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Our 12 year old daughter with ADHD has started taking candy/food and lying about it. She has been gaining weight but we cannot convience her

DoodleDandy profile image

Our 12 year old daughter with ADHD has started taking candy/food and lying about it. She has been gaining weight but we cannot convience her to watch what she eats and the need to ask. I do get the admittence from the lie, eventually. I know this is typical ADHD behavior, but we've gotta do something now. If not, she'll do this forever.

She is on 70mg Methylphenidate and 2mg Guanfacine. She's been on this medication for several years, and it seemed like she had built up a tolerance for used the Methylphenidate. So, We tried everything else under the sun over the last 1.5 years but somehow are back to Methylphenidate. And I fear it's not working.

Any advise, help and encouragement will be greatly appreciated and desperately needed.


6 Replies

The lying is so hard! I’m with you on that one. We haven’t found a solution for that one yet - just working on consistent messaging. I hope one day it sinks in.

My 14 yo son has been on Guanfacine 2mg and Lexipro for a number of years. I’m sure we have to adjust the doses soon because with puberty he grew over 6” and gained a ton of weight in one year. Maybe it’s a bit hormonal for your daughter as well? She’s at that age.

As a parent to 4 kids with ADHD sweets are a problem but rather than get upset about your child stealing candy like we used to we decided based on the recommendation of our children’s pediatrician not to have such items in our home. Our pediatrician basically made it very clear to us that if we bought such items we were basically encouraging our kids to eat it. And if we hid the items we were making a scavenger hunt for our oldest son who struggled the most and would take things. If we stopped buying cookies, ice cream and candy then we would altogether end the problem by modeling the behavior.

We only have ice cream when we go to the ice cream shop for one scoop of ice cream or if we take them to Yogurtland otherwise those items are no longer in our home. It took a lot at first because it’s hard to give up things we like but ultimately for things to work in a household where there is adhd everyone needs to be on the same page even if our other kids don’t have it we treat them all the same including ourselves.

Pmommyof5 profile image
Pmommyof5 in reply to Pmommyof5

Also the weight gain is associated with the medication they take. When we stop our kids medication there is weight loss but overtime while they take guanfacine and other adhd medication they all gain weight then weight becomes the issue regardless of what we limit.

Especially with the ADHD meds which will suppress appetite but once it wears off it’s the opposite. For our son we were able to give him more protein to help curb the need for sugar and carbs which ultimately turn into sugar. He used to wake up at 5 in the morning and eat an entire loaf of bread because he craved the sugar that was no longer in our home. Once we changed and gave him more protein that reduced a lot.

Good luck hope this helps

I think it is important that if we have opinions we state that. I am unaware of any research that states “weight gain is associated with the medication they take”. Most of the issues with weight gain is due to impulsive eating, it is not medication. Or stopping medication.

With adequate control of food and reasonable exercise. Most weight gain can be controlled, unless the child has some other medical issue that needs to be addressed with their doctor.

Thanks for the post. One thing I learned early on when our son was first diagnosed was that children with ADHD are about 2 years behind their peers in many things they do. So she is really around 10 years of age. By the way our son has out grown this stage in life..we have a pantry with a code on it and he is not allowed in it. But even when we forget and leaving something on the counter it is still there in the am.

As far as the lying, we don't ask when we know the answer, it is just to confronting. No one likes when they are put on the spot.

I would lock things up or don't by them.

As far as the weight gain.. I assume she is distance learning? Many of us are not active as much. No excuse, but true.

I would suggest you check in with her doctor about the medication.

I am hoping this is just a stage and when you modify things this will go away.

Good luck!

The sneaking food is hard! The only way is to not have unhealthy food in the house. Or only have one type of unhealthy food in the house at a time. You bake cookies this week. Maybe buy gummies next week. When they’re gone they’re gone for the week.

In my experience - both on Vyvanse - is that the medication tends to make them lose weight. I try to get a healthy breakfast in them before they take their meds and then they basically don’t want to eat again until late evening. I place dinner in Tupperware containers (the ones with dividers) for them to microwave when they’re hungry —- which they tend to eat because of convenience. I wish they ate at conventional hours (teenagers) but I know the big game is what they eat, not when they eat.

Try making healthy food as convenient as junk food. Veggies in ziplock bags ready to grab out of the fridge. Have a wide array of dipping sauces next to them (PB, hummus, ranch, hot sauce). Mini Naan pizzas (they crave carbs). Cut up apples wrapped tightly back together so they don’t brown. Small packages of Carmel for them to dip to satisfy that sweet tooth.

I was inspired by a super organized person in Pinterest. She made healthy food very attractive. It’s worth a try. You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.

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