My teen son eats carbs and sugar and ... - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

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My teen son eats carbs and sugar and I am so exasperated !!

chakragal profile image

Hi - does anyone have any thoughts on this issue? We all know that nutrition and exercise are SO important yet I can't seem to get my 16 year old son with ADHD to understand that. I have done all of the obvious things like only having only healthy foods and snacks available .... I've offered to go shopping with him to get him things that he likes .... yet he continues to eat carbs and sugar, carbs and sugar. I have a pretty healthy pantry but he seems to sniff out the bread and anything remotely sweet. I try to drop the hints to him in a way that is not judgmental and constructive but so far that hasn't had any impact. This morning he almost didn't go to school because he was up at 2 am after basically only eating cookies yesterday !! (his girlfriend made them .. I did not) Sometimes I use the analogy of potty training - ie we an try really hard to potty train a 1 year old and get really frustrated, or we can wait til they are 3 and it becomes very easy. Am I trying to potty train a 1 year old here ??? Thanks :)

7 Replies

I don’t have to he answer, but I feel your pain my 14 yo son’s ADHD meds kill his appetite so I have healthy snacks available to him when he is ready to eat (chips and hummus, yogurt, apples and peanut butter, cheese, etc). But he goes to the store and buys Cheetos or Takis and binges on them - no nutritional value AND artificial colors! His 16 yo sister (not ADHD but depression and anxiety and eating disorders ) is the same way. They get mad at me for not buying snacks they like (ie junk food) but if I do that is all they eat. I hope they do out grow it.

lucasmom421 profile image
lucasmom421 in reply to katcald

I have the same issue. The taki's comment made me laugh! My 14 year old son has a diet that is probably 75% taki's! So gross. I hope his diet will shift at some. At this point I'm picking my battles.

My son (12) would be happy with Ego waffles and Honey Nut Cheerios every day. I have to FORCE him to eat a banana every couple of days bc he won’t eat any other fruit. It’s hard bc they aren’t really hungry for a meal and I don’t think any child or teenager cares about nutrition. I know I didn’t until I graduated college! I try not to worry too much because I know my own nutrition has grown as I’ve matured and grown. Do you think your son would drink a smoothie every so often? Or even a protein drink?

This is my kid too! Is this an ADHD thing? So I just focus on trying to force one decent meal a day and sometimes use a dessert as incentive like after this dinner of chicken and broccoli, we are having fruit with whipped cream. And I know this isn’t popular but we will often eat our healthy meal watching a movie and there seems to be less prodding on my part.

My oldest is now 20 and in college. First year she came home for a weekend so I could make her vegetables (her diet before was mostly sugar and granola bars.) This year she called and asked me for some recipes so she could cook a meal for her roommates - Greek pasta salad with veggies and chicken! So there’s hope for the teens!

This is my kid too- eggs waffles for breakfast and dinner, and it should like I should be happy at the hot pockets he eats for lunch (protein right?). My girls (who are more neurotypical) eat veggies and fruit because they care about their bodies long term health, but son only eats what he finds “good”.. He was losing so much weight when he started meds that I was just glad he was eating, now I push him to eat a fruit or veggie with the waffles (which he douses in more sugar and chocolate chips ☹️) pick your battles and pray they grow out of it

Carbs and sugar aren't evil. Like anything you need to watch how much of it you eat and to exercise. Villanizing a food can just backfire and make some people want it more. We eat a lot of carbs in our house and we're all fine. We also exercise. I have g.i. issues with a pretty restricted diet and the only "food" I come close to villanizing, as in no one should eat it, is High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) as it is my main trigger causing me a week of pain if I eat it.

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