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    Concerned about 5 yr old son
    bravefan posted:
    My son has been on Focalin XR for about 6 months now. He takes 10mg in the morning and 5mg mid day. He is about 45" tall and weighs 41 pounds. I am concerned with his weight. He looks like a walking skeleton. He is in constant motion. He plays soccer and baseball and swims and rides his bike, so he is burning a lot of calories. He eats breakfast--usually ceral or toast sticks. For lunch, all he wants his Nutella or peanut butter and some fruit. For dinner he eats chicken or pork and a vegetable and sometimes potatoes. I just can not get him to eat. I thought about buying him Pedisure and giving him one of those a day. This summer, he is attending camp so I can not take him off the meds. On the weekends however, I do sometimes not give the medicine.
    Anyone have any suggestions?
    zoeyzoeybee responded:
    I think smoothies would be healthier then Pedisure. I find it easy to hide things like avocados, chia seeds and coconut oil or flax oil in with a bunch of frozen berries, water and or yogurt. It sounds like he has a healthy diet. Good luck with everything.
    Gina Pera responded:
    Hi bravefan,

    It's important to understand that medically treating ADHD is not so simple as taking a stimulant.

    First, you want to make sure that the choice of stimulant is the best one for the person.

    Second, you want to be sure that the dosage is optimal (this is done by slowly, steadily increasing the dosage until side effects outweigh benefits, then decreasing until side effects are minimized).

    Third, you want to make sure that any co-existing conditions are addressed. At least 50 percent of people with ADHD, including children, have a co-existing condition. This might include depression, anxiety, and bi-polar disorder. Anxiety can sometimes look like hyperactivity and can definitely decrease one's appetite.

    Fourth, you want to make sure that the child is getting a good breakfast. And I would not categorize cereal or toast sticks as the breakfast that will start the day well for anyone's brain, but especially a person with ADHD. Protein, fats, and complex carbs should be consumed at breakfast.

    Cereal and milk are basically carbohydrates, with relatively little protein. And that combo represents two food categories that cause the most allergic reactions (or, to a lesser degree, sensitvity).

    Why do you not give him the medicine on the weekends? Does his appetite improve when you do that?
    Gina Pera replied to zoeyzoeybee's response:
    Yes, I agree, zoey. I would definitely avoid giving a child Pediasure in favor of the more healthful nutrients you suggest.

    I would also add more nuts, including those with zinc, such as pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.

    Children who eat a lot of cereal and bread with little red meat are more likely to be deficient in zinc. The brain needs zinc, along with all the other important minerals.

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