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Feingold Diet

Feingold Diet

A healthy eating plan to help children with ADHD.

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Children are being diagnosed with learning disabilities more and more often these days. The reasons are often complex. One possible cause is their diet. First published in the 1970s by Dr. Benjamin Feingold, a pediatrician and allergist, The Feingold Diet, also known as the ADHD Diet, addresses these concerns by eliminating the foods with manmade additives.

Some parents have found that introducing a different diet, one rich in natural foods and avoiding the popular processed additives, can help alleviate their child's symptoms.

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  • The Feingold Diet has documented scientific studies to support its stances

  • The website has plenty of success stories posted

  • Could help children with ADHD

  • Very restrictive

  • It's difficult to completely avoid food additives

  • Carefully read all nutrition and ingredient labels

  • Does not provide any exercise guidance


It's primarily about what you don't eat with The Feingold Diet. The program eliminates the following additives:

  • Artificial (synthetic) coloring
  • Artificial (synthetic) flavoring
  • Aspartame (Nutrasweet, an artificial sweetener)
  • Artificial (synthetic) preservatives BHA, BHT, TBHQ

To help you navigate the cans and can'ts of eating with the Feingold Diet, the good doctor released The Feingold Cookbook for Hyperactive Children. Not only does it educate you on the foods to avoid, but also suggests meals and recipes that the entire family will enjoy.


There's no formal exercise program on the Feingold Diet website, however, it is addressed in articles.


As with most diets that may very well be perfectly healthy, The Feingold Diet does have some detractors. But, if you can find the discipline to avoid food additives, and stick to foods in their more natural state, it seems like a difficult approach to argue with.

Common MisspellingsCommon Misspellings

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(Page 1 of 1, 9 total comments)



Any adults still using the Feingold Diet? I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was in grade school, drugs were always the way to go and don't think they quite did the job. I don't remember anyone suggesting a change in diet either. ADD & ADHD don't go away when one becomes an adult and I have been considering trying out the diet. Any adults still using it?

posted Apr 4th, 2011 9:41 pm


My son at three years old was extremely hyper and was in trouble alot at church. After I put him on the diet people kept asking me how he changed. He is 10 now and we still use the diet during the school year and he is on the A honor roll. He is still active, but he can control his behavior and make good choices.

posted Apr 15th, 2010 3:06 pm



I tried this diet for my son back in the 70's and it was a lifesaver for him. He was never medicated and is a well rounded calm adult today. He stayed on the diet for a little over a year and his eating habits changed to good healthy food. It becomes just natural to choose the right foods. It really works.

posted Sep 29th, 2009 4:05 pm


does anyone know the website for the feingold diet?? if so, could you please email me at

posted Apr 2nd, 2009 10:00 am



my son was diagnosed as hyperactive and he only followed this diet and regular chiropractic adjustments to keep him on track. Had no need of any drugs to numb him

posted Nov 26th, 2008 6:20 pm



The Feingold diet has been nothing short of a miracle for our family. My autistic son is very sensitive to salicylates and additives. Since starting the diet, he sleeps soundly through the night, and has had NO behavioral outbursts, which would include hitting, throwing things, biting and pulling hair. The difference in this child's behavior is incredible. Feingold has done what numerous doctors and medications have failed to do...give us a happy, peaceful home.

posted Oct 19th, 2008 10:38 am



It's great that the organization provides a lot of detail. I still think a responsible consumer would read the food labels- especially when it concerns the food you're putting in your children's bodies. This review is great, and I agree that the things we avoid feeding our children can have a tremendous impact on their health.

posted Oct 4th, 2008 4:28 pm

Shula Edelkind

I'm sure Jane meant to give the website you can find this information on. I wonder why it did not print. In case this comment form cannot take URL's, you can go to ADHDdiet dot ORG for more information

posted Sep 5th, 2008 8:26 pm

Jane Hersey

Happily you do NOT need to read labels and restrict your diet; volunteers at the non-profit Feingold Association have been compiling this sort of information for the past 33 years. See for details on the Foodlist books, fast food information, newsletters, helpline, etc. etc.

posted Jun 29th, 2008 5:50 pm


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