Essential Fatty Acids

These cell-membrane building blocks, particularly omega-3 fatty acids, help the brain regulate mood and behavior. Research suggests essential fatty acids can even reduce symptoms of learning disorders including ADD, ADHD, and dyslexia. Recommended dose: 750–1500 mg EPA and DHA for most kids; double that amount for kids with allergies or mood and/or behavioral disorders.

Lemon balm

This calming herb has been used for hundreds of years to reduce stress and anxiety. It’s now appearing in kids herbal formulas to help enhance concentration and even alleviate symptoms of ADHD. Recommended dose: Make tea with 1 teaspoon herb per cup of hot water; drink 2–4 cups per day.

Magnesium

This mineral, involved in various enzymatic reactions that control brain function, may help promote focus. Research has shown that magnesium deficiency is linked to decreased attention span in kids. Recommended doses: 1–3 years old, 80 mg; 4–8 years old, 130 mg; 9–13 years old, 240 mg; 14–18 years old (boys), 410 mg; 14–18 years old (girls), 360 mg.

Zinc

This mineral may help control behavior by regulating brain chemicals, fatty acids, and melatonin. Warning: Large amounts may cause diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and vomiting. Recommended dose: 10–35 mg daily