Children with certain Diagnoses, affected by Food

It is difficult to understand how what we eat affects our moods, our ability to function and our ability to cope with various symptoms of a number of mental health disorders. Not only does this apply to adults, but to children as well. There are many foods, supplements and other chemicals added to our food that can affect children with different diagnoses.

One example is Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Each child with ASD can drastically differ from one another due the variability in the way the disorder presents itself. However, there appears to be some common reactions these children have to what they eat. For starters,
gluten appears to negatively affect many children with ASD. Some symptoms of this may include:

  • Irritable mood (more than usual)
  • Aggression
  • Memory issues and lack of focus
  • Constipation

irritated child

Children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can also be affected by certain food additives. Red food dye is one particular additive which tends to have adverse affects when ingested by children with ADHD. Red dye is found in many candies and drinks that also contain sugar, which can mask the affects of red dye. Some symptoms of this red dye affect may include:

  • Irritable mood
  • Memory issues
  • Stomach cramps
  • Sleep disturbances


Sarah Sharpe

About Sarah Sharpe

I’m a provisional Psychologist who works in Calgary, AB.

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