A Happy Meal Doesn’t Make You Happy: Are Convenient Meals Causing Depression & ADHD?


Are convenience meals causing ADHD & depression? We have all been there. We are running to a baseball game, and it appears easier to go through a drive-thru when your child is hungry, but have you ever really thought about what’s inside these “fast foods” targeted at kids? Move the free toy inside and take a deeper look. You will notice that the long list of neurotoxic ingredients in these “happy meals” cause everything from ADHD to depression to cancer.  It is a long and confusing jumble of neurotoxic chemicals and carcinogens. What effects are these foods are having on your child’s health? How do these ingredients contribute to the very disorders you then seek to medicate away like ADHD and depression.

What’s in this Stuff?

The majority of kid’s meals are made up of a hamburger and fries, which we have already identified as cancer causing foods. Burger King still offers soda with their kid’s meal, even though other chains have eliminated it. Have you seen the ingredient list in these meals? A cheeseburger contains 70 ingredients! That Happy Meal being marketed to your child is not something you should be happy about. To go line by line with every ingredient in a Happy Meal would take a long time, but you can review all of their ingredients on their website. What I found in my research were non-organic meat, dairy, fruits, and vegetables. All of these items contain harmful GMOs and pesticides. In a typical Happy Meal, you will find 540 calories, 18 grams of fat, 0.5 gram of trans fat, 790 mg of sodium, and 32 grams of sugar.

What about skipping the burger and fries and choosing chicken? Well, Chick-fil-A’s chicken contains MSG in their seasoning and breading. It’s also filled with GMOs, pesticides, and enriched flour, like nearly all of the foods on our list so far. McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets also contain the same things, although they don’t just come right out and say MSG. The natural flavors and seasoning are common ingredients where hidden MSG lies.

Better Alternative- Chipotle

This fast food chain’s motto is “food with integrity, ” and they are working to stand by this. Although their full menu is not organic or GMO-free yet, they do have a detailed ingredient list which labels what items on their menu are organic or contain GMOs.

Best Alternative- Skip the Fast Food

It may seem obvious, but because over 80% of the commercial feed for animals is GMO, it’s difficult to eat out and avoid GMOs. Fast food is usually higher in fat, calories, and sodium than food prepared in our homes. You have complete control over what foods go into your home cooking, unlike what is prepared at a fast food chain.

Healing without Hurting: Treating ADHD, Apraxia and Autism Spectrum Disorders Naturally & Effectively without Harmful Medication.

Jennifer Giustra-Kozek is a board-certified psychotherapist with a Master of Science in Counseling and a Bachelor’s degree in English/Criminal Justice. She has worked in private practice for over 15 years treating clients with an array of mental health disorders including Asperger’s, depression, anxiety, OCD and ADHD. More recently she is the author of an award winning book, entitled Healing Without Hurting: Treating ADHD, Apraxia, and Autism Spectrum Disorders Naturally and Effectively without Harmful Medication. She is also a national speaker for universities & national conferences: conducting workshops for parents, teachers, and other healthcare practitioners. She has written numerous articles, has done nervous webcasts and has been interviews by Fox and NBC.

In 2012, she began counseling families and first responders after the devastating tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. This led her to finish her book and consult with thousands of moms through social media to teach them about alternative and natural solutions for healing autism spectrum disorders. Since the creation of her page on Facebook called, “Healing ADHD & Asperger’s Without Hurting,” Kozek has amassed a following of over 100,000 weekly visitors, who turn to her for guidance and support as they desperately search for help for their children.