My 7 year old must currently take the ADHD medication Vyvanse. He had been on medication to help him focus for the last 2 years. He is an adopted child, having been my foster child for 1 ½ years so he does have many issues that we are dealing with; the Vyvanse helps control just one of his issues.
Vyvanse, like all ADHD medications, has side effects. One of those side effects is the loss of appetite. Every morning this child wakes up starving to death so we feed him as much as he wants for breakfast, knowing that lunch time will be a challenge. When I say as much as he wants, we do control what he eats; we just do not limit the amount that he eats.
Breakfast may consist of two bowls of whole grain cereal and fresh fruit, cereal and yogurt, toast and yogurt, eggs and toast, anything that he will eat to fill him up and give him a good start to the day.
Lunch, however, is a different story. School lunch is out of the question. That is basically throwing away money because he might eat the fruit and drink the milk. At nearly 2.00 a day for this meal, I was spending over 40.00 a month for him to eat very little.
To come up with lunch ideas for an ADHD child you have to think outside the box. First, start by making a list of lunchbox appropriate foods that your child likes. Enlist the child when making the list. Our list contained items like cereal, pizza, carrots, strawberries, bananas, grapes, granola bars, jello, pudding, ham and bologna.
The next step needed to help make this idea work is to allow the child to be involved in planning the lunches. Each weekend we plan out what my son’s lunch will be the next week. By allowing my son to choose what he would like to eat there is a greater chance that he will actually eat the food.
Sample lunch combinations for my son has been cereal with strawberries, strawberries and grapes with cheese crackers, bologna slices with apples and pudding, pizza lunchables, or half a peanut butter sandwich with Chex mix. He loves Yoo-hoos so we pack one of those for a drink. His school sells ice cream sandwiches every day, so we pack 50 cents everyday for the ice cream.
This process has worked well so far this year. Most days all the lunch is eaten and my concern about his nutrition needs decreased.