviously makes sense that children with a lot of energy would benefit from physical activity. It immediately boosts the brain’s dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin levels—all of which affect focus and attention. In this way, exercise and medications for ADD/ADHD such as Ritalin and Adderall work similarly. But unlike ADD/ADHD medication, exercise doesn’t require a prescription and its side effect free.

In addition to improving concentration and decreasing hyperactivity and impulsivity, regular exercise can also elevate your mood, combat stress, improve memory, increase motivation, keep depression and anxiety at bay, help you sleep better, and prime your brain for learning. For the best relief of symptoms:

  • Try to exercise on most days. Just a 30-minute walk four times a week is enough to provide benefits. Thirty minutes of activity every day is even better.
  • Pick something enjoyable, so you’ll stick with it. Activities that require close attention to body movements, such as dance, gymnastics, martial arts, cricket, rugby are particularly good. Team sports are also a good choice. The social element keeps them interesting.
  • Get out into nature. Studies show that spending time in nature can reduce the symptoms of ADD/ADHD in both children and adults. Double up on the benefits by combining “green time” with exercise. Try hiking, trail running, or walking in a local park or scenic area.

After reading all that I feel like I need to take a run….hmmmm maybe later 😉 In all seriousness, whatever it is, I know that my children love playing outside and running around, but they enjoy it much more if we are doing it with them. So make the effort and take them for a walk or whatever it is, they will appreciate the attention and time spent with you.


Then of course there is diet and while diet doesn’t cause ADD/ADHD, what you eat does have an effect on your mood, energy levels, and symptoms. I found a few tips that we should all probably adhere to so I thought a reminder would be good.

  • Breakfast is vital: 1 protein plus a complex carbohydrate = 3 hours of the child’s best concentration. A lesser breakfast might only help for one hour!
  • Regular snacks, every 2-3 hours help maintain concentration e.g. Peanut butter/tuna sandwich, homemade plain white popcorn, plain biltong, nuts or cheese.
  • 5-6 pm is usually suicide hour and I don’t even have kids with ADHD. A snack usually calms the child! Make sure it is small enough not to spoil dinner!
  • SUGAR: Hyperactive children are usually better off it but this is difficult to implement (we know sugar does not cause ADHD but it could make certain children more difficult). We therefore limit the amount of sugar intake. Never give a sweet or sugary biscuit on an empty tummy.

Colourants, flavourants, and antioxidant preservatives need to be avoided. Bought cakes, pies, hamburger patties, fish fingers, packet soups and sauces, processed meats, polonies, cordials, fruit squashes and fizzy drinks usually contain artificial ingredients. Below is a short list of the obvious ones but I will be adding a more comprehensive list shortly.

  • EDTA
  • BHA
  • TBHQ
  • calcium propionate
  • benzoic acid
  • benzoates
  • sulphur dioxide
  • sulphates
  • MSG
  • Tartrazine

Ok so now that we have covered what these poor kiddies can’t eat, I found something that they CAN EAT ! I went to Caring Candies the other day and found sweets, lollypops, Candycanes and biscuits that are all allergen free.  They also do chocolate but those are currently not dairy free, but they are in the process of producing it.

All the sweets are fat-free, sugar-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, no artificial sweeteners, no artificial colourants, no preservatives, tooth-friendly, diabetes-friendly, add/adhd-friendly, kosher parev AND THE BEST PART IS THEY TASTE GREAT !!! I tried them out on my girls and they love them. Caring Candies has a factory shop in Montague Gardens and they are also stocked at Pick n Pay as well but if you are looking for more information visit their website

Then there are Dream Cookies that also make Allergen free biscuits and rusks. They all vary with which of the allergens they don’t contain but there is a huge variety and they also taste great! A lot of the pharmacies stock the Dream Cookies but they are also sold at the Caring Candies Factory Shop.

So now you can give your precious little angels treats just like every other child out there !!!

That is it for now, because I officially have brain fry so I’ll complete the next blog in the next few days as there is still some research I need to do on alternatives!

Chat soon

Bon xxx

About Bonnie

I run my own Event Management business and am busy organising a Celebrity Golf day in aid of Red Cross Children's Hospital !!!!

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