Autism is not the end of life. Well, it might be a developmental disorder that impacts communication, socialization and behavior strongly but do you realize that children with this disorder might be extremely talented in different fields, mostly those that focus on creativity such as drawing or painting? There is no cure for autism and until now we have only got plenty of ways to keep it under control. This makes many parents turn towards nutrition and diet. Latest news has it that quite a many of them approach physicians and health experts with requests for a specialized diet plan for their autism-affected child. The long-standing doubt whether diet can save a child from autism or at least improve the child’s situation remains to be answered. But almost 1 in every 5thchild is on a special diet. So, how about understanding what nutrients to include/avoid that can help a child with autism lead a better life?
Do/Don’t we Have a Diet for Autism?
Before we look into the foods that need/need not be removed from the child’s meal lets have a look at the common concerns that need to be addressed with such children. These kids:
Following a Gluten-free, casein-free diet (GFCF): It’s said that people with autism suffer from a leaky gut and when gluten and casein are not completely digested it can even interfere with the normal functioning of the nervous system thereby impacting mental functions and behavior. Gluten is a protein found in wheat and casein is a protein in milk. This diet has maximum positive reviews and accolades from parents whose children have reaped benefits after pursuing it.
Excluding food additives: We know that some children don’t accept bright colors or certain food textures easily and there are also theories that children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) cannot tolerate food additives. We’ve got many research results backing this and parents too have started taking serious steps against including foods that contain too much of food additives.
Eliminating foods: Parents can try an elimination diet by excluding much of casein, gluten and other allergic foods such as peanuts, fish, seafood, eggs and soy. Then, it is recommended to slowly reintroduced foods-one at a time. Maintain a journal noting down the effect of each of these foods and decide upon their inclusion in the daily diet thereon.
Supplements:Children with ASD are absolute picky eaters who are never going to meet their nutrient needs. Including supplements is the only way to ensure that they get their daily share of vitamins and minerals.
Each of us need a well-balanced nutritious diet and this is especially true in the case of kids with ASD. Choose something that’s free of pesticides, artificial ingredients, processed foods or preservatives. When children are fed with a diet that contains less of toxins and is more organic it is easier on their digestive system. As many kids don’t adapt to proteins well nor include much of fiber or fatty acids it is best to approach a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) for dietary advise. Get in touch with reputed RDNs atwww.firsteatright.com to help you with an amazing diet plan for your child.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.